Toshio Murata, R.I.P.

By: David Gordon

Professor Toshio Murata of the Yokohama College of Commerce died on March 12, 2021, at the venerable age of 97. During World War II, he was a staff officer responsible for economic planning in Shanghai, under the Japanese Occupation. He soon found out that central planning in a city of that size did not work, and, when his opinions become known to the central authorities, he was removed from his post. After the war, an American student sent him a copy of Human Action, and he was immediately convinced by Mises’s free market views. Through the assistance of a Japanese businessman who was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he was able to secure a one-year fellowship in the Graduate School of Business Administration at NYU from the William Volker Fund, and he attended Mises’s Seminar in 1959 and 1960.  Upon his return to Japan, he became a leading proponent of Mises’s thought and translated Human Action and The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science into Japanese. He was also an authority on real estate marketing.  Younger Japanese scholars interested in Austrian economics viewed him as a father figure.

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