Why is the salaryman carrying a surfboard?

Printed in Japan, 176 pages, bilingual Japanese and English, 150×220 mm

“Why is the salaryman carrying a surfboard?” is a Japanese and English bilingual book by Ray Masaki about the history and context of institutional white supremacy and Westernization in the Japanese design industry: “My belief is that Japan has benefitted from the appropriation of other cultures without engaging in the systems and context that created them, which has in part led to complicity in systemic white supremacy. And my goal with this book is for Japanese creatives to start questioning their decisions and ingrained biases and begin holding themselves and their peers more accountable to contribute to a collective effort to raise questions.”

The book adresses some of the difficult questions about race relations in Japan, like the predominance of white and Western-featured models in Japanese advertisements, the strange or incorrect usages of English in product packaging and clothing or the ways blackface and racial stereotyping become normalized.