Eyes on The Prize: Japan challenges America's reputation

Japan challenges America's reputation for creativity and innovation

The myth persists. Americans are naturally inventive and creative, while the Japanese are clever copiers. Neither imaginative nor inspired, the Japanese shamelessly borrow technological innovations from the U.S. and other nations and transform them into inexpensive household staples. Or so many Americans believe. Look at color-television sets, transistor radios and videocassette recorders, they say: all original American ideas appropriated by the Japanese.

The harsh truth is that if at one time the Japanese could be dismissed as mere imitators, that time is long gone. Not only have the Japanese built up an impressive record for creativity and innovation, but there is...

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