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Book Launch of Re-Reading the Salaryman in Japan

Based on intensive interviews that author Romit Dasgupta carried out with young male private sector employees in Japan, Re-Reading the Salaryman in Japan makes an important contribution to the study of masculinity and Japanese corporate culture. After having initially being launched at the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) Biennial Conference, along with other titles in the Routledge/ASAA East Asia Series, the official launch of Re-Reading the Salaryman in Japan was held at The University of Western Australia, in Perth, Australia, on Monday 10 September 2012 in the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

Based on intensive interviews that author Romit Dasgupta carried out with young male private sector employees in Japan, Re-Reading the Salaryman in Japan makes an important contribution to the study of masculinity and Japanese corporate culture. After having initially being launched at the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) Biennial Conference, along with other titles in the Routledge/ASAA East Asia Series, the official launch of Re-Reading the Salaryman in Japan was held at The University of Western Australia, in Perth, Australia, on Monday 10 September 2012 in the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

Professor Vera Mackie (University of Wollongong) attended the launch and unveiled the book. Vera is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and had been an important mentor for Romit throughout the writing of Re-Reading the Salaryman. Dr Yasuo Takao from Curtin University also said a few words, since he too had also been involved with Romit's research in its early days. Apart from Vera and Yasuo, the launch was attended by academics, postgraduate students, friends, and members of Romit’s family.

In Japan, the figure of the suited, white-collar office worker or business executive ‘salaryman’ (or, sarariiman), came to be associated with Japan’s economic transformation following World War Two. The ubiquitous ‘salaryman’ came to signify both Japanese masculinity, and Japanese corporate culture, and in this sense, the ‘salaryman’ embodied ‘the archetypal citizen’.


Romit's book uses the figure of the ‘salaryman’ to explore masculinity in Japan by examining the ‘salaryman’ as a gendered construct. Whilst there is a considerable body of literature on Japanese corporate culture and a growing acknowledgement of the role of gender, until now the focus has been almost exclusively on women in the workplace. In contrast, this book is one of the first to focus on the men within Japanese corporate culture through a gendered lens. Not only does this add to the emerging literature on masculinity in Japan, but given the important role Japanese corporate culture has played in Japan’s emergence as an industrial power, Romit's research offers a new way of looking both at Japanese business culture, and more generally at important changes in Japanese society in recent years.

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  1. Re-reading the Salaryman in Japan

    Crafting Masculinities

    By Romit Dasgupta

    Series: Routledge/Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) East Asian Series

    In Japan, the figure of the suited, white-collar office worker or business executive ‘salaryman’ (or, sarariiman), came to be associated with Japan’s economic transformation following World War Two. The ubiquitous salaryman came to signify both Japanese masculinity, and Japanese corporate culture,...

    Published August 13th 2012 by Routledge