Tsutsui, William M. 1963-

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TSUTSUI, William M. 1963-

(William Minoru Tsutsui)

PERSONAL: Born July 9, 1963, in New York, NY; son of Minoru and Ethel (Ashworth) Tsutsui; married Marjorie Ellen Swann, August 19, 1989. Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1985; Oxford University, M.Litt, 1988; Princeton University, M.A., 1990, Ph.D., 1995.

ADDRESSES: Home—1515 University Dr., Lawrence, KS 66044-3149. Office—Department of History, University of Kansas, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045-7590. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Educator and historian. Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan, visiting researcher, 1991–92; University of Kansas, Lawrence, assistant professor, 1993–99, associate professor of history, 1999–, acting director of Center for East Asian Studies, 1999–2001, 2004. Japan-America Student Conference, member of national advisory committee, 2000–; Kansas Committee for International Education in the Schools, member of executive committee; Kansas Consortium for Teaching about Asia, director. Member, Kansas Humanities Council (board of directors; program committee chair; secretary-treasurer, 2003–04).

MEMBER: Kansas State Historical Society (vice president, 2001–02; president-elect, 2002–03; president, 2003–04), Friends of the Spencer Museum of Art (member, board of directors).

AWARDS, HONORS: Newcomen Society Award for Excellence in Business History Research and Writing, 1998; John Whitney Hall Prize for best book on Japan or Korea, Association for Asian Studies, 2000, for Manufacturing Ideology; W. T. Kemper fellowship for teaching excellence, 2001; Steeples Service to Kansans Award, Kansas University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2001; ACLS/SSRC/National Endowment for the Humanities international and area studies fellowship; Center for Teaching Excellence faculty fellowship; Fulbright graduate research fellowship, FLAS fellowship; Marshall fellowship.


Banking Policy in Japan: American Efforts at Reform during the Occupation, Routledge (New York, NY), 1988.

Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.

(Editor and author of introduction) Banking in Japan, Volume 1: The Evolution of Japanese Banking, 1868–1952, Volume 2: Japanese Banking in the High-growth Era, 1952–73, Volume 3: Japanese Banking since 1973, Routledge (London, England), 1999, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.

Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2004.

Author of numerous articles on Japanese business and economic history.

SIDELIGHTS: Historian and educator William M. Tsutsui is the author and editor of several well-regarded books about the history of Japanese business, including Banking Policy in Japan: American Efforts at Reform during the Occupation and Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan. The former title examines the reasons why the Japanese banking sector largely escaped the democratizing and antitrust reforms American occupation authorities mandated for the other parts of the Japanese economy between 1945 and 1952. The reasons why bank reform failed, Tsutsui argues, were internal to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) bureaucracy. First, bank reform was not the occupation's top priority and hence was poorly planned and unevenly overseen. Secondly, the inter-SCAP conflict between the finance division and the antitrust division bogged down many initiatives until the occupation had devolved too much power back to Japanese authorities to propel such changes through. Banking Policy in Japan "is a skillful historical analysis of the internal dynamics of economic policy-making in SCAP that led to the failure of banking reform," Takagi Shinji explained in the Journal of Asian Studies.

Manufacturing Ideology examines the penetration into Japanese industry of the theoritical scientific management framework more popularly known as Taylorism after its inventor, turn-of-the-twentieth-century American productivity consultant Frederick Winslow Taylor. "Tsutsui makes a convincing case that Japan's acclaimed management practices are not particularly novel or even Japanese," Michael J. Lynskey wrote in Business History. Instead, they represent an imported Taylorite philosophy that was slightly modified to fit Japanese culture; as Tsutsui notes, the Japanese workforce protested less fiercely and effectively about the supposedly "dehumanizing" aspects of scientific management than did the unionized and vocal Western workforces subjected to the more stringent Taylorite practices. "Overall," Christopher Wright concluded in Labour and Industry, Manufacturing Ideology "is an extremely readable and well-researched examination of the historical development of Japanese management."

