In “Mad Men” Season 4 Episode 5 “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword,” the firm woos its first Japanese client. In the meantime, Sally Draper begins to experience her first flower of womanhood at age 10, much to the disgust of her mother.
The firm appears to have a chance to get the Honda motorcycle account, which causes much scrambling to learn Japanese culture and protocol. Don Draper, for instance, reads the classic book of Japanese strategy, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword,” and insists that everyone read it or at least have it on their desk. It is wonderful how the prospect of 3 million in billables will cause even people in 1965 to become culturally sensitive to a foreign people. Let that be a lesson. There is little that people will not do when there is money involved.
Except for Roger Sterling, who served in the Navy in World War II and still hates the Japanese 20 years after VJ Day, and is not shy about saying so to their faces, even during a business meeting.
During his tirade, Roger makes a reference to “Dr. Lyle Evans,” something that even puzzles Peter Campbell. This has caused much confusion and consternation on the Internet. It turns out that “Lyle Evans” does not exist in the real world. Will we see him on “Mad Men?” Who knows?
Having seen potential clients humiliated, Don devises a stratagem worthy of something out of “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” to try to win the contract anyway, despite Roger’s racist outburst.
Item. The firm and the two others competing for the contract have been given $3,000 to create a presentation. Draper, knowing that the firm’s main rival for the contract cannot afford to go above and beyond that amount any more than his can, puts out that they are using their own money to go above and beyond and cut a commercial. This is a ruse, which causes the rival firm to waste money with its own commercial, which they show to the Honda executives.
Then Don walks into his own presentation and pretends to be affronted that Honda broke its own rules. He writes the Japanese a check for the three thousand paid and informs them in no uncertain terms how humiliated he is.
Apparently the Japanese are very impressed with this Gai Jin. While it is revealed that Honda had no intention of moving its motorcycle contract, it does inform the firm it has the inside chance to get the Honda car contract when the vehicle is introduced to the American market. Meanwhile, the rival firm is bankrupt.
Just wait until Don Draper reads Sun Tzu or Machiavelli; he could go into political consulting.
Meanwhile, Sally chops her hair off in an attempt to look like Haley Miles. Then she is caught masturbating to one Illya Nikovetch Kuryakin. Both are disquieting for a 10-year-old, and would need the utmost sensitivity and insight to handle. Unfortunately Betty, Sally’s mom, has neither of those qualities. Sexually repressed, Betty threatens to cut off Sally’s fingers and then sends her to a shrink.
Mind, it looks like the shrink is insightful enough to realize that the kid’s problems are related to the mom’s problems. Of course one does not have to be a mental health professional to realize that.
Mad Men,The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, TV.Rage