|éRüDAt Penn State
The stage turns to Pennsylvania State, east of the United States.
In the center of the state, just between the big cities of Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh, is located the town State College with the population of
60 thousand, which is mostly occupied by Pennsylvania State University
(Penn State) both in area and population. Penn State, with over 40 thousand
students, is really the core of this town.
Penn State, those days, was one of the leading colleges on American football.
It was competing for supremacy with Ohio State University.
Miwasaki began his study by learning English conversation in the summer
term, 1969, and majored in marketing in the following terms until May,
the next year 1970.
Regrettably, the wall of the English language was too thick for him. He
did not get a fruitful result in the summer term study.
He could not understand the teacher's lecture and was in the dark out of the loop during the debate among the students. He was always irritated.
Marketing was not the only subject to study. He had homeworks of other
lessons everyday, too.
Five years had passed since his starting as a member of society. Therefore
it was difficult for him to go back to an academic life, and more than
that, he had not studied much in the university days. That means it was
impossible for him to arrange himself to a new student life. What is worse,
everything was in English as a matter of fact.
Miwasaki knew his place and gave up studying soon in spite of the company's
expectation. On the other hand, he put his mind to another purpose and
devoted his energy to the travel here and there in the United States.
The first was the driving tour across the United States in the whole September.
|The Driving Tour across the U.S. for 26 Days
This tour was realized by getting to know the two guys, Hide Ohdomari and
Yuji Atawa in the campus. Both of them were assistant professors sent from
Japanese universities and were engaged in nuclear engineering. They were
also bachelors in the U.S. like himself.
"How are we going to spend the summer holidays of a little more than
a month until the fall term?"
Three of them repeated the discussion at a cafeteria in campus and pubs
in the town.
"Why don't we drive across the United States to the West Coast, and
see the Pacific Ocean there."
"I would like to visit the National Parks around the West as many
as possible. Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, Yellow Stone, ....."
"I want to drop in at the famous towns like St. Louis, Phoenix, Santa
Fe, Las Vegas, ..... not to mention Los Angeles."
"We'll stop at rare spots and places, won't we? ..... Navajo Indian
Reservation, Nuclear Power Institute at Los Alamos, Taos Pueblo, and what
"How 's the condition of your Mustang, Yuji? Are you confident it's
all right for one month drive?"
"As you know, it's no air-conditioning. All others are OK."
"Whole set now. We will drive and stay mostly in a tent for one month.
"I will be in charge of meals." I said, without driver's license
The departure day was decided to be on August 31st. We would make a driving
tour until the end of September for one month on Yuji's aged Mustang with
a tent on the roof.
From the Penn State campus to the West, their Mustang drove along the Southern
roads in an arc like a waning moon and finally arrived at the seacoast
of Santa Monica near Los Angeles.
As they had wanted, they tried to swim there, but they got surprised that
the sea was too cold even still in summer. They just shivered.
They selected the Northern roads on the way back.
For the 26-day driving tour across the U.S., they slept in the tent at
various camping grounds more than two thirds of the whole nights.
Miwasaki made most of the meals for breakfast and dinner. It was regrettable for him to have only limited repertoire like curried rice, spaghetti and what others. Two of them did not complain a word at all.
The instant ramen bought in Los Angeles was so helpful on the way back.
They had a hard time at Phoenix, Arizona. They decided to visit the town
requested by Taiji, because he was fond of the hit song "By the Time
I Get to Phoenix" once so popular sung by Glen Campbel. They expected
to feel some romantic mood there.
On the contrary, they encountered a big gap between their expectation and
When they arrived at Phoenix, they could not see anybody around. Believe
it or not, they found themselves outside in scorching heat far over 40üÄ.
They were in the square the sun was glaring down on. Quiet and lonely palm
trees welcomed them. That love song with deep emotion had evacuated somewhere
with the residents.
They had to raise a white flag. They ran away in a great hurry and drove
very hard to the West. Much hotter outside the car, so it was better to
shut the windows even with no air-conditioning.
Wide fields lasted forever on both sides of the road and the bright sunshine
was dazzling to the sunglasses. All crops must have been in their last
Some awkward atmosphere began to cover the three of them in their simple
Taiji says on the back seat, "Driving a little too fast, aren't you?"
Yuji, driving, answers nervously, "Did you say something?"
Hide, on the front seat, advises Taiji, "Better not to stick your
nose from the back seat, right?"
"Hope to see some town soon", says Taiji.
Yuji gives a lukewarm response, "Why don't you tell us something because
you are looking up the map?"
Hide, with his eyes fixed forward, follows Yuji, "Better you tell us where we are now."
Their talk irritates Taiji. He is not sitting on the backseat comfortably.
More than that, he is enduring the narrow seat sandwiched by baggages.
