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Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice CookersHow “National” Went Global via Hong Kong$
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Yoshiko Nakano

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028085

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028085.001.0001

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Let’s Take Our Rice Cookers to the World

Let’s Take Our Rice Cookers to the World

Adapting Japanese Rice Cookers for the Chinese Consumer

(p.18) (p.19) 1 Let’s Take Our Rice Cookers to the World
Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers

Yoshiko Nakano

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter describes how the National rice cooker team and William Mong worked together to adapt Japanese rice cookers for Chinese consumers. It begins in the year 1959, when Mong imported his first twenty-four rice cookers from a National factory in Osaka. It goes on to detail the sales tactics that Mong and his associates employed to introduce this unknown invention to Hong Kong citizens. Mong made it his mission to let Hong Kong people see how rice cookers worked, and he and his associates launched a series of cooking demonstrations. As early as 1960, Mong campaigned vigorously for changes in design to accommodate local tastes, which led to him personally carrying bags of rice from Hong Kong to Japan and taking part in grueling taste tests. Mong worked together with Tatsunosuke Sakamoto to adapt the Japanese rice cooker for Hong Kong consumers, and in the process paved the way for the product's globalization, taking it to Asia, the Middle East, and Asian diasporas around the world.

Keywords:   National rice cooker, William Mong, Osaka, rice cookers, Hong Kong, globalization, Asia, Middle East

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