TDNew World

Miwasaki was transferred from Management Dept. of Research & Development Headquarters (R&D HQ) in Nagoya to Casting Sales Dept. at Tokyo Branch in 1976 at the age of 36. He left for the new post in the loss of self-confidence and the setback.
His whole family of five moved from Shin-Anjo City to Funabashi City, Chiba Pref., and began to live in the company house near the Narashino Camp of Self-Defense Army.

The ten-story Hayatama Building, wholely occupied by Tokyo Branch of Hayatama Steel, was located in Shimbashi 1-chome, Minato Ward and the highest around there.
Kasumigaseki was one block away, where Economy and Industry Ministry Building was seen.

On the 6th floor of Hayatama Building several sales departments were widened side by side, with Casting Sales Dept. just in-between.
The seats by the window were for General Manager and Assistant General Manager, and Casting Section 1 and 2 were arranged in a vertical line like glared at by the two bosses.
The two sections were divided based on the casting methods. Section 1 was dealing with large castings, centrifugal castings and shell-mold castings. The other methods were handled by Section 2.
Miwasaki belonged to Section 2 as a sub-section chief. His duties were as follows.

1. Parts of train cars made of common steel castings. The main customer was Fuchu Plant of Hinomisaki Electric.
2. Valve materials made of stainless steel castings. The main customer was Mihama Valve.
3. Investment castings by the lost-wax process. His job was to develop new customers.

Sano, sub-section chief of Purchase Section in Fuchu Plant of Hinomisaki Electric, 10 years older than Miwasaki, accepted him to stay long chatting every time he visited. Long faced, dark-skinned, slender and medium-tall, he was friendly but not cheerful.
Supplies from Tsukiji Plant were gear cases, magnet frames, nuckles, ..... They were the products Miwasaki had run after along the production process before, and they were going to the parts of electric cars and locomotives.
Hinomisaki Electric was buying such steel casting parts only from Hayatama Steel, because of its quality-first policy though they were made of ordinary steel.

The negotiation between Sano and Miwasaki was strictly limited to the price, not to mention the delivery deadline.
The price setting was under a non-competitive contract all the same with Japan National Railway, which was the system of "Production Cost + @". @ was based on the 10% profit. Needless to say, how to convince Sano of the production cost was a key.
Careless or hasty, Miwasaki's personality has not been changed since the time he could remember. In the result, there have been many times that the things were more than an ashaming matter.
The mistake he made at this plant was among the largest blunders.

From Tokyo Branch of Hayatama Steel to Fuchu Plant of Hinomisaki Electric, it took about two hours, .... via Shimbashi Station, Tokyo Station, Kokubunji Station on the Chuo Line, and what next? There was no Musashino Line from Kokubunji at that time.
Fuchu Plant was famous for the damage of the 300 million yen robbery case 8 years before (1968).

For the annual event of price negotiation with Hinomisaki Electric that year, with firm resolution, Miwasaki left the office with the cost table in the bag on the sly. The cost table was the confidential document never allowed to be taken out of office.
In the simply partitioned room, he put the ducument on the table with a thud in such a self-important way before Sano of Purchase Section.

On the other hand, Sano stared at it looking annoyed as well as interested, since he knew what kind of thing the cost table was.
After negotiation, Miwasaki bowed deeply to Sano confirming the successful persuasion, and hurried back to the office.
The next morning Miwasaki came to the office, opened the business bag in order to make a report of the previous day, and took the documents out of it. Then he turned pale.
No, not here. There was not, among the documents, the confidential cost table never allowed to be taken out of office.

Searching everywhere around him in vain and tracing what he did the previous day, he was about to be in despair, when the phone rang and the operator said, "From Mr. Sano of Hinomisaki."

Coming to his senses with a start, Miwasaki said to the phone in a low cracked voice "Yes, this is Miwasaki."
Sano's voice was low, too, saying "You left something here yesterday, didn't you? You better come to get it back quickly."
Miwasaki answered, muffling his voice, "Thank you very much. I'll be with you right away."
He broke out in sweat.
Every suspicion went through his mind until he arrived at Fuchu Plant. "It must have been copied. If the boss got aware of the fact, no doubt to be fired. How will Sano make use of his advantage? ....."

Sano took him to the partitioned room and just said in a low voice, "Be careful," handing out the cost table to him.
He seemed to sense Miwasaki's upset feelings, and gazing at his eyes, he added, "Nothing happened between us yesterday, you see."

