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吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通:

  1. 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。
  2. 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。
  3. 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。
  4. 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。
  5. 取り組んだら放すな、殺されても放すな、目的完遂までは……。
  6. 周囲を引きずり回せ、引きずるのと引きずられるのとでは、永い間に天地のひらきができる。
  7. 計画を持て、長期の計画を持っていれば、忍耐と工夫と、そして正しい努力と希望が生まれる。
  8. 自信を持て、自信がないから君の仕事には、迫力も粘りも、そして厚みすらない。
  9. 頭は常に全回転、八方に気を配って、一分の隙もあってはならぬ、サービスとはそのようなものだ。
  10. 摩擦を怖れるな、摩擦は進歩の母、積極の肥料だ、でないと君は卑屈未練になる。

The phrase 鬼十則{おにじっそく} seems to be uniquely related to the Dentsu guidelines. 十則 alone is used quite frequently on the other hand. When looking for what the 鬼 meant (why he selected the name) I came across this:

まさに「鬼」の十則だが、本質を突いていてわかりやすい。

Perhaps this is less a usage question than a cultural one, but I am a bit confused as to what the implication of the 鬼 is in 鬼十則{おにじっそく}.

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"Hard-core" might be a good interpretation. –  execjosh Aug 24 '13 at 2:56
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

鬼 referring to a person often means someone who is something like an 鬼 (fierce, unrelenting, merciless, etc). It is also used as a prefix (鬼検事, for example), but in this case I think you should take it as 鬼の十則, where he is using 鬼 to describe himself/the sort of person you should become to succeed in business.

仕事の鬼 is a common phrase. Such a person may be very hard working, very good at what they do, but also very hard on their subordinates, ruthless when it comes to business competitors, etc. Judging by those rules, I would not be surprised if people had used this exact term to refer to 吉田.

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These guidelines are much more difficult than ordinary self-help guidelines, perhaps even the highest level of difficulty. Think of the legend of St. George and the dragon, or something like that.

This 鬼 is similar to the 心の鬼, in that it's a great challenge you recognize within your own heart.

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Could you please cite some other examples (preferably with dictionary entries if possible) of 鬼 being used in that way? If 鬼+Noun (in some form) means 'difficult' I don't think I've come across it (then again, I may just not read the right stuff) –  jmac Aug 22 '13 at 3:32
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