Miwasaki went to meet Mr. & Mrs. Minosay at Narita Airport in early
April 1985, one day after his arrival.
The next day, he took them to Hayatama Steel Head Office in Nagoya to see
President Minoshima, Vice President Ohshima and the other related directors.
Since all the executives were paying attention to the lost-wax process
as a unique business, they knew almost everything about its production
process, its uses, its market and what not. So, Minosay leaned forward
not knowing. The conversation among them became more and more lively, which
made Minosay deeply appreciate the importance of his visit to Japan with
a satisfied smile.
He hided Miwasaki's poor interpretation well, so Miwasaki did not have
any embarrassing time with them. Since all the executives did not notice
his condition in appearance, they tapped his shoulder and shook hands promisingly.
On the third day, Miwasaki let Minosay's couple make themselves relax at
Hakone Spa. They were pleased with the Japanese hotel where Vice President
Kukey had stayed with him before.
Miwasaki made himself at home, too, not disturbing them.
In the afternoon of the fourth day, Minosay and Miwasaki made a rehearsal
of the next-day's lecture with the people involved in the large meeting
room at Tokyo Branch.
The title was "What is the lost-wax product, and how to promote its
marketing." The notice was put up in the room.
Miwasaki confirmed, among the attendees, Minabe, Shirahama, Kinomoto and Inami who was now dealing with overseas strategy in Planning Dept.
Kinomoto had planned to attend and interpret Minosay at first. He shook
hands with Miwasaki, and encouraged him in usual smile saying,
"Though tough job, go for it. I am ready always to pinch-hit for you."
Who knew it would be realized very soon?
Soon after the rehearsal began, Miwasaki was utterly unable to interpret
Minosay at several points losing words. It was worse than that at Hitchiner.
Not he couldn't understand each point, rather his head was blank at the
Kinomoto thoughtfully took over him. Miwasaki was completely discouraged,
while all others were confused and did not hide their disappointment.
Minosay tenderly comforted him saying, "You overworked these days.
Better to sleep well tonight."
The next morning, he got awake in the room of Washington Hotel, Tokyo,
to find the left side of his body was numb.
The lecture meeting of Minosay was planned at 10:00 at Tokyo Branch.
He had a hard time to get up from the bed and fell down to the floor. Why??
He felt terribly numb and dizzy.
He managed to stand on the right foot somehow and wiped his face with a
He doesn't remember how to put on the pants at the time. No way to put
on a tie.
He managed to walk by the help of the wall and entered the elevator.
Helping him go ahead to a taxi in front of the hotel, the hotel staff strongly
advised, "May I call an ambulance?" On the other hand he was
full of the day's job in his head.
Just about to get off the taxi awkwardly in front of Tokyo Branch, his
eyes happened to meet the staff's of Overseas Cooperation Dept. The staff
was struck speechless and stared at Miwasaki. Then immediately he called
another fellow. They supported him with their shoulders and took him to
Steel Casting Dept. on the 6th floor.
While lying doglegged on the sofa, an ambulance came and he was carried
on the stretcher to the Hospital of Jikei Medical College.
During the time, a wild storm was raging behind his closed eyes. Wishing
it subsided, he was still thinking of Vice President Minosay. Though hearing
someone talking, he did not want to open his eyes. Only the time went by.
He had fallen into brain infarction.
His blood pressure was far over 200, and the doctor diagnosed his illness
as "High blood pressure and brain infarction."
Looking back, every symptom since autumn the last year had been heading
as one for this adult disease.
The next morning of his hospitalization, Miwasaki felt not bad by the help
of a sleeping pill. But the reality was that from the top of his head to
the bottom of his tiptoes the left half of his body was wholely paralyzed
and out of control. When he moved the bed to sitting position, teardrops
fell down to his hand.
"Am I all over? How are Tsubaki and children going along? I never
give up." Thoughts ran through his head.
The doctor came and talked to him.
"Your illness is the past matter. All you have to do now is rehabilitation!
If you don't want to end your life as it is, you must start it right away."
A nurse took him in a wheelchair to the gym, where he started the rehabilitation
training by toddling along with his hands on something like parallel bars.
Four days had passed in the hospital.
On that day with the bright sunshine during the cherry blossom season in
Tokyo, Mr. & Mrs. Minosay visited him just one day before their return
to the United States.
Their smile was the real thing. They changed his disappointment to courage
with their hearts of consideration and encouragement.
Mrs. Minosay requested him, "When you are back to the office in the
United States, would you come to us and help arrange the album?"
They understood well each other that it would be impossible.
One week had passed in hospital.
Director Minabe, General Manager of Tokyo Investigation Dept., visited
him with his staff who was holding a huge bouquet. His broad-minded smile
relieved Miwasaki's strain and embarrassment. After hearing his condition,
Minabe gave him an oral notice saying, "You are coming to my department
when you recover."
Miwasaki spent one month in hospital exercising rehabilitation and another two months at Tsubaki's house in Katsushika Ward taking medical treatment and exercising rehabilitation.
His duty at HSA was forcibly relieved. In fact, it was natural for hm not
to return there because the doctor prohibited him from getting on a plane
for a while.
At the time, Tsubaki and their 3 children lived in Greenwich on the suburbs
of New York City.
How was Miwasaki's situation let them to know by the company? How did Tsubaki
manage the difficulties?
Thanks to the careful support of Nachi in charge of General Affairs, Tsubaki
and 2 children could barely return to Japan, and the elder daughter, 2nd
grade at senior high school, stayed there for another year in order to
finish her graduation.
Tsubaki looks back on those days as follows.
|I stayed in the United States for 2 and a half years (1983-85) with my
husband and our 3 children, because of his transfer.
I devoted myself to our children's local education at Greenwich, Connecticut.
I got a driver's licence at Greenwich for taking my children to and from
their schools, and made effort to get in touch with the local society.
My husband almost had nothing with such matters, though it could not be
In spring, 1985, he fell into illness during the business trip to Japan.
In the result, we suddenly had to return to Japan like a repatriate of
|* Since I hardly understood English and did not have any acquaintance,
I must have been troubled a lot. However, I do not remember such difficulties
at all. It may be because I was so absorbed in everything.
* Our 3 children seemed to fit in with this place. Even though they could
not speak English well, they came to have their friends without my noticing
and let me get rid of the extra worry.
* Japanese people in the town took care of me very much. I remember well
that they said "You may repay the favor to who would come next."
* Mr. Nachi did his best for us to return to Japan. Thanks to him, we did
it without any trouble.
* The elder daughter decided to stay in Greenwich for another year to graduate
from Greenwich High School. She lodged at the teacher's house. She was
in charge of art. I will never forget her kindness together with my daughter.
Miwasaki got back to work 3 months after hospitalization. His left side of the body was still almost out of control.
He went to Investigation Dept. with a crutch on 6th floor of Tokyo Branch,
and found a new desk for him by the General Manager's.
Minabe introduced Miwasaki to his 6 staffs, and said to him,
"Since you don't know what is going on here at all, feel free as you
Minabe's ability was well known. There were many visitors from inside and
outside of the company.
He let Miwasaki join in the meetings with them unless special visitors.
He took Miwasaki to most of the meetings of each department.
When going out, he invited him saying, "Shall we go?"
Each staff had a lecture on the situation of the company to him based on
each assignment, which made him join the job gradually.
Finding any free time, Miwasaki started the rehabilitation in the office.
His left hand was holding a soft tennis ball tight, while his left foot
with a weight was moving up and down under the desk.
He bought the A5-type word processor by 100 thousand yen, a brand new at
that time. It was a little bigger than his palm. He was aiming at both
the assistance of his work and the exercise of the fingertips.
Minabe, Director and General Manager, taught Miwasaki not only in the daytime.
"You can drink a little, can't you?"
Sounded him out at first after 5:00 pm, Minabe took him around Ginza and
Whether the regret had really sunk into the core or not, Miwasaki accepted
half of his offers and accompanied him, regarding the doctor's advice "OK
if a little" as the permission.
How many favorite Japanese pubs, bars and bar salons did Minabe know in
hand? Unless refused, he would have taken him out once a week.
Most of the time, Minabe went bar-hopping. Miwasaki parted from him after 2 or 3 bars, while he did not seem to go home then.
They often went to a bar salon and a piano bar in Shimbashi.
Miwasaki was trained to sing with a piano, but he sang only a couple of
Yujiro's "enka" songs. Happily he did not get suffered from either
speech disorder nor aphasia.
Minabe was fond of slow ballads like "As Time Goes By". His favorite
song was "Lili Marleen" in German.
Minabe took him out sometimes in the daytime besides work.
Miwasaki remembers one thing. It was the exhibition of Modigliani at the
museum in Ueno. Minabe's talk "It is done if you feel it's beautiful"
is still in the memory of Miwasaki who is poor at art.
20 years since then. Miwasaki received an invitaion card from Minabe, then
Chairman of Ida Steel.
It referred to the art exhibition of "Bitter Orange Circle" at
Nihombashi with works of Minabe, a member.
It was really a news to Miwasaki that Minabe drew pictures himself. Minabe's
strong points were not only golf and mahjong.
Part 12 Reading: 20' 08"