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Shoshaman ------ 商社マン Economics from a Novel Winter 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Shoshaman ------ 商社マン Economics from a Novel Winter 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shoshaman 商社マン Economics from a Novel Winter 2003

2 The Cast: Part I The opening scene: announcing promotions to the company –Ebisawa Shiro, President, Nissei Corp. –Yamabe Seiji, head of personnel –Ojima, the beserker –Nakasato Michio, the protagonist / Ojima's "classmate"

3 interpretation What is role of company? "god?" Presumption that Ojima "gone" Training camp: what is of ultimate value? –Success in company. –How do Nakasato & Ojima differ? One's a winner, one's a (big) loser Family an appendage to career Training camp: varied on entry, socialized into a similar pattern Literary problem: –will Nakasato become like a successful Ojima? Can work and life coexist?

4 The Cast: Part II New York: an inspection visit American Gourmet Company proposal –Yoshida Shizuo, Nissei America –Tobita Tokihiko, Pres., Nissei America –Kano Taichiro, classmate of Nakasato at NA Nakasato Rieko, the "missus"

5 NY What is a "trading company" (shosha)? –Old role: intermediary, here in int'l trade Buy low, sell high, using superior information –Also special skills in finance and paperwork / logistics How handle a bet gone wrong? –Hide –Face –Shift to others –Shosha "winter" J companies better informed, bigger, more skills, handle directly: Honda isn't just a rural motorcycle maker Information cheaper in general Core goods are stagnant markets

6 More themes Context –will Nakasato be sidetracked to NY? Generational issues –Younger more "open" –Older do quite OK if Nissei merely "gets by" –Contrast of son & father during tennis game

7 Others Key figures in Century Stores interlude –Hozumi Masako, her alter ego and a reluctant entrepreneur. –Hatakeyama Shinsaku, Pres., Century Stores

8 Hozumi Company mentality: –Nakasato vs Hozumi She can break away from mold Can't succeed within, so penalty from exit is low Relationship –Initial: seeking information, wanting to set up own business –Supermarket story Masako as foil: imaginative as to location Nakasato: handled operational detail / store layout –Pulled store layout from visits to factories –Implicit that early to mid-1970s

9 And more Normal people –Inuzuka Keigoro, former boss of Nakasato during Century Stores joint venture. Japanese dance as his passion. –Nukaya Kiichiro, head of Kijima Co. food wholesaler that went bust. A manager without subordinates. –Natsukawa Tetsuji, a normal "jerk" (Food Dept) –Hoshino –Hozui Michio, a fatherless child –Robert Hancock, a passionate restauranteer


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