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February 11, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

BRINGING HOME THE SUSHI: An Inside Look At Japanese Business Through Japanese Comics! (Mangajin/Weatherhill: $19.95; 209 pp., illustrated, paperback original). Manga, which resemble our comic books in format, according to this book account for approximately one-quarter of the total publishing market in Japan. Chosen from popular series, the nine examples in this anthology reveal the shifting values and self-images of the middle-class workers who created the post-war economic miracle. In "The Telephone Pole," a young executive worries that he's turning into his father, a remote, anonymous salaryman, "neither a villain nor a man of integrity." "The Lemon Secret" showcases a new generation of Japanese women who are capable executives rather than subservient "office ladies." Informative and entertaining, "Bringing Home the Sushi" exposes cracks in the seemingly irrefrangible Japanese socioeconomic system.

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