The Manga Style In The Japanese Literature On Manufacturing

A unique characteristic of the Japanese literature on manufacturing is its use of comic strips — or manga — to communicate with readers. The subject came up in a recent discussion on LinkedIn, that Mark DeLuzio started by saying:

“Toyota has been given credit for making the complex simple. Some say that this is the definition of genius. I think that the Lean consulting industry, in their attempt to help others follow Toyota’s footsteps, has in many cases done the opposite. We have made the simple very complex.”

My comment was that, while expressed in jargon, most of what goes as “Lean” in the US is simplistic. I contrast it with what I found in Japan, like the Kojo Kanri (工場管理, or “Factory Management”) monthly. It is full of case studies communicated in manga, on subjects ranging from the strategic to the tactical.

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