Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the by Simon Partner

By Simon Partner

Assembled in Japan investigates one of many nice luck tales of the 20 th century: the increase of the japanese electronics undefined. opposite to mainstream interpretation, Simon companion discovers that at the back of the meteoric upward push of Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, and different electric items businesses was once neither the iron hand of Japan's Ministry of foreign alternate and nor a government-sponsored export-led development coverage, yet fairly an explosion of family client call for that started within the 1950s.

This robust shopper increase differed essentially from the single lower than means while within the usa in that it all started from frequent poverty and relatively depressing residing stipulations. starting with a dialogue of the prewar origins of the patron engine that used to be to take off lower than the yankee profession, associate speedy turns his points of interest at the enterprise leaders, inventors, workers, and traditional electorate who participated within the commonly profitable attempt to create new markets for dear, surprising new products.

Throughout, the writer relates those pressure-cooker years in Japan to the foremost topics of twentieth-century event world wide: the position of know-how in selling social switch, the increase of mass customer societies, and the development of gender in complex business economies.

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Extra resources for Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the Japanese Consumer

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Research was not a part of Takayanagi’s job description. Partner_007_043_ch1 8/27/99 1:25 PM Page 32 32 / A SSEMBLED IN JA PA N Takayanagi had been obsessed with radio from an early age—ever since, he reminisced, a team from the Japanese navy had come to his elementary school classroom to demonstrate the medium’s great success against the Russians. In his student days in Yokohama he accosted foreigners in the doorways of hotels, asking them questions about the latest developments in radio. One summer Takayanagi used a contact in the shipping industry to get himself hired as radio operator on a merchant ship crossing the Pacific to San Francisco.

16 But whether Japan caught up to the West in electrical communications because of effective government policy, pre-Restoration skills, or the nature of the technologies themselves, the continuity of technological development from the Meiji period onward played a key role in helping Japanese companies assimilate complex technologies after World War II. As we will see, these trends actually gained intensity and momentum as Japan entered the fateful years of isolation and all-out war. A TIME FOR DREAMS Continuities of growth and government policy are not enough in themselves to explain the dynamic of Japan’s electrical technology development.

10 each. His future looked dire. But before the end of his first year he had a breakthrough. A local contractor ordered a thousand electric fan regulator bases made from Matsushita’s paste instead of the traditional porcelain. In 1918 Matsushita cleared profits of more than ¥100. He founded the Matsushita Electrical Company in March of that year. This gave Matsushita enough money to develop his next product: a bicycle lamp. At the time the bicycle was just coming into general use in Japan. Although bicycle lamps were available, most were primitive affairs using candles or stored gas.

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