At the end of World War II, "made in Japan" was synonymous with cheap goods. From 1945-55, it was a difficult time for the Japanese. The economy had collapsed and there was a shortage of food for several years. People had to shift from producing goods for the military, to supplying the civilian market. Adopting mass-production methods and honing their engineering skills, the Japanese set about reinventing the way they viewed technology. The key was creating a disciplined and loyal work force. Drawing on the long history and distinctive culture, Japan went on to become the technology leader in the world. The rest is history, and now "made in Japan" translates as "expensive."
Japanese have always been quite a strange nation to me. Maybe these
photos can explain why.