This is the first English-language book to focus on the electric
rice cooker and the impact it has had on the lives of Asian people.
This account of the rice cooker's globalization aims to move away
from Japan-centric perspectives on how "Made in Japan" products
made it big in the global marketplace, instead choosing to
emphasize the collaborative approach adopted by one Japanese
manufacturing giant and a Hong Kong entrepreneur. The book also
highlights the role Hong Kong, as a free port, played in the rice
cooker's globalization and describes how the city facilitated the
transnational flow of Japanese appliances to Southeast Asia, China,
and North America. Based on over 40 interviews conducted with key
figures at both National/Panasonic and Shun Hing Group, it provides
a fascinating insight into the process by which the National rice
cooker was first localized and then globalized. Interspersed
throughout are personal accounts by individuals in Japan and Hong
Kong for whom owning a rice cooker meant far more than just a
convenient way of cooking rice. The book includes over 60 images,
among them advertisements dating back to the 1950s that illustrate
how Japanese appliances contributed to the advent of a modern
lifestyle in Hong Kong.
This account of the rice cooker's odyssey from Japan to Hong Kong
and beyond is intended for a general audience as well as for
readers with an interest in the empirical study of globalization,
intercultural communication, Hong Kong social history, and Japanese
business in Asia.
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