PODAs a Resident Staff

Their so-called local war in Hayatama Steel finished and the business talk with LBF almost reached its final form. Arii, a staff of Hayatama Trading's LA Office (HTLA), accompanied Miwasaki to LBF (L. B. Foster's Cincinnati Factory), attempting to take over this job from him.

At that time at LBF, Miwasaki was called by his first name Taiji, and he called Owassay, Factory Manager, as Greg and Cattura, in charge of Sales as Bob.

It was the day in May 1984 with a nice breeze blowing around there, just one year after Miwasaki and his family had begun to live in Greenwich, Connecticut, near New York City.
The vice president of L. B. Foster in Atlanta, Georgia, with Greg and Bob, visited HSA office on the 54th floor of Chrysler Building in New York. The vice president's wife was waiting in the hotel.
President Shirahama had reserved the restaurant for dinner beforehand, and they were going to meet together there in the evening. Shirahama's wife and Miwasaki's wife were also going to attend the dinner party.
President Shirahama welcomed the guests in his office in the afternoon. The meeting with them here this time was the stage honorable to Miwasaki.

The business with terms and conditions had been decided unofficially. It was a large-scale annual agreement of the steel-casting frogs of 13% Mn.
In the result that the 8 samurais had made efforts as a project of Hayatama Steel Casting Division for years, it was the day of an official answer to their project.

The meeting began at 2:00 pm. The tops of both companies signed the annual contract prepared by LBF, and the official event finished.

"The Annual Contract"

Hayatama Steel (HS) and LBF will deal with the demand of the railway companies in North America with close tie-up.
For this purpose, HS will continuosly provide LBF with 100 tons a month on average of the suitable variety of steel-casting frogs. The volume per year will be 1,200 tons minimum.
HS will increase its production capacity in the future in order to get closer to LBF's expectation.

According to the survey of Hayatama's 8 samurais, this volume was only around 3 percent of the total demand in North America. On the other hand, LBF's expectation "10% share of the demand in North America" meant at least 300 tons per month on average.
Therefore, the volume of their annual contract was modest, compared to the demand. In short, they made a start by safe driving.

When Miwasaki's transfer to HSA was decided, the steel-casting frog business was on the stage of putting the simulation for several years into practice.
Accordingly, he put his strength more on the supply responsibility as follows.

* Proper handling for many kinds and few quantities
* How to cope with a wide market of North America
* Processing, assembly and repair in the market
* Countermeasures for troubles
* How to suit the production capacity to demand
* Other necessary teamworks with the local assembler

Miwasaki flied to Cincinnati so often after LBF had been determined to be the partner.
He worked out the best possible measures for the above issues with its staffs, and confirmed each with a hypothetical Q & A one by one.
As the result of those works, the meeting on the day was the starting point for the prospective tie-up of Hayatama and LBF.

It was exactly a May Flower day. Central Park, with all sorts of flowers at their best, was in an elegant atmosphere, illuminated in the night.
The restaurant "Tavern on the Green" was located at the south of the park extending north and south.
Needless to say, it was high-class in a casual atmosphere. Jazz music for background was playing in the gorgeous reataurant hall brightened with a chandelier.

The people sitting in the round table seemed to have their sensitive consideration to the nervous Miwasaki's wife Tsubaki who had difficulty in English.
The vice president's wife showed her a blue mussel with biting it and recommended it to her saying with a gesture, "Marvelous!"
Shirahama's wife was playing a roll of an interpreter indirectly.
What kind of dishes were served besides blue mussels was not in the memory of both Miwasaki and Tsubaki. It was surely French food because of the French restaurant.

- - - - - - - - - -

What other jobs besides the market promotion of steel frogs in North America did Miwasaki do during his work with HSA for 2 and a half years in total until his sudden and bitterly end of the job by an incident written later?
Honestly he did not do anything particular. He hardly worked for Steel Rolling Division leaving it to President Shirahama, not to mention for the other divisions, such as Steel Strip Division and Machinery Division, though the way he did was under the acceptance and direction of the president Shirahama..

- - - - -
I am goingto refer to his two other works, if he might say so. But both of them were also in the field of Steel Casting Division.

One was the sales of valve materials. Apart from the business, "Pinehurst" is in his memory as an anecdote with Kushimoto, a broker.

Miwasaki and Wabuka of technology made a market survey of the sales possibility of valve materials of stainless steel casting in the United States as a free gift during their business trips. However, they did not think they found any promising companies.
One company in the State of North Carolina got interest in their materials and became a repeat customer though small quantities. It was a contribution of Kushimoto. He had already had business relationship with the customer and came to act well as a good mediater for them.

