We Were Burning: Japanese Entrepreneurs and the Forging of the Electronic Age


The rise of the Japanese consumer electronics industry is typically attributed to a combination of group-oriented Japanese businesses, government-controlled trade, and collusion between powerful Japanese companies designed to create monopolies and eliminate foreign competition. In this model, Japanese businessmen are automatons devoid of initiative or vision. We Were Burning debunks these myths by unveiling the burning entrepreneurial spirit that sparked many of the great electronic products of our time.

Bob Johnstone traces the rise of the transistor and the microchip from their early uses in watches and calculators to current uses in almost every electric device. He visits laboratories in Japan and the U.S., noting that the electronics revolution passed back forth across the Pacific as projects that floundered in one country flourished in the other. Along the way readers meet charismatic Japanese entrepreneur-scientists such as Sasaki Tadashi -- known as "Dr. Rocket" -- who convinced skeptical colleagues that there was a market for hand-held calculators and tenaciously saw that they came to be.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1999


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