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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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14. THE GAIJIN TEACHERS

THE JAPANESE HAD ALWAYS been good students. The Japanese way was to find the foreign expert, listen to him, learn everything they could, and then adapt the information to Japanese needs and dimensions. The earliest teachers at Nissan had been Americans, most particularly an extraordinary man named William R. Gorham. In terms of technology, Gorham was the founder of the Nissan motor company. In 1983, sixty-five years after he first arrived in Tokyo and thirty-five years after his death, young Nissan engineers who had never met him spoke of him as if he were a god and could describe in detail his years at the company and his many inventions.

Gorham was an American original, the inventor and mechanical engineer as missionary. ...

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