|1. Becomes a Member of Society
|Taiji Miwasaki barely graduated from H University in Kunitachi City, Tokyo,
in March 1964, avoiding to repeat another year.
He really did nothing worthwhile of either academic studies or extracurricular
activities for four years.
He entered Hayatama Steel in Nagoya the next month in April.
It was the year when Tokyo Olympic was held.
At the end of March, he arrived at Nagoya from Tokyo Station by limited express on the Tokaido Line, just before the opening of the dreamful new bullet line "Shinkansen".
Miwasaki chose Hayatama Steel to work for, because its head office and
main plants were in and around Nagoya City where his hometown was not far.
Mr. Ugui, Assistant Professor and his seminar teacher, had a connection
to the company, so Miwasaki was welcomed with just a mere entrance examination.
During those years, the leading companies in the fields of bank, steel
and automobile were famous among excellent students. But such companies
were beyond Miwasaki's academic record.
Assistant Professor Ugui's relation to Hayatama Steel was :
He visited various companies in the United States as a member of the inspection
team around the Western countries sponsored by the Japan Business Federation.
The head of the team was Mr. Temma, Executive Director of Hayatama Steel.
Since then, Ugui was requested to send his students to Hayatama by Mr.
Ugui could carry out a promise by sending Miwasaki to the company.
Hayatama Steel was the largest among the special steel companies in Japan,
which had its main plants at Hoshizaki-cho, Nagoya, and in Chita Peninsula.
Miwasaki expected to be assigned to either of the two. But on the contrary,
he was assigned to Tsukiji Plant producing steel castings and forgings
at Ryugu-cho, Nagoya City.
Tsukiji Plant consisted of 1,500 people. He already knew that its working
conditions were severer than the other plants based on the new-employee
His job was at Personnel Sub-section of General Affairs Section.
The starting point was different from his expectation, but the sub-section
manager was Yukawa, sent to the United States as a uni student a couple
of years before.
This gave Miwasaki a hope, because he knew the employees would be given
a qualification to study abroad for 1 year after 5-year working from the
entry according to the guidebook of the company, and he had a will to try.
At the ceremony of "letter of appointment", General Manager of
Personnel Dept. whispered to Miwasaki, "Yukawa-kun is a hope of the
whole Hayatama, so you should be taught well by him."
It was the days when the labor movement was popular. The labor union in
Hayatama Steel was mild, belonged to Japan Federation of Steel Workers'
Unions under General Council of Trade Unions of Japan. However, Tsukiji
Plant had some uneasy factor.
During the time, most business enterprises were nervous about the Communist Party and the Social Party, and especially they regarded Minsei (Democratic Youth League of Japan, an organization of young people of the Communist Party) as an enemy.
It was commonly said that seven left-wingers would destroy any company.
Yukawa, Miwasaki's boss, was a round-faced handsome man of a little over
180 cm high. Though he was just over the age of 30, he was about to have
a receding hairline. Everybody knew that he was virtually expected to be
an executive in the future, but he was friendly to anybody and seemed to
be adored by anybody.
Yukawa, newly married, was very good to Miwasaki who still remained in a student feeling. Sometimes Yukawa invited Miwasaki to his new home, and his newlywed wife treated him with her home cooking.
Miwasaki walked around the workshops in the plant for two years and became
friendly with the workers.
In addition, he learned the personnel management and educational training
under the instruction of Yukawa. He obtained the certificate of the education
"TWI" (Training Within Industry) and began to be an instructor.
Shimozato, Manager of General Affairs Section, was one of the 1st graduates
of Hayatama Engineers' Training School (HETS).
HETS was a vocational school by Hayatama Steel, which trained pupils after
a junior high school to be site managers.
Shimozato, a rank holder in kendo, looked tough and sharp, and really practical.
In fact, his character was serious and trustworthy, so he was adored by
site foremen and had good relationship with the labor union of Tsukiji
The four new comers graduated from university were deployed to Tsukiji
Plant this year.
There were some dozen graduates there since several years before, but Miwasaki
was the first graduate at General Affairs Section.
Manager Shimozato gave him specially tough treatment, perhaps because of
his way of thinking.
Shimozato laughed loudly with site foremen as usual, but in a different
way for Miwasaki. His grim, menacing voice echoed around over Yukawa, sub-section
"What a hell is this, Miwasaki-kun!"
"Are you really thinking the field people can understand this paper
of your writing?"
Yukawa grinned, pretending not to hear.
Shimozato, a soldier of resolute character during the 2nd World War, experienced
the internment in Siberia, Russia.
He seemed to discipline Miwasaki strictly out of love but not ordinary.
He often turned down Miwasaki's same manuscript a couple of times, which
made Miwasaki cry in his heart, "Damn it, I'm not going to lose."
Shimozato, on the other hand, invited Miwasaki to his house and let him
stay overnight. Then there, the leading members of the labor union got
together and had a heated argument, drinking alcohol. Such lively atmosphere
was never seen in the plant.
Miwasaki began to feel something warm in the manager who wouldn't get any
Both the manager and the chief seemed to make every attention to the labor
management, particularly to the left-wing countermeasures. But both of
them seemed to have no special prejudice to workers, and so, they did
not give Miwasaki any caution nor desire about his contact with workers.
Miwasaki lived in Chita Dormitory for 2 years after the entrance.
