Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Jan 16 08:51:03 UTC 2012

I do not see this in the OHD or AHD. Wikipedia has an entry under "gemba" ( 

From Japanese 現場 (present location), the word is used in lean manufacturing to refer to a location where work is being done.

The expression "genba principle" is often used, referring to the idea that sitting in an ivory tower and creating rules for workers does not work, so you have to go to where they are working to figure out how to improve things.

It seems to appear in 1993 in "New Shop Floor Management" by Kiyoshi Suzaki (

Around 1997 is when the word becomes more visible on the Internet. That is the year when Masaaki Imai's book "Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management " came out (

The expression "gemba workshop" is also often heard.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society -

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