They became acquainted with Kushimoto at Hayatama's New York Office during their business trip for the market survey. He was at about the same age with Miwasaki, sociable with a dark round face.
According to him, he was close to the manufacturer of heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant valves called Mueller Manufacturing in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and he was keeping good business with this company.
He said.
"Your materials of stainless steel casting might be the most suitable to their valves. They seem to have difficulty in procuring such materials."

Miwasaki and Wabuka regarded it as favorable news and visited Mueller with Kushimoto.
Its staffs immediately showed their several plans saying,
"We would like to have a field test of your materials, so would you make their samples and send them right away?"
Wabuka agreed confidently looking at Miwasaki.
Two of them with Kushimoto visited Mueller once after delivering the sample materials, but they said "Still under testing," at the time.
Since no complaint from them after that, Miwasaki expected their good reply.
A couple of months had passed since he became a staff of HSA in New York.
He got the phone call from Kushimoto in a voice full of confidence.
"The samples may have worked well. They told me to visit them with you as soon as possible."
Miwasaki was also pleasantly sure of some concrete business talk from them.
Kushimoto added.
"I assure you of a nice news from them, so would you make it a 3-day trip there, visiting a couple of other companies? My plan is we'll receive the order sheet from Mueller on Thursday and toast our first step at Pinehurst. What do you think about it?"
Miwasaki confided the story to Nachi in charge of General Affairs in a low voice. Nachi grinned and accepted his trip.
Nachi was a rival of golf and sometimes competed with him at the course near their houses in a score of 80s.
Miwasaki and Kushimoto flied from LaGuardia Airport with a golf bag and rented a car at Moore County Airport near Southern Pines.
As Kushimoto had predicted, they received a considerable spot order and a contract of regular purchase.

After the lunch with the lady Manager of Purchase, at a restaurant, they headed for Pinehurst Country Club by Kushimoto's driving. Pinehurst was one of the most famous golf cources where US Open was held at times.
Kushimoto had told Miwasaki in a pretentious way of speaking that the clubhouse itself was World Golf Hall of Fame.

They stayed at an excellent hotel in the course site at night, and the next day was surely their most ellegant day of their golf lives. They played one round at Pinehurst surrounded by yellow leaves under the bright sunshine.

Black male caddies were with each of them.
Miwasaki found his caddie had already understood his shooting distance after a starting hole. From the next hole, his caddie decided every club thinking of the situation. Accurate itself! Tremendous! While he seemed to get along with Miwasaki's poor joke, he did not make any idle talk.
When Miwasaki shot, he handed out the next club to him immediately. This was the way for all the round. Miwasaki felt to him a real professional caddie. Score? No doubt.

After checking out of the hotel the next morning, at the parking lot, when about to open the door of the rent-a-car, Kushimoto unconsciously clicked his tongue.
He noticed he was locked out of the car. He had locked the door leaving the key inside.
Seeing him to be at a loss, Miwasaki had an ordinary talk to him, "Let's call up Avis."

He was staring at the key hole of the door, and then seemed to make up his mind. He said, "I'll go and bring a hanger with me."
Kushimoto ran back to the hotel, and after a while he came back twisting a simple wire hanger.
Taking the hanger apart, he entered its end into the key hole. It did not take even a couple of minutes. The door was unlocked with a click.
Miwasaki was surprised and admired him for his rare talent. On the contrary, Kushimoto said embarrassingly, "This kind of lockout is not the first time for me.
He emphasized his careless character and said, "As for the wire, I have several experiences with my car." He made an excuse on purpose that he had done it for nothing but unlocking the door.

Miwasaki remembers another happening during this trip. It was at the restaurant after he received the contract sheet.

The Purchase Manager of Mueller Valve Company was a generous and cheerful lady in both name and reality.
She took lunch with them celebrating the settlement of their prospective business at a family restaurant near the company

She had ordered a beefsteak baked rare.
Cutting the steak, she tilted her head. After tasting one bite, she gave up eating and called a waiter with a frown. The steak was much more baked than rare according to her.
Her angry face and the waiter's appearance in a panic are still in Miwasaki's memory, with her exaggerated pleasant attitude for the good business settlement tasting the substitute well not knowing what had happened just before.

- - - - -
Now another work Miwasaki got involved in besides steel-casting frog business, though also in the field of Steel Casting Division. It was not sales but the support job of technical cooperation.

He was concerned with Hitchiner Manufacturing Company, New Hampshire. It had given its technology of the lost wax precision casting method to Hayatama Steel with a technical licensing agreement.
Its name appeared when he had business with Tago Manufacturing Co., to which he delivered small turbine blades.

At the time of the transfer to HSA, his experience was considered that he had been related to Hitchiner for 10 years since Hayatama Steel received the technical license from it, including his job in Steel Casting Sales Dept. So, Miwasaki was designated as a person in charge of Hitchiner, disregarding Kinomoto, Manager of Technology.
He might have played an expected role, but it would not have been much contribution for the whole company.
Back to the days of the technical agreement.

In the first place, Nishiki, then Manager of New York Office, informed the head office of the precision casting process by lost-wax method. Mirozu, then Director and General Manager of Central Laboratory, focused attention to that process, and then decided the technical agreement with Hitchiner, starting to try the sample production at Central Laboratory.
It was in the days just when Investigation Dept. at the head office was newly installed as the core to seek new business.
The pulling force of practical transaction on the business was Manager Tawara. He pushed ahead the agreement with a keen sense of smell. Its commercial production site was born at the corner of Tsukiji Plant after a while.

In 1970, one year after Miwasaki began working for Investigation Dept., it changed its name to Management Dept. of R&D Headquarters and moved to Central Research Laboratory.
It was the time he became involved in the cooperation of Hitchiner and Hayatama Steel.
In those days, Miwasaki got to know Ed Kukey, Vice President of Hitchiner in charge of International Affairs. When Kukey had a business trip to Japan, Miwasaki attended him all the way.
Kukey was Jewish, small and compassionate. His trade mark was a dignified hooked nose. His business attitude was straight and quick.

After Miwasaki moved to Steel Casting Dept. of Tokyo Branch, his connection with Hitchiner still lasted.
Hitchiner's lost-wax products were famous for golf-club heads, too. Its share of iron heads in the United States was over 50%, and its metal heads, so-called metal wood, for a driver, a spoon and what not, were about to surpass the heads of persimmon wood. Taylor-Made and Dunlop were major customers of both iron head and metal wood.

Miwasaki approached to Kata Golf on the background of the above Hitchiner's result. He was annoyed by Kata's sensitive request with no-figure expression, but thanks to the appeal of the material, he succeeded in the business that Kata put the new golf-club set with Hayatama's iron heads on the market. How was the sales? Much more than they had expected. Kata presented him a nice putter called "Arnold Palmer" as a memento.

Hitchiner became closer to him than the physical distance after the transfer to HSA in 1983.
Its head office with the plant was at Milford, New Hampshire, in New England district north-east side of the United States.

How many times did Miwasaki visit Hitchiner all the way from New York area during these two years?
Since he had to report what was going on about the company of technical agreement as the staff in charge, he visited it regularly four times a year.
Besides, there were several people, executives and the persons in charge, on a business trip including the visit to Hitchiner, so he must have made a round trip there a couple of times as an attendant, too.
Vice President Ohshima happened to visit the company guided by Miwasaki from New York, suggested by HSA President Shirahama.

When it was a visit there by himself, he went back and forth by car from his house in Greenwich, Connecticut.
On the way there, he aimed at Boston along the seacoast and took the Speedway 93 there to the inland. This speedway ran in the north-east part of the United States to the north, and New Hampshire State was in between just like pierced with a spear.

Just after the entrance to the State he gets down to the local road, runs for a while to the west before Manchester City, and finally arrives at a small village of Milford, populated by a little less than 10 thousand people.
Located in this village is Hitchiner Manufacturing Company with about 1,100 employees, well-known in the industry. It is a steady company with one step ahead technically in the industry.
Milford is not only a farming village but also a town of Hitchiner.

The drive in the distance of 300 km was pleasant. The early summer with full of green and the fall of yellow leaves were so particular that he was enchanted, feeling "This is New England."

He stayed there one night every time, and Vice President Kukey always invited him to a restaurant for dinner with several staffs.
The president of the company often attended the dinner party. He was a cheerful middle-aged silver-hair gentleman with a wonderful figure, and he liked a joke.
He talked to Miwasaki in a slow tempo in order for him to understand, and his pet phrase was shamefully a half right.
"Do you come to our company all the way only on business? I guess your true purpose is to buy cheap whiskies here!"
"The liquor store is really appreciating your visit. You are contributing to this town very much from faraway."
"I wonder if the space of your car is good enough this time."
The liquor tax in New Hampshire was the chiepest in the United States then. The president let Miwasaki know it, and he recommended the brands of Scotch and bourbon with a careful and detailed explanation.
Miwasaki must have played a satisfactory role on the business itself in his own way, thanks to Vice President Kukey and the vice president in charge of technology.
For Hayatama Steel this tie-up was tiny, but favorable as a unique business. Somewhat because one of the goods it was producing under the technical contract was golf-club heads, the reports from Miwasaki of HSA seemed sometimes to be a pleasant topic in the directors' meeting of Hayatama Steel.

Part 10-1 Reading: 15' 08"

Part 10-2 Reading: 15'45"

< Part 9 Part 11 >
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
Close