At last, they got to the camping ground "Mayflower Park" in a
They had to make a tent in the first place, even if dead tired. All of
the three knew that their awkward feeling was because of the fierce heat
until just before, but still they had trouble communicating each other
working in slow motion.
The meat spaghetti Taiji cooked, inspiring his spirit, was not welcomed
by the two. Three of them just gulped down beer and left most of the spaghetti.
They had been troubled by the heat and mosquitoes through the trip, and
the mosquitoes here were the worst.
They were bit around most of the bodies through the night, and rubbed medicine
A scorpion glared at them on the ground when they packed up the tent the
Speaking of heat, Death Valley was really it.
At its entrance, in order to confirm whether the rumor was true or not,
they broke a couple of raw eggs and put them on the hood of Mustang. The
eggs really became sunny-side up.
Frightened, they decided to detour to another safe road.
The camping grounds in the United States as far as they stayed were enviably
The plot adjustments were well arranged and connected to perfect gas and
water supply systems.
The electric lights were on, and guards patrolled the ground at night.
Every camping ground accepted them without reservation by their ID cards.
There happened no trouble at all with other campers. Alas, if they had
not met that heat, flies and mosquitoes, .....
The total mileage was 14,000 km. It is seven times more than the distance
between Cape Soya of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan, and Cape Sata
of Kagoshima Pref., the southernmost of Kyushu, the distance of which is
The oil consumption was 451 gallons (1,700 liters).
What about Yuji's Mustang? Once disconnection of fan belt. Once flat tire.
Each time the car passing by was helpful. A gentleman kindly took it with
them to the neighboring repair shop.
Anyway the old Mustang did a good job.
Among the most impressive scenary during the trip were:
* Bryce Canyon which was more than Cappadocia in Turkey,
* Perified Forest, a desert where the petrified trunks of the forest lie
scatterd on the sand,
* Badlands, an endless wilderness,
|Campus Life and Travel by Himself
Taiji Miwasaki had stayed in Shunk Hall, an undergraduate dormitory, during
the summer term since arriving at Penn State in early June.
He shared the room with Gan Kyokui, a Taiwanese from New York. Gan was
a mania of taking pictures, so the two often strolled together in the campus
and on the main street of the town State College.
Taiji moved from Shunk Hall to University Club, a special dormitory for
graduate students and university staffs, in August just before the driving
tour across the United States.
The person next door was Marco Singus. He was quite stylish with beards all over the face.
Luckily to Taiji, Marco took care of him very well until he went back to
Japan, in late May the next year.
Marco, a Greek descent, was a couple of years under Taiji. He was very close to the doctor's degree of geology. He boasted of it as a joke, saying:
"You'll soon have to call me Dr. Singus."
Marco often invited Taiji to drive around the suburbs in his car "Beetle
His Beetle was odd, because it could not run as fast as 60 km. It is OK
for the drive around the suburbs, but had a trouble when Marco took Taiji
to Baltimore, his hometown. A policeman stopped the Beetle on the speedway,
saying, "Too slow!" He did not give Marco a ticket but told him
to replace the junk car as soon as possible.
Marco, however, continued to drive it rather boastfully with an innocent
look. He was an interesting guy of his own way.
Several years after returning to Japan, Miwasaki received the LP album
of Led Zeppelin from Marco Singus.
Led Zeppelin was a rock band group in England, very famous among American
young people. Unfortunately the album was not Miwasaki's taste. He listened
to it only once and has been keeping it on the bookshelf still now.
Speaking of Led Zeppelin, Miwasaki remembers Iron Butterfly quite well.
It is another rock band group of four guys. During his stay at Penn State,
there must have been no student not knowing the group's 17-minute music
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" has a peculiar mood of sounds with the harmony
of a pipe organ, two electric guitars, a drum and a vocalist, and also
each solo. The ending played in a high tone by a pipe organ will invite
you to the dreaming world.
Marco, Doug, Nick and every student around Taiji loved In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
This rock music was heard from most of the rooms in the dormitory "University
Club" when walking through the corridor early evenings. It was because
most of the radio programs were broadcasting this music around that time.
In those days, something was so popular among students. It had various
nick names like grass, tea, pot, Mary Jane, ..... This music was said to
fit that something.
There might have been such a conversation listening to it in a circle as
"Don't bogart the joint. Pass it around".
This expression seems to have been used because the famous actor Humphrey
Bogart was smoking a cigarette in most of the movie scenes.
Anyway University Club was a pleasant and comfortable dormitory for Miwasaki.
There were two billiard tables on the underground floor. That wide room
was a good place of relaxation, and so Miwasaki was there most of the nights,
playing billiard and made friends with various students and teachers. His
nick name there was "Taiji of Cheap Bourbon."
