Men Under Pressure: Representations of the 'Salaryman' and His Organization in Japanese Manga
University of Sheffield - School of East Asian Studies; Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
University of Manchester - Manchester Business School
Akita International University
August 18, 2008
Organization, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 639-664, 2008
In this paper we analyse representations of the Japanese salaryman and Japanese organization in Japanese manga, or graphic novels, during the turbulent decades from the mid-1980s to the present day. We argue that manga presents salarymen protagonists in a sympathetic yet not uncritical light, and that it displays support for and criticism of both the Japanese and American organizational models. In addition, we describe how these manga offer important critical challenges from the world of popular culture to the direction of change in Japanese business organizations since the 1980s. Moreover, we suggest that the manga may also provide salarymen with opportunities for critically re-evaluating their own working situations and for developing methods for surviving and thriving under the pressures of working within contemporary Japanese business organizations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: manga, popular culture, Japan, varieties of capitalism, gender
JEL Classification: Z10, N30, J41, J5, J50, J53, J6, J70, L20, L22, M10, M12, M50, M51, M54Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 13, 2011 ; Last revised: January 6, 2012
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