In fact, Sano hid that happening in his heart. He did not talk about it anymore afterward. The staffs around him were in the same appearance to Miwasaki as usual. Thanks to Sano, Miwasaki could barely make a narrow escape from danger.
- - - - - - -

Valve materials made of stainless steel castings were one of the main products in Tsukiji Plant.
Miwasaki became in charge of the customer Mihama Valve, a major producer of ball valves.
Mihama Valve had two plants. One, neighboring to the head office at Urawa City, was the plant producing large valves. Another was located at Iwatsuki City famous for dolls, 30 minuted by car from Urawa Plant. It was specialized to produce small ball valves.
The materials for Iwatsuki Plant were from Kiso-fukushima Plant in Nagano prefecture, which meant this case was normally under the control of Casting Section 1. However, Miwasaki was exceptionally in charge of Iwatsuki Plant, too.

Mihama Valve had a strong sense of rivalry against Mie Valve, the most leading company in the industry. Accordingly, Miwasaki had a lot of trouble about requested quality and due delivery date, not to mention a severe price negotiation.

Hime, Director and General Manager of Purchase Dept., was definately a decisive person. He was about ten years older than Miwasaki. Fat, big and red-faced. His plump cheeks and a beaming expression made him look flexible, but the fact was different. He stuck to his opinion for the business. Thus, how many times Miwasaki was cheated by his friendly smile.
Miwasaki got along with his staffs and the staffs of other departments, and understood every last conclusion both in business and play was by Hime's decision after all.

Miwasaki played golf with him for considerable times. He treated Hime by the company's entertainment allowance every time by his boss's acceptance, while Hime himself had a suitable discretion at the price negotiation.
Hime's enthusiasm for golf was extraordinary. He did not permit his failure again, so he was absorbed long in the corrective exercise at a range after the round.
He was at the single level. He was so competitive that he murmured about the opponent's weak point in business when not playing well. It was skillful enough for Miwasaki to be troubled. Miwasaki did not win at all, and so lost a bet every time.
Miwasaki himself was increasing the enthusiasm for golf since he had been transferred to Tokyo Branch.
He never failed to go to the large driving range of Meiji Golf Club every Saturday and Sunday. The range was 10-minute drive from the company house at Narashinodai.

At the range he received instruction from a lesson professional. The instructor was about the same age with him and talked in a strong Tohoku dialect, always smiling.
Though plump and small with sloping shoulders, he lightly shot a ball nealy to 200 yards away by a 5th iron. He trained Miwasaki thoroughly in order to have a long-distant fly, saying "Shoot faraway without straining yourself."
Thanks to him, Miwasaki made a remarkable progress on flying distance in a good arc both with a driver and irons. His shot with a pitching wedge became more and more exact, so he liked the wedge.
The cost was not small but the result was worthwhile.
He became a member of Shin-chiba Country Club and his official handicap finally went up to 13.

The instructor did not teach putting technique to him. Due to it or not, putting was Miwasaki's biggest worry. Four putts were a usual matter, not being able to read the grain. The green was his tragic stage, whether it was bent or korai. He easily missed the hole within 1 meter, and his companions could hardly suppress their laughter. If there were no green.....!
Though continued to exercise at home, no good improvement.

- - - - - - -

Hayatama Steel obtained the producing licence of investment castings with the lost-wax method by the technical cooperation agreement with Hitchiner Manufacturing Company in the United States, and R&D HQ has brought up the commercial production. The time of going to the market has come now.
As a matter of fact, Miwasaki transferred from the Headquarters with the duty of the development of new customers. Casting Sales Department was so-called a rented house for him.
The production site of investment castings was at the corner of Tsukiji Plant and the representative Aiga, Manager, was friendly to Miwasaki at the previous workplace.

Miwasaki often visited Tako Manufacturing at Anamori-inari and Hamajima Electric at Mitaka.
He could not get considerable business on this product, but later his staff was going to fulfill his purpose.
He also visited Kata Golf, medium-sized in the industry. He had some business with them, helped by the background that Hitchiner was famous for club heads.

Esumi, Purchase Chief of Tako Manufacturing, the same age with Miwasaki, treated him seriously. Esumi was in a businesslike way with no sociability nor idle talk.
Supplies were various stainless turbine blades for industrial pumps. Merciless return, difficult demand, complaint, ...... Such things might have been reasonable as a customer all right, but it was really too serious compared with other products for Miwasaki. He barely stuck to Esumi, having a grudge from Aiga, production manager.

When he finished delivering all the orders, Purchase Chief Esumi, small and muscular, cried in a loud voice, raising his hand with a brilliant blade, "This is from Hayatama Steel!"

However on the whole, Miwasaki did only a small market development as far as the investment casting products were concerned.

Part 5 Reading: 20' 03"

< Part 4 Part 6 >
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