Just as his nick name, Miwasaki's favorite was a highball of Bourbon and
coke. Others also drank alcohol of their taste. He talked not minding his
poor English among them, though he could not follow their slangs.
John Atasica, a prospective pianist, invited the students in the dormitory
to his recital. It was the first chance to the classical music for Miwasaki.
Polonez 6 and Scherzo 2 of Chopin are still in his memory, with John's
It was the days when the exchange rate was 360 yen to the dollar.
During his stay in the United States for one year, the company payed 10
dollars a day for everything: tuition fees, stays and food expenses. Tsubaki,
his wife, sent some money from a summer bonus, but it was not so valuable,
compared to the dollar.
Therefore, the trip by himself was the struggle against the expenses.
He stayed usually at YMCA at the cost of five dollars or something for
one night. His food was mostly a hamburger of Mac or Burger King. At any
rate, he traveled considerably.
Miwasaki stayed at St. Paul, Minnesota, faraway from the dormitory at State
College, Pennsylvania, for two weeks of Christmas vacation. Missionary
Ohdomari, back to hometown at that time, invited Miwasaki there and his
family took care of him.
St. Paul is called the Twin City with Minneapolis. At this northernmost
town of the United States in the winter season, definately with a lot of
snow, thanks to the missionary, Miwasaki could celebrate Christmas with
people of Swedish descents and keep company with them at their homes.
At Missionary Ohdomari's home, his four children near coming of age, let
Miwasaki enjoy not hymns but the LPs of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Simon
and Garfunkel, Kingston Trio, etc., with them.
Taiji Miwasaki visited Baltimore and Washington D.C., thanks to Marco Singus, next door in the dormitory "University Club".
Taiji got along with Marco very much and played often with him. Marco helped
Taiji expand his circle of friends.
Marco Singus was from Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a pastor of the
Greek Orthodox Church.
Marco invited Taiji to his home in Baltimore in the spring break, March
They drove Marco's loved "Beetle" there. The happening on the
way was written above.
Taiji stayed at Marco's home for three nights and was guided by him in
the city and the surroundings. The harbor, the fort, the marketplace and
his father's church in the daytime. Some doubtful bar and a Greek restaurant
Taiji spent the rest three days, sightseeing around Washington D.C.
The first day: Tour around the capital city by Gray Line Bus.
The second day: In the Mall, Smithsonian Museum, Washington Monument, State
Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, ...., as he liked. At one night, luckily, Andre
Segovia's guitar concert.
It was also that time he saw Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci at National
Two travels a long way that Miwasaki reported to the company.
The one was the travel west to Pittsburgh on the Grayhound bus for four
hours on weekend in the middle of January, 1970.
It was due to the invitation of Arida, General Manager of Planning Dept.
Arida joined the tour of Japan Productivity Center as a member and was
receiving a training course at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh.
Taiji stayed one night in his room at Webster Motor Hotel, and they talked
to each other until midnight drinking Bourbon whisky.
Taiji was going back to Japan at the end of May that year and planned to
return to the job. Arida told him the newly assigned post would be Investigation
Dept. of the head office. This Dept. was known as a think tank of Hayatama
Steel. Arida also mentioned about Tawara, his prospective chief, .....
his personality, his strong and weak points, .....
In the daytime, Arida took Taiji to the university campus, the Catholic
Church and Carnegie Art Museum, with lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
It was a precious experience to Taiji. He thanked for studying in the United
By the way, the three people were really a think tank in the company. Arida,
the future president, Tawara of Investigation Dept. and Minabe, Assistant
General Manager of Planning Dept.
Taiji will see various company-wide projects by the three of them in the
When Taiji returned to the dormitory, the letter from Tawara was waiting for him.
The economy in Japan welcomed the New Year in the boom.
But on the contrary, the student movement brought about the public hatred
for the innovative thought, and the Socialist Party suffered a crushing
defeat in the general election.
Our company is almost OK with the million-ton framework.
However, it is clear that a slowdown of the core demand mainly from the
automobile industry will be soon. So, we have to build the next post-million
frame which is still quite unclear.
For that reason or not, the Investigation Department was established, seemingly
imitating the think tanks of other companies. Mr. Ohshima, Assistant Manager
of Chita Plant, was promoted to General Manager of this Dept. and I am
I am actually wondering what to investigate first for the new venture.
Anyway, the issue of the first term is information collection and acquisition
of capable people.
President Uragami showed his will considerably at the previous "President
Hearing". Therefore, the development of new technology and new products
will be more positive than now. You will be able to make use of your knowledge
of marketing you are studying now.
I have been lonely with few sympathizers, but I will expect to breathe
fresh air into the progress of our company with you.
