Shoshaman: A Tale of Corporate Japan

Shinya Arai, Author University of California Press $0 (224p) ISBN 978-0-520-07141-4
This novel by a Japanese business executive studies the soul of the shoshaman (salaryman) and the Japanese corporate milieu. Nakasato Michio is a top manager at Nissei, a huge Japanese corporation, when he suffers a mid-life crisis and begins to reexamine his values. Nakasato encounters Hozumi Masako, a woman he had been in love with 15 years earlier, and is stunned to find that she had borne his child. Hozumi has made her youthful dreams a reality as a successful entrepreneur, while Nakasato feels he has wasted his promise and turned into what he had dreaded, an unimaginative shoshaman whose only world is the company. Although the characters are well drawn, the dialogue at times is stilted and formal. Here is a sample of Nakasato and Hozumi's pillow talk: ``When you first told me about your plan to remodel the supermarket meat-packing room into a modern food-processing plant, I thought it was a truly wonderful idea.''p. 82 While the business novel is a popular genre in Japan, in this country Shoshaman will primarily interest readers who want to understand the Japanese corporate mentality. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-520-91051-5
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