Chita Dormitory, located near Minami Kagiya Station on the Meitetsu Kowa
Line, was the one for the male university graduates. Around 50 graduates
He commuted to Jingu-mae Station by train and then to Tsukiji Plant by
Atsuta Shrine was only a short walk from Jingu-mae Station. It is a shrine
of good lineage with the god image of the sword Kusanagi, one of the Three
Sacred Treasures of Japan.
Miwasaki was an eager member of the traditional Japanese song "Noh"
circle through his days working at Tsukuji Plant.
As its practice was done at the company's Health Hall near Atsuta Shrine,
he walked in the precincts singing Noh songs before and after the practice.
He has a good memory of a program "Daibutsu Kuyo" (Memorial Service
for the Great Buddha), played as a hero.
Miwasaki took a Meitetsu bus at Jingu-mae stop and got down at Ryugu-cho
just near Tsukiji Plant.
It was totally within one hour from the dormitory to the plant.
The area around the several sooty plants and works was called Ryugu-cho,
a town of Dragon King's Palace. It must have been a paradise during the
old days of Urashima Taro (a hero of a Japanese fairy tale).
On the day Miwasaki arrived at Chita Dormitory directly from Tokyo, staff
women's pleasant talk by Mikawa dialect was odd to him, and he was fed
up with the unique miso soup at the dinner. His first impressions including
them in the dormitory made him feel depressed. He really thought, "I
came too far at last".
On the contrary, he misses the Mikawa dialect, and he is now fond of that
miso soup, kishimen noodle and miso-nikomi noodle of the Nagoya area's
Miwasaki was let to act as a lecturer of educational training. It gave
him a chance to make friends with field workers.
They often invited him to their drinking parties after work.
There were two Japanese pubs in front of the entrance gate of Tsukiji Plant,
either of which they entered.
They made him dead drunk most of the time and taught him their local dialects
One day in the fall, several months after assignment, a round-table discussion
of the new employees was held at the head office.
For the discussion of the uni graduates 10 male people were selected and
got together. Miwasaki was designated from Tsukiji Plant.
The discussion began under the master of Personnel Dept. Manager.
Each person spoke his feeling about Hayatama Steel in the first place,
and then continued the free discussions of "Suggestions and requests",
"What each wants to do?", "Ideal future image of Hayatama
and himself", ".....".
During the time, Miwasaki seemed to talk carelessly something like "I
am aiming at the president of Hayatama Steel, in order to realize my desirable
He only intended to talk as a joke. But unfortunately the master did not
finish it as a joke. He urged Miwasaki to talk more, saying,
Miwasaki never expected such a story. Therefore he, a little social phobia, got upset. In a blank look, he probably spoke some idea in the book he was reading just like his own idea, stumbling over.
"You are Taiji Miwasaki. Promising! Let us know your dream more concretely."
The master, Personnel Dept. Manager, guessed his odd atmosphere and finished
that topic. If he had asked the next question, it would no doubt have led
Miwasaki to the hell.
Bad things are bound to continue.
The article about this round-table discussion was carried in the "Hayatama
Since then for a while, Miwasaki was called as "President", "President"
everywhere in the plant, in the dormitory, and even at the head office
when he visited.
His careless remark at the meeting brought a good luck to him, too.
After two months, Miwasaki received a phone call in a female voice.
"I am Nigishima of Hayatama Magazine."
She went on talking.
"I took charge of that article. I am worried that you are having any
inconvenience by any chance."
"Nothing. Please don't worry. I appreciated that meeting."
For his evasive reply, Miss Nigishima changed the subject.
"Would you kindly help our new project?"
The project was "Introduction of My Hometown", and she knew that
Miwasaki was from Nanki-Kumano area with full of scenic spots like Nachi
Falls and Kumano Three Grand Shrines.
Miwasaki withheld his reply and talked to the chief Yukawa, who answered
him instantly with a meaningful smile.
Yukawa knew well about Miss Shizuka Nigishima.
To make his long suggestive story short, .....
"She entered Hayatama Steel one year ago after graduated from a junior
college where she was a chief editor of the student paper. Because of it,
she was assigned to the Labor Section of Personnel Dept. and has now established
herself as a reporter of the magazine."
Yukawa talked to Miwasaki at last showing some interest, "Everybody
says she is an intelligent woman."
After the article Nanki-Kumano" was carried in the Hayatama Magazine,
Miwasaki unexpectedly received the letter from Miss Nigishima. It says,
"The exhibition of the hidden treasures of Tokugawa Shogunate is open
at Nagoya Castle. I will invite you there if you please."
It was the first time that he received a letter from a lady beforehand
since his birth. He got beside himself. No reason to refuse.
The dating was the greatest success for Miwasaki. He got her acceptance
for the next dating.
They were going to make a close relationship.
Where to know it, even Yukawa, his chief, talked to him smilingly:
"I heard you are good friends with Shizuka-chan?! Manager of Labor
Dept. dragged the real thought out of her. He talked to me about that in
Their dating was based on their marriage in the future
Both of them not only could not hide it but also with no necessity.
Yukawa, promoted to Personnel Dept. Manager lately, called him up from
the head office and encouraged him.
It was nothing but a nightmare to Miwasaki. The traffic accident killed
It is said that she was going to Hoshizaki Plant from the head office with
her boss in the company car, which was crashed head-on by a truck, knocked
over to a concrete telephone pole and destroyed. Her boss was saved miraculously,
but she and the driver were killed instantly.
Part 1 Reading: 23' 24"