As a man of 80-year old on December 28, 2011, I recall my more-than-a-half-Century-life as a businessperson, with what I call “The first, second, third and fourth stage of life”. The following depicts those stages of my life in the orders to be continued.
I have written and retained, for years, “My autobiography”, which, in a form of a book, has come to some 200-page to be continued. Quite recently, I was given a motivation to translate it into English so that my English website visitors could be more interested in my activity, or even with an anticipation of publishing in the States some day in the future as one of my friends there recommends me to.
The title of the autobiography has been changed to "A-bomb and Me" for a reason that I identify myself as an a-bomb survivor to place myself as the testimony writer and possibly speaker in the future with my residence move to this country, the Republic of the Philippines.
The translation of the manuscript has come to 235-page in a form of a book, entering the story of the third stage of my life to be continued to the fourth stage to be coming here in this country with more and more writing activity through my self-edited website.
It happened that I hit upon an idea to try to paste the manuscript in each item content so that the readers could take a look at the contents by clicking the items which number some 100-item. It would be a pleasure if the readers try to click to see what it is like, though the English sentences are still in immature level.
I was born in 1931 as the first baby boy with three elder sisters and two younger brothers. Shortly before my first birthday, I was stricken with polio, which has disabled my leg and foot ever since. I was unable to walk by myself until I entered elementary school. My mother used to carry me on her back. She was born in Hawaii, and she moved to Japan when she was eleven. When my mother carried me on her back, she used to make her step saying in English "left, right, left, right " and this is how I started to learn how to pronounce good English.
Survived from the Atomic-bomb
On August 6th, 1945, the Atomic-bomb was dropped over the city of Hiroshima, my homeland. I was in junior high school at that time, working at a company called "Hiroshima Tramcars Company". Students were forced to work in those days because of manpower shortages. I was in the company building walking through the corridor to my office. I was the