Tsutsui focuses on a very different aspect of Japanese culture in Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters Drawing his title from the giant lizard introduced to the world in the 1954 film Gojira, in Godzilla on My Mind Tsutsui examines the historical and cultural factors that made the reptile a hit in both Japan and the United States and transformed it into the first successful Japanese pop-culture export. "Godzilla really was a pioneer," Tsutsui explained on the University of Kansas Office of University Relations Web site. "Godzilla started the flow of pop culture from Japan to the United States, and in his wake has come everything from Astro Boy, Speed Racer, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to today's fascination with anime, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Iron Chef—you name it." Godzilla on My Mind, which is more accessible to non-historians that Tsutsui's previous works, features interviews with and letters from Godzilla admirers from around the world, recounts Tsutsui's trips to conventions for Godzilla fans, and includes trivia about the twenty-seven Godzilla films made to date. "This is an excellent … book for hard-core fans or students doing research on culture in films," Rosalind Dayen wrote in Library Journal, and London Guardian contributor P.D. Smith similarly termed it "very readable and amusing."

Tsutsui told CA: "I sense that Manufacturing Ideology is my most important work in a scholarly sense, as it reshaped how historians look at the phenomenon known as 'Japanese-style management,' an agglomeration of techniques from quality-control circles to just-in-time production that captured the world's imagination in the 1980s and 1990s. My research showed that Japan's distinctive management methods were less the result of millennia of Japanese cultural differences than the product of creative engagement with American managerial ideologies, specifically Frederick Winslow Taylor's managerial approaches.

"My favorite book, and the only one so far to reach non-academic audiences, is Godzilla on My Mind. A very personal work, reflecting both my longstanding fascination with the 'King of the Monsters' and a scholarly recognition of the historical importance of pop culture, Godzilla on My Mind is a lighthearted but serious attempt to explore why we Americans have such affection for low-budget Japanese 'creature features.' In writing the book, I learned a lot about fan cultures in America, a lot about myself, and a lot about the power of nostalgia in today's fast-paced and often excessively cynical society.

"In all of my books, I have tried in various ways to untangle the complex and intimate relationship between Japan and the United States in the twentieth century. These two dynamic and powerful societies have been intertwined in profound ways—economic, political, and cultural—that few people in either country have yet recognized fully. So while no topics may appear further removed than industrial management practices and giant monster movies, both have proven fruitful means for me to explore the forces which have knit Japan and the United States together, as well as the deep cultural differences which have kept the two countries so wonderfully distinctive."



American Journal of Sociology, January, 2000, Gary Herrigel, review of Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, p. 1213.

Business History, April, 2002, Michael J. Lynskey, review of Manufacturing Ideology, p. 150.

Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2004, "Monster Jubilee," p. A6.

Guardian (London, England), December 11, 2004, P.D. Smith, review of Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters, p. 31.

Japan Quarterly, July, 1989, Janet E. Geoff, review of Banking Policy in Japan: American Efforts at Reform during the Occupation, p. 349.

Journal of Asian Studies, November, 1989, Shinji Takagi, review of Banking Policy in Japan, pp. 880-881.

Labour and Industry, December, 2000, Christopher Wright, review of Manufacturing Ideology, p. 99.

Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Rosalind Dayen, review of Godzilla on My Mind, p. 154; September 15, 2004, Rosalind Dayen, interview with Tsutsui, p. 59.


Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Kansas We b site, https://www.ku.edu/~ceas/ (March 31, 2005), "William M. Tsutsui."

Missouri Southern State University Web site, http://www.mssu.edu/ (March 31, 2005), "William M. Tsutsui."

University of Kansas Office of University Relations Web site, http://www.ur.ku.edu/ (July 5, 2000), "Made in Japan: Management History Book Wins Award" (May 18, 2001) "KU Liberal Arts Faculty to Receive Awards" (October 11, 2004) "KU Professor to Read from New Book 'Godzilla on My Mind.'"