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Review – Supermarket March 16, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 5 stars, Foreign, Literature.
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by Satoshi Azuchi

When Kojima, an elite banker resigns his job to help a cousin manage Ishiei, a supermarket in one of Japan’s provincial cities, a host of problems ensue.  Store employees are stealing products, the books are in disaray, and the workers seem stuck in old ways of thinking.  As Kojima begins to give all his time over to the relentless task of reforming the store’s management, a chance encounter with a woman from his childhood causes him to ask the age-old question: is the all encompassing pursuit of business success really worth it?

Supermarket is a surpisingly fascinating look into the world of, what else, supermarkets. The author goes in depth into the ins-and-outs of what goes on into the business of a supermarket chain. It takes place during the early 1970’s before supermarkets really takes off in the food industry.

I never knew supermarkets could be so interesting! I was entranced by the world of fresh produce and dismayed by the embezzling ways of the employees! I was completely caught up in the schemes of the management!

To say Azuchi makes this story a “modern classic” of Japan is an understatement. He captures the world of the Japanese businessman to the hilt. Their dedication, their devotion, how much honor is at stake.

The author also manages to convey the passion the businessman has for his job. A passion that is unlike any other. Kojima is willing to sacrifice his family, his future for the sake of what’s good for the company and the employees.

Definitely a must read.