What is ‘Mitsu-Zo’-  (Moonshining)

Mitsu-Zo means: Brewing liquor illegally (in th US referred to as “moon shining“)

In the early days of the Toyota Production System, those who used their own ingenuity and understanding of a process to make their own equipment without going to catalogs and paying for bells and whistles had to “prove” their design before letting their managers know about it.

The clandestine nature of the activity reminded them of brewing liquor illegally: ‘MITSU-ZO’.

When Kaizen was brought to the US in the late 80’s a translation was sought: Moonshine. Here is an article about US company Boeing and the Moonshine method:

Moonshining at Boeing

(Thanks to Fred Harriman)

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