Are Japanese Electric Products really High Quality?

One often hears people say that Japan’s electric products have shown great improvement since the end of the war, that they seldom break down, and that servicing is speedy and efficient. I am convinced that the reason behind this reputation is the compulsive perfectionism of the people of Japan. In other words, their conscience suffers when something they have made proves faulty. Thus, it was the desire to provide high-quality products for their customers that has won them such a good reputation abroad.



This is not a concept that came to Japan from the West during the Meiji Restoration starting in 1868. I think it is based upon a way of thinking held by the Japanese themselves since ancient times. It appears that the concepts of shame and pride, not only in the case of electric product quality but in all other areas of life as well, are important ruling forces in the activities of the Japanese people. Feeling of shame at losing to others and failing to do a good job have spurred greater effort, resulting in superior products. The joy of doing a good job contributes to even greater pride in one’s work, and this, once again, encourages one to make even greater efforts, and so on in a constantly escalating spiral.

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