SD Realizes the Limit

Miwasaki returned to Japan at the end of May, 1970, after studying at Penn State for one year.
When he came to the Personnel Dept., tentatively-belonged, the written notice to Investigation Dept. at the head office was waiting for him, as Arida of Planning Dept. Manager had told him before.

The head office of Hayatama Steel is in Kogin Building in the center of Nagoya City. Kogin Building is ten-storied and the floors up from the third are occupied by Hayatama's Head Office.
The sixth floor consists of Planning Dept., Investigation Dept., Development Dept. and Overseas Cooperation Dept.

The staffs of Investigation Dept. headed by General Manager Ohshima were Tawara, Susami of technology manager, Narukawa and a lady clerk. The purpose of the Dept. was to search for new businesses, aiming at the future of Hayatama Steel. Miwasaki was added as a staff under Tawara.

General Manager Ohshima had just been Assistant Manager of Chita Plant, a state-of-the-art major plant of special steel. He was the person who led the most outstanding plant from a vacant land to the full production.
He looked gentle, but was refreshingly frank and outspoken to the other executives. When at a drinking party, he sang loudly his specialty of German folk song "Toast!" in the original language.

"You have been away from work for more than a year. Slow and steady for anything."
General Manager Ohshima's words of consideration might not have reached Manager Tawara.
The first thing he said joyfully was "We are just about to work together at last." It was his confirmation for himself rather than encouraging Miwasaki.
At the desks side by side, Tawara already started the work with his new subordinate face to face, opening the written table of their duties and assignment.
Miwasaki could not easily follow his explanation full of will because of many technical terms. However, he could not ask Tawara each unclear word or expression, which made him upset.
On the first day at the new workplace, Miwasaki was floored down by an uppercut and broke his never-high nose.

Tawara's attitude toward the work was far from easy or gentle. He never made any allowance nor compromise for anything. Miwasaki was puzzled by the total difference between the attitude of work and the amiable face with the thick-black-frame glasses on, of the funny small plump man.

No sooner than one week had passed, Tawara requested a qualified assistance to Miwasaki. When Miwasaki took his time, Tawara did everything by himself.
He did not get angry, but Miwasaki shrunk. If he could have imitated Tawara's way, it would have been all right. However, since he did not understand the details of the job yet, he could not follow, and so continued to take his time.

Tawara made a check list of "Plan, Do, See" for each job. He let Miwasaki check its details every two weeks, and then discussed and evaluated them. He never failed to require Miwasaki's opinion. He definately disliked a yes-man and a no comment.
"What shall I do?", Miwasaki felt depressed. In fact, he was just following Tawara. Therefore, no way for him to have his own opinion. Superficially three-legged all right, but they were out of step from the "planning" stage. Tawara was faraway from him in either idea, will or belief.

Miwasaki was vaguely aware of Tawara's backstage personality in half a year. Tawara had two phases, elaborate and rough. He did not keep on worrying about any mistake or failure. He finished most of the failures, laughing them off, whoever made such failures. On the other hand, he apologized to his boss and related people right away showing his sorrow, and after that he looked as if nothing had happened.

The problem for Tawara was why each failure had happened. He never neglected the analysis of each cause. The process was much more important for him than any result of failure or success.
He did not care any deadlock. Rather than no one way to the peak, there was no one peak for him. When he failed, he changed his way to another peak based on the points for improvement.
The rhythm and tempo to shift his mental gears were exquisite. Therefore on the contrary, the involved people in the company including general managers and executives admired him saying, "That's the way of Tawara."

The organization reform in Hayatama Steel was carried out in October 1972, led by Tawara.
In the result, Investigation Dept., they belonged to, and Development Dept. were annexed to Central Laboratory, the new name of which became Research & Development Headquarters (R&D HQ).
It was the proof that the preparation for Tawara's prospective strategy came to be ready. Arida, General Manager, and Minabe, Assistant General Mnager of Planning Dept. were very helpful like in the same boat with Tawara.

R&D HQ was set up at Central Laboratory next to Hoshizaki Plant, one of the major specialty steel plants of Hayatama Steel. Investigation Dept. changed the name to Management Dept. in R&D HQ.

Since then for four years, Tawara, Section Manager of Management Dept., worked cheerfully in full swing.
He was so earnest in making the company better. He still believed in Miwasaki as a trustworthy subordinate.
However, Miwasaki did not have a sense of achievement in any job. He was always at the powerless mercy, and was at a loss what to do. He came to think that he could do something satisfactory if at another suitable place. Contrary to Tawara's fulfillment, he was stricken with despair.

It was a damage to Miwasaki that Ohshima, former General Manager of Investigation Dept., had been promoted to Shibukawa Plant Manager at the organization reform. The new General Manager of Management Dept. entrusted Tawara with everything.
Starting out at General Affairs Section in Tsukiji Plant since his entry to Hayatama Steel, Miwasaki had followed the elite path favorably and pleasantly until studying abroad. But all of a sudden, he strayed into a dark animal trail and felt weak at the knees. That was the picture of a setback.

