Translation Works
To Japanese
The 2nd Selected Works
(Shosetsu supamaketto)
ENGLISH / Paul Warham published
FRENCH / Karine Chesneau
RUSSIAN / Alexander Dolin published
Originally Published by:
Kodansha (1984) (pb)
  • Set during Japan's high-growth period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this economic novel gives readers the lowdown on the supermarket industry
  • A full-fledge corporate novel that has become a bible of sorts for new supermarket trainees
A passionate corporate business story of a man striving to realize ambitious reforms in the distribution of fresh foods
Kojima gives up his elite position at a leading bank and leaps into the management of the Ishiei supermarket, situated in a provincial town. When invited to help manage the supermarket by his cousin, the store's managing director, Kojima decides to test his abilities and potentials in this industry, about which he knows nothing.
Kojima is made the manager of the sales promotion department, but being a complete novice regarding supermarkets, he seeks advice from the president of another company, Kameyama, to whom he is introduced by a director of the Supermarket Industry Association. After inspecting Ishiei, Kameyama points out that the store has dead stock in its apparel department and improper operating procedures in its meat department. This is the point at which Kojima begins actively taking measures to rehabilitate the store.
Although he is buffeted about by various challenges, including internal factionalism and rumors of a takeover by a large company, Kojima proceeds to expose and address Ishiei's problems. When he demonstrates strong leadership in reforming the fresh food department, the employees who like him are filled with enthusiasm for their work and the fresh food section of the store itself becomes increasingly popular and vibrant.
The big picture regarding overstocking and fraud at the store becomes clear when an employee who had become swept up in improprieties commits suicide. Kojima decides to take the route of camouflaging Ishiei's huge losses so that he can buy time to save the store and its employees. Several years later, Ishiei's management is back on track and the store's performance is improving, but its president, Eitaro Ishikari decides to sell Ishiei to a major supermarket chain.
Written by a man who personally helped rebuild a supermarket on the brink of bankruptcy, this work is an economic drama that enables readers to learn about the inner workings of the supermarket industry.
GENRE: Economic fiction