Bones of Steel
Author: Jun Ikeido
Specifications: ISBN  978-4062158329
537 pages
14.0 x 19.0 cm / 5.6 x 7.6 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kodansha Ltd.
Tokyo, 2009
Awards: Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers, 2010
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In this novel about the corrupt practice of bid-rigging deeply rooted in the Japanese construction industry, Heita Tomishima has been at the Ichimatsu Corporation, a mid-sized builder, for nearly four years. So far he has worked mainly as an on-site supervisor for new condominiums, but now he is singled out for transfer to the Operations Division at the main office in Shinjuku. The division is headed by the firm's number-two man, Managing Director Ogata, and its main business is negotiating with other construction companies to agree in advance on bids. Shortly after Tomishima takes up his new post, the company tenders a bid against 15 other entrants for a road construction job estimated at 2 billion yen, but they lose out to a small new upstart. A serious financial crisis threatens when their main bank then turns down a request for new financing. Management decides to bet the company's future on a 200 billion yen subway project, but the giant Mano Construction is also experiencing financial difficulties, and the entire industry begins falling in line to ensure that Mano gets the contract. The man coordinating the effort is Mihashi, advisor to industry giant Yamazaki Corporation and brother-in-law of incumbent party heavyweight Shiroyama. Ogata designates Tomishima as the Ichimatsu Corporation's negotiator to go up against the man known as "the emperor of collusion." With bids due in September, negotiations start in earnest. Meanwhile, the Special Investigations Unit of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is preparing to bring charges of bribery and abetting collusion against Shiroyama. Also deftly weaving in a love interest for Tomishima?a woman who works for the Ichimatsu Corporation's main bank?the author has produced a thrilling work of intrigue that throws light on complex questions of corporate ethics.

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