There is a person worthwhile to be trained, while another not worthwhile to be trained. A person who shows great responsiveness, and another not.
Miwasaki was a miscast for Tarawa's subordinate. He was far from responsiveness in spite of Tawara's expectation.
He realized his incompetence everyday and knew tha way to the goal would be too far even with his best effort.

On the contrary, the Tawara's marketing method was outstanding. It included daring ideas with strong persuasiveness and leadership. He showed all of them directly to the eyes of Miwasaki and overwhelmed him.
The followings are the several new businesses Tawara started.

Survived Projects
Investment casting method
NAK55 (steel for metal mold)
Materials for outer space and planes
Sea-water-proof steel
Failed Projects
Fastack Bolt
Bowling alley
Every failed project was withdrawn under the top management decision, surely respecting Tawara's precise cause analysis and his suitable advice. He accepted his responsibility honestly and made an apology always blaming himself.
His ability in analysis, the timing to suggest withdrawal and his graceful attitude made the top management rather favorable to him.
Just an aside, at the bowling alley, bought out near Edo River, he was enjoying the poor play, forgetting about everything.

Miwasaki helped all of the above projects and was pessimistic about his disability, and at last he asked Tawara and every related boss to transfer him to Steel Casting Division where he used to work.

In the year 1976 after his days with R&D HQ for four years, his wish was accepted and he was transferred to Casting Sales Dept. of Casting Division in Tokyo Office at the age of 36.
In the next year, Tawara died suddenly by stomach cancer. His age was 42.

Rather than widening the story that Miwasaki was enrolled in Investigation Dept. and in R&D HQ totally for six years since the one-year stay in the United States, let's get rid of it now.
Tawara, his boss, was faithful to his beliefs and did his best to teach Miwasaki. But Miwasaki really understood he was a drag to Tawara in each peak Tawara was aiming at.
-----
The only thing that made Miwasaki keep calm was golf playing. Therefore we'll have a change of pace now.

When Miwasaki had worked at Investigation Dept. on the 6th floor of Kogin Building in the center of Nagoya City for one year, Tawara invited him to play golf practice at the indoor training field near the office just after closing time.
It was a comfortable evening with breeze in the late summer. Even Tawara was out of work in his heart at the time.

Saying, "They are worn-out", he gave Miwasaki several golf clubs, a spoon, No. 5, No. 7, a pitching wedge and a putter, in a small bag.
The competition of the head office soon was in his mind. So, teaching Miwasaki, he said as if it were no problem at all, "You are going to attend it. These clubs are good enough for the play there."

Tawara gave intensive training to Miwasaki at the indoor golf practice range every night from the next day.
His teaching was so accurate enough to let Miwasaki satisfied. But why? His pranctice was opposite to his theory.
Most of his shots did not go the way he wanted both in distance and direction. Each time he tilted his head and got silent. The sweat poured down his wide forehead and his glasses were clouded.
Miwasaki held back his laughter in a humble attitude, not being able to say "You are having a hard time."

The first play at a golf course is not in memory of Wiwasaki, even the course name. Perhaps it was a tragedy for him unwilling to remember.
However, that competition was his first year of golf ignited by Tawara. Right after it the fire began to burn and he got hooked on golf. But it does not mean he often went to a golf cource. He just spent half day of his day-off, on Saturdays and Sundays, practicing golf shots at the driving range near his house in Shin-Anjo City.
He bought a full set of golf club, accepting the advice of Tawara and his friends.
He came to play with about 100 shots a round.

He was transferred to R&D HQ in October the next year. Four years there contributed the improvement of his golf.
This workplace was day-off on Thursdays, which was most convenient to golfers. The fee of the driving range was cheaper and say nothing of a course. The courses, awkward on Saturday and Sunday, acceped them at a special price on weekdays.

Mirozu, Head of R&D HQ and Managing Director, loved golf more than anybody. He was a scholar type by nature with Doctor's Degree of Engineering.
Miwasaki did not get along with his sour face, but liked his smile in talking about golf.
It was the common sense for subordinates to follow their boss, and Miwasaki was the same.
Mirozu suggested to become a weekday member of Meigi International Country Club, and more than ten people joined it. Tawara, managers in Reserch Laboratory, Miwasaki's friend Hiki, and himself.
They had a competition once two months and Miwasaki was prized top twice. He improved his ability to the official handicap of 26.

Part 4 Reading: 20' 28"

< Part 3 Part 5 >
Preface, Main Characters
1. Becomes a Member of Society
2. Work and Private Matter
3. At Penn State
4. Realizes the Limit
5. New World
6. Road to Export
7. Detour
8. Infighting
9. Whereabout of the Tie-up
10. As a Resident Staff
11. Family and Health Condition
12. Falls Down
13. Then
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