ShakeHands
 30
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
out right.
All I could do was accept the request. What would someone
else have done? I said okay to Mr. Sada without looking into
his face.
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
to work.
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
Suisan himself.
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.
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