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Japan Inc.: An Introduction to Japanese Economics: The Comic Book


Japan Inc.: An Introduction to Japanese Economics: The Comic Book Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

They are burning Japanese cars in Detroit. The top management at Toyosan Motors must decide whether to begin offshore production of its cars in the U.S. But our hero Mr. Kudo fears that offshore production will devastate the numerous local subcontractors of Toyosan, leading to a hollowing out of the auto industry in Japan, leaving only a financial shell. The American color TV industry has already suffered such a fate. The villain, Mr. Tsugawa, calls Kudo a wimp and sees a splendid opportunity for union busting. Will our hero prevail?

Thus begins the first episode of this rollicking yet incisive introduction to the world economy from the Japanese point of view. Other episodes treat the appreciation of the yen, the impact of the 1970s oil shocks, deficit financing, the internationalization of business and banking, and the post-industrial future of Japan and the Pacific Rim.

The book is an English edition of volume 1 of Manga Nihon keizai nyumon, originally published in 1986 by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the Japanese equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. It is based on a serious introductory text put out by the newspaper and is packed with informative charts and facts. When the comic book was first published in Japan, it was an immediate best-seller, selling over 550,000 copies in less than a year.

The stories in the book reflect Japan's national mood during the "Japanese miracle" and into the 1980s economic bubble: apprehension and optimism jostle one another, and there is a sense of national self-pity. The book also reflects a deep suspicion of politics and bureaucrats. The prime minister appears more worried about his government's popularity than about taking the right economic course. Ultimately, the employees at Toyosan Motors demonstrate that the success of the Japanese economy will not depend on natural resources or politics but on business practices that are ethical, socially responsible, and forward-looking.


"Both entertaining and a splendid introduction to the country's economic problems."—Chalmers Johnson

About the Author

Shotaro Ishinomori (previously Shotaro Ishimori) is one of Japan's all-star comic strip artists. He became a disciple of Osamu Tezuka (Japan's "god of comics") as a middle school student and published his first strip while still in high school. He has published over 360 separate volumes.

Product Details

Duus, Peter
Scheiner, Betsey
Scheiner, Betsey
Shotaro, Ishinomori
Ishinomori, Shotaru
Ishinomori, Shotaro
Duus, Peter
University of California Press
Economic Policy
Economic Conditions
Economics - Theory
Caricatures and cartoons
Economics - General
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.75 in 19 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » International
History and Social Science » Asia » Japan » Contemporary 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » Economics » General

Japan Inc.: An Introduction to Japanese Economics: The Comic Book New Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages University of California Press - English 9780520062894 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"Both entertaining and a splendid introduction to the country's economic problems."—Chalmers Johnson
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