The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan

The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan

by Laura Kriska
     
 

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A young woman with a new degree in Japanese studies and plenty of youthful idealism and can-do spirit accepts a job as the first American trainee at Honda's headquarters in Tokyo. Her image of Japanese corporate life is dramatically challenged on her first day at work when she is issued a blue polyester uniform—a uniform worn only by women!

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Overview

A young woman with a new degree in Japanese studies and plenty of youthful idealism and can-do spirit accepts a job as the first American trainee at Honda's headquarters in Tokyo. Her image of Japanese corporate life is dramatically challenged on her first day at work when she is issued a blue polyester uniform—a uniform worn only by women!

From menial beginnings serving tea to executives and cleaning the boss's desk, to a stint in public relations, to developing training classes for Japanese associates going to America, Laura Kriska recounts her struggle to adapt to—and ultimately thrive in—the culture of a traditional Japanese company. Shortly before her departure, she travels full circle by introducing a successful campaign to make women's uniforms optional.

Now with a new foreword by the author, The Accidental Office Lady is a vivid and valuable firsthand account not only of corporate Japan and the gender inequality that persists within it, but of an outsider's successful attempt to work within cultural boundaries to affect organizational change.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Elisabeth Bumiller
…funny and insightful…Kriska comes off as a determined, irreverent and very human American trying to grow up professionally in a foreign country that doesn't want her to…her book is a revealing portrait of the corporate culture that reflects, and defines, Japan.
BusinessWeek - Nanette Byrnes
[Kriska's] book, The Accidental Office Lady, is an informative…account of what it was like to be the first American woman ever employed at Honda Motor Co. headquarters.
From the Publisher
"The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan, originally published in 1998 and recently rereleased with a new foreword by the author, is her story. The book is a testament to the fact that it is possible to thrive in even the most alien of cultures." —Bangkok Post

"This book resonated with me because it largely mirrored the experiences I had working in a Japanese office in the early 1980s. I could completely relate to the author's loneliness and frustration, as well as the way her experiences changed her, helped her grow, and left her with an abiding love of Japan." —Goodreads

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9784805311561
Publisher:
Tuttle Publishing
Publication date:
09/10/2011
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Greg Mortenson
"Laura Kriska's lively and invaluable story underlines the simple truth that making the world better starts with a fundamental respect for the way other people live."—Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools

Meet the Author

Laura Kriska is a leading Japanese business consultant specializing in communication and teamwork. She is dedicated to creating successful relationships between Japanese and Americans in the workplace. Kriska's writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Working Woman, Self, and Mangajin.

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