The Hong Kong University Press today launched the English version of the book depicting the crossroads of Japanese and Chinese cultures "Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers".
The book is the third phase of a project that the Shun Hing Group has been coordinating with Dr. Yoshiko Nakano of the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Hong Kong since 2002. In 2003, Dr. Nakano co-authored a Chinese book entitled 由樂聲牌電飯煲而起：蒙民偉和信興集團走過的道路 [Selling Japan in Hong Kong: William Mong and the National Brand]. Two years later, the Japanese version of the book entitled Onajikama no Meshi [Eating Rice from the Same Pot] was published.
Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers is the first English-language book to focus on the electric rice cooker and the impact it has had on the lives of Asian people. It tells the story of how a Japanese manufacturing giant, working hand in hand with a Hong Kong Chinese entrepreneur, learned to localize its rice cookers for the global market and achieved tremendous success. The book also highlights the role Hong Kong, as a free port, played in the rice cooker's globalization and describes how the city facilitated the transnational flow of Japanese appliances to Southeast Asia, China, and North America. Based on over 40 interviews conducted with key figures at both National/Panasonic and Shun Hing Group, it provides a fascinating insight into the process by which the National rice cooker was first localized and then globalized. Interspersed throughout are personal accounts by individuals in Japan and Hong Kong for whom owning a rice cooker meant far more than just a convenient way of cooking rice. The book includes over 60 images, among them advertisements dating back to the 1950s that illustrate how Japanese appliances contributed to the advent of a modern lifestyle in Hong Kong.
Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers are available in major bookstores. Visit www.hkupress.org for online ordering.