Tawara, five years older than Miwasaki, was small and plump with height
of 160 cm. His eye glasses were round with black thick plastic rims. Everyone
knew he was a brain locomotive of Hayatama Steel.
He was always smily but spoke very fluently and straight with a baritone
voice carrying well.
His nickname was Wara-chan. ("chan" is a final syllable attached
to the name of a person, showing endearment in Japanese.) He was called
so by his colleagues.
Miwasaki had such basic knowledge, because ......
Tawara, then a staff of Planning Dept., had close relationship with Yukawa
in Tsukiji Plant, now Manager of Personnel Sec. of Head Office, and so
he often visited Tsukiji Plant. Most of the time Miwasaki joined their
chatting. That's why Miwasaki had known Tawara well since his entrance
to the company.
Both of them had been sent to study at Ohio University in the United States.
Tawara was involved in the strategy of Hayatama Steel since he was at Planning
Dept. He was familiar with laws and could work as an interpreter. Therefore,
he was indispensable for technical cooperation and a joint venture with
Another of the two travels a long way Miwasaki reported to the company
was the visiting to New York Office of Hayatama Steel.
He had a phone call from Nishiki, Manager of New York Office, a week after
he met Arida at Pittsburgh.
Nishiki said, "Mr. Arida let me know how you are getting along now.
Why not come to see me by the time you return to Japan."
Miwasaki visited Nishiki at New York Office in February, 1970.
Staying at YMCA in Manhattan, he met Nishiki and Tanamy, a lady staff,
in the daytime. Nishiki treated him with Japanese food for lunch, saying
"Aren't you starved?"
Nishiki had worked here for three years and was returning to Japan soon.
He told Miwasaki about what happened around Hayatama Steel for one year
during his absence, and said strongly,
"New York Office has been playing an important role more and more."
Then he flattered Miwasaki, "You may be Manager here in the future."
Miwasaki's travel this time surely included the sightseeing around New
The following day, he did it on the Greyline bus tour.
Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, .....
There were several topics in the United States during his stay there from
May, 1969, to the next May, 1970, as follows.
|The year 1969
|* President Richard Nixon announced to begin the U.S. troop withdrawal
from Vietnam War. It was the start for the United States to get out of
* Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander, had a message "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Many students and staffs in Penn State, too, were watching TV together,
wherever it was, the dining hall, lounges, any other halls around the campus.
It brought the people back to life who lost their confidence by the Vietnam
War and knew nothing of how to vent their pent-up indignation.
* Woodstock Rock Festival. 400 thousand young people got together at the
plantation in the rural town of Woodstock and were intoxicated with rock
It was a symbolic event of "This is the United States. This is the
Miwasaki unfortunately could not go to the site, but enjoyed it through
TV with other students in Penn State.
The photograph magazines, Time and Life, published their special flashy
The artists played then at the festival in Miwasaki's remembrance were
Joan Baez, The Band, Blood Sweat and Tears, CCR, Crosby Stills Nash and
Young, Arlo Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana, Ravi Shankar,
The Who, .....
|The year 1970
|There were at least two big happenings in Japan in 1970.
One was Expo '70 in Osaka. It was held from March 15 to September 13, which was the first world's fair in Japan.
The theme of the Expo was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind."
77 countries joined it from the world.
The other was the incident of so-called Yodo-go Hijacking. That was: Japan
Airlines Flight "Yodo" was hijacked by nine members of the Japanese
Communist League, Red Army Faction, on March 31st, 1970.
The hijackers took 129 hostages (122 passengers and seven crew members),
later releasing them. They then proceeded to Pyongyang's Mirim Airport,
where they surrendered to North Korean authorities, who offered the whole
This news was reported extensively by newspapers, radios and TV in the United States, too. It was the bustling topic at that time in the University Club where Miwasaki was staying.
At first Miwasaki could not understand what Marco and other friends were
talkng to him about, saying "Red Army, Red Army".
Then after reading the New York Times in detail and watching TV, he generally
understood what happened in Japan.
About the interaction between his company in Japan and himself in the United States
It was not "no contact" between them. He sent his regular and
irregular reports and received the company's various informations and monthly
However, he did not have any telephone call either to the company nor Tsubaki,
his wife. He followed faithfully to the company's order, "Do not do
any international telephone call."
Another reason without any call with Tsubaki was the cost. It was the days
of 360 yen to the dollar. The yen had only one thirds value at that time,
compared with the present situation.
Therefore, through his stay there for a whole year, he had to cut down
the expense as much as possible in order to have trips in the United States.
As a matter of fact, international calls were outrageous. The communication
of only letters was sad and frustrating, but it could not be helped.
Part 3-1 Reading: 22' 26"
Part 3-2 Reading: 19' 37"