Lost and Gained in Translation: The Role of the ‘American Model’ in the Institution-Building of a Japanese University Press

Ikuya Sato, Manabu Haga, Mamoru Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a case study of the early history of the University of Tokyo Press (UTP), which was founded in 1951 as the first university press affiliated with a national university in Japan. We concentrate on how the American model of university publishing was used in inventive and creative ways, not only to build up and manage the UTP but also to create and solidify the emerging institution of university press publishing in Japan. Drawing upon the ideas of Scandinavian institutionalist school of organizational analysis, we contend that a certain ‘translation’ of an existing organizational model often constitutes an integral part of institutional entrepreneurship. We also argue that the process of institutional translation is inseparably related to the UTP members’ search for workable missions and organizational identity within financial and institutional constraints. The UTP case suggests that to be a successful institutional entrepreneur, one has to be an effective rhetor as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-363
Number of pages17
JournalCultural Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sep 12



  • American University of Tokyo Press
  • field
  • institutional translation
  • Japan
  • Japanese
  • organization
  • organizational identity
  • organizational model
  • publishers
  • publishing
  • Scandinavian institutionalism
  • scholarly publishing
  • university
  • university press

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Sciences(all)

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