Japan's Motorcycle Wars: An Industry History Paperback – Jan 1 2009
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For decades the crown jewels of Japan’s postwar manufacturing industry, motorcycles remain one of Japan’s top exports. Japan’s Motorcycle Wars assesses the historical development and societal impact of the motorcycle industry, from the influence of motor sports on vehicle sales in the early 1900s to the postwar developments that led to the massive wave of motorization sweeping the Asia-Pacific region today.
Jeffrey Alexander brings a wealth of information to light, providing English translations of transcripts, industry publications, and company histories that have until now been available only in Japanese. By exploring the industry as a whole, he reveals that Japan’s motorcycle industry was characterized not by communitarian success but by misplaced loyalties, technical disasters, and brutal competition.
Reading this book is a revelation and a thrill. It is an excellent example of business history done right. Alexander's contribution here is thoroughly original; he gives us a rare look into the experiences of the losers as well as the winners in Japanese business. He will open the eyes of everyone in the field to the significance of the motorcycle industry on Japan's economic and technological development. (William Tsutsui, author of Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan)See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
a must read! I am reading the book for the second time. Luc Menard.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I loved this book. I always knew that the the big four didn't just spring up out of whole cloth. But this book has given me a big chunk of the background I always wanted. On top of that, I find the post war re-industrialization of Japan very interesting. It's often the rebels (Japanese style rebels of course) who make a difference. In case you don't know, the Japanese government was dead set against Toyota building cars, "stick to trucks" they said, and we all know how that came out.
Well, the stories of the individuals who made the Japanese motyorcycle industry come alive and how they managed thru the lack of resources and equipment is a great story too. And just for giggles, although not mentioned in this book, after Honda became a success, the Japanense government told Mr. Honda to "stick with motorcycles" and we all know how that worked out too!