OUT OF WORK
The first president of Nissho Iwai Seafoods resigned. The
next president was a Mr. Sada who came from the fish trading
division of Nissho Iwai. He fired many workers and employees
of Nissho Iwai Seafoods. I heard from him that firing people
is not an easy thing to do.
l was also asked to resign by Mr. Sada in 1990. The reason
was to "cut off excessive labour," I heard.
Mr. Sada also said, "Please help us to save the company,"
bowing his head. So, there were no choices, since I had loved
the company all the time, although things were not working
All I could do was accept the request. What would someone
else have done? I said okay to Mr. Sada without looking into
Mr. Sada introduced me to another company to work for.
That kind of thing is quite usual in Japan. It was a refrigerator
company in the same Funabashi area. The company dealt with
fish partly but the work was quite different than before.
l thought that it wouldn't bother to check out what was
going on in fields surrounding the fish business, so I decided
to work there.
The work I was assigned to do was to write invoice sheets
of goods coming in and going out of the refrigerator and
operating computers that had those data in.
I didn't feel fit for that job, so I decided to quit. It was for
only three months that I had worked there. I wanted to do
something more directly connected to the fish business, which
had then become the backbone of my career. And I still thought
that I could do something for the weary fish business: some-
thing that only I could do.
My wife, who wasn't a worker at that point of time, started
to worry about our future and decided to work again.
l had no idea of the next move to make, but I was optimistic.
I searched the want ads in newspapers, I read recruitment
magazines. The whole Japanese economy was still active since
the boom of the "bubble economy" was still present. Work
was not so hard to find.
A large wholesaler, which was a participant of the Tukiji
Wholesale Market and had many fish shops inside
supermarkets and department stores was searching for people
I went to the office close to the Tukiji Wholesale Market
on the day of the entrance examination.
The examination was an oral one. I was confident about
the results, but against my expectations, I failed. I was quite
shocked. I thought maybe it was because I didn't accept the
requirement of working very early hours.
About a week later, I again found in the newspaper, a want
ad for Tomen Suisan, a subsidiary of a general trading
corporation, Tomen. I applied for it.
There was a brief interview with the president of Tomen
It didn't take much time to know the result. On the
following day of the interview, there was a phone call telling
me that I was hired.
It was already November of 1990. The time when East
and West Germany had been re-united.