The transferability of the Japanese management system to the American business environment has recently provided a focal point of argument among Americans. This signifies a drastic change of trend not only for members of American business and management science, who have been accustomed to thinking that they are leading the business of the world, in every sense, but also for their Japanese counterparts who have been following American business and theory. The introduction of Japanese style management is one thing but its practical application is quite another matter; as an old Japanese proverb says, “You carve the statue of Buddha but do not put the spirit in it” (Hotoke tsukutte Tamashii irezu). Without understanding the minds of Japanese businessmen working in Japanese businesses it is of no use, and may even be dangerous, to argue about the transferability and workability of the Japanese type of management in the US.
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