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Capturing Contemporary JapanDifferentiation and Uncertainty$
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Satsuki Kawano, Glenda S. Roberts, and Susan Orpett Long

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838683

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838683.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Shelf Lives and the Labors of Loss

Shelf Lives and the Labors of Loss

Food, Livelihoods, and Japan’s Convenience Stores

(p.135) Chapter 5 Shelf Lives and the Labors of Loss
Capturing Contemporary Japan

Gavin Hamilton Whitelaw

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on small-business owners convenience stores (konbini) in Tokyo. In particular, it considers the issues of shelf life, loss and waste regarding prepared foods sold in convenience stores as well as the store concept called “konbinization” and how store owners deal with unsold food. It also examines the storeowners' struggles to meet the demands of fussy urban consumers while striving to make a profit and grappling with everyday losses. Storeowners, for example, are forced to pay “loss charges” on unsold food items. The chapter concludes by discussing the importance of food to the convenience store's efforts to refine standards while pursuing differentiation.

Keywords:   small-business owners, convenience stores, Tokyo, shelf life, loss, waste, prepared foods, konbinization, profit, food

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