Kosaku Shima depicts the life of Kosaku Shima, a salaryman, a Japanese white-collar worker who devotes his life to his company.
At the start of the long-running series, Shima Kosaku is a kachou, or section chief, of a huge conglomerate, Hatsushiba Electric. He is later promoted to buchou (division chief) and eventually promoted to manager and executive-director, and with each promotion the title of the series changed as well. He is now promoted to the president of Hatsushiba Electric.
The fictional conglomerate is modeled after Panasonic, or Matsushita Electric, where Hirokane worked before and is highly accurate in its portrayal of Japanese corporate culture.
Some volumes of Kachou Shima Kousaku were published as bilingual English-Japanese editions by Kodansha. It also had two chapters published in English in the educational publication Mangajin from August to September, 1993, in issues #28 and #29. Kachou Shima Kousaku has also been published in French and German.