chapter  6
10 Pages

The education of engineers in modern Japan: an historical perspective

ByHidemasa Morikawa

Among the most important factors which have led to Japan’s competitive strength in world markets has been the attitude of Japanese engineers towards direct involvement in production. To Japanese engineers, the genba, the workplace or factory floor, is a vital part of the job. Respect for the workplace is deeply ingrained in their education and reinforced by onthe-job training, where engineers work together with blue-collar workers. It is, indeed, so much a part of the engineer’s professional values that to work exclusively in the office or on research and development is not to be, by definition, an engineer at all.