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
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
Kasumigaseki was one block away, where Economy and Industry Ministry Building
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
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
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
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,
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
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 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,
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
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
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
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"