By Logan Thompson
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Extra info for Daggers and Bayonets - A History
Sets were given to the editors of various magazines, but the company decided to focus attention on musicians, perhaps aware of the significance of Ohga's previous responso to the inadequacies of the reel-to-reel tape-recorder. It was also thought that touring musicians were a particularly important target group as they listened to musió on their travels; in order to do this, musicians wonld often resort to carrying rather cumbersome tape-machines with them when travelling. Sets were therefore given away to leading musicians in Japan and also to visiting musicians from overseas.
3 above], but that it could only have emerged from Japan because certain 'cultural' cbaracteristics it embodies - its minute size, for example - are inherently 'Japanese'. In this section we will explore this argument to see to what extent it is reasonable to describe the design of Walkman as essentially 'Japaness'. We can begin this taskby examining some of the design traits that are often represented as distinctively Japanese and which the Walkman in particular is said to embody. We will focus on two such design characteristics; miniaturization and an aesthetíc of simplicity and attention to detail.
It is significant that the corporations, such as Sony, that grew up during this period - and that are now recognized as Japan's design leaders - did not embody Japanese 'tradition' in designing their products. Rather, designs during this period were largely derived from existing western styles. 6); similarly, the first Japanese produced cameras were careful copies of the Germán 35mmLeica (Aldersey-Williams, 1992), Traditional Japanese tableware. "* 72 " DOING CULTURAL STUD1ES: THE STORYOF THE SONY WALKMAN SECTION 3 DES1GNING THE WALKMAN 73 the existence of a distinct design aesthetic at Sony and other Japanese corporations or of a distinct set of Japanese aesthetic traditíons, but it is to suggest that that aesthetic is not 'traditionally' Japanese, in the sense ofbeing a dosed, bounded cultural practica impervious to 'foreign' influences.