Analyzing everything from super-toilets to cute character stationery goods, from Kabuki to manga and anime, from bikes to robots, strategy expert and conceptor Morinosuke Kawaguchi supplies a road map for the future of international technology and design.
Japanese contemporary subculture such as manga, anime, TV games and girls’ fashion are full of unique functionalities. Through a myriad of examples that people in any country can understand, Kawaguchi explains how to translate the anthropological features into industrial product specifications.
Kawaguchi‘s message is universal: one can leverage the power of subcultures, especially the childlike, feminine and cute aspects so characteristic of Japanese otaku (geek) culture, into developing top-tier products for the world market.
Kawaguchi‘s unique approach is to connect monozukuri (excellence in manufacturing and design) and emotional design to bring product development to a new level. His search is to recognize the future of technology and artifact design. For that it is essential to understand human nature in great depth, since any future design is bound to require more than mere efficiency and purpose. Subculture has always reflected human nature, and Japanese subculture, like few else today, is a great indicator of what the future of technology is going to be like. And, more importantly, how people will use and relate to electrical artifacts. In this sense, the future car will not be inspired by Knight Rider, but by Kokuo-go. And the mobile phone will have better chances to succeed if it can transmit a feeling comparable to Linus’ security blanket.
Morinosuke Kawaguchi is Principal, Associate Director at Arthur D. Little, (Japan) Inc. He is a lecturer in the postgraduate program at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Kawaguchi is renowned as a strategy expert in Management of Technology (MOT), intellectual property management (IPM) and also technology & innovation management (TIM) in various industries such as telecommunications, electronics and the car industry. In Japan, he is considered the inventor of a new concept in product engineering and technology development that draws from Japanese culture, especially from the concepts of monozukuri and otaku subcultures.
He is an award-winning author whose books are translated into Korean and Chinese and soon available in Thai and English.