By Simon Partner
This robust customer growth differed essentially from the only below approach whilst within the usa in that it all started from frequent poverty and relatively depressing dwelling stipulations. starting with a dialogue of the prewar origins of the shopper engine that was once to take off below the yank profession, companion fast turns his attractions at the company leaders, inventors, workers, and usual voters who participated within the commonly winning attempt to create new markets for pricey, unexpected new products.
Throughout, the writer relates those pressure-cooker years in Japan to the major issues of twentieth-century event world wide: the function of expertise in selling social switch, the increase of mass purchaser societies, and the development of gender in complicated commercial economies.
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Additional info for Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the Japanese Consumer
Spreading radio ownership among rural households remained a challenge, mainly because of lack of disposable income. 82. 47 Another problem was the relative unavailability of electricity. Many villages only had power during the evening and were therefore unable to listen to radio during the daytime. Moreover, payment was based not on consumption of electricity but on the number of light bulbs in the home. Honest farmers therefore felt it was cheating to plug an additional appliance into the light socket.
Automobiles, appeared to wander about the streets, soon followed by the monster of sound called radio; then the model of birds, the air- Partner_007_043_ch1 8/27/99 1:25 PM Page 19 E LE C TR IFYIN G JAPAN / 19 plane, began to fly in the sky for practical use. 21 The 1920s tend to conjure images of bob-haired, short-skirted “modern girls” walking the streets of Tokyo arm in arm. 22 To a surprising extent, the trends of the 1920s prefigured the mass consumer society that burgeoned in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Although this technology was shrouded in secrecy, the Japanese knew of it through their contacts with Barkhausen and the German military. In mid-1941, a large group of Japanese naval officers under Admiral Nomura Kichisaburo visited Germany to study military technology and the progress of the war. The observers included Ito Yoji, Giken’s leading electronics expert. The journey to Europe at the height of Germany’s European offensive was the stuff of B-grade war films. The group traveled to Europe on a Japanese warship.