Behavior: Reflection of Passion

During the '30s and '40s, the Japanese army often used a form of discipline called binta, usually a slap or punch in the face. Discarded after the war, the practice has suddenly reappeared in Japanese business as a way of toughening new employees.

At a training center near Mount Fuji last March, 84 recruits to Tokyo's Mitsumi Electric Co. were told to administer binta to one another. All obliged. Two of the men got an extra dose from a Mitsumi superior for dozing during a late-night meeting. When one of the two unions at Mitsumi broke the news last month, the incident...

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