Laura Hein is Associate Professor of Japanese History at Northwestern University.

At the turn of the last century, Japan was a nation wrestling with the contrasting claims of 20th century modernism and 19th century feudalism. For one group of young economists the path lay clearly in the direction of a modern, scientific, and internationally-oriented economy - an economy that would also give emphasis to the social welfare of the Japanese. The six men collaborated for six decades. Despite political persecution and the dislocations of a lost war, their ideas achieved lasting influence in Japan's economy and culture. Laura Hein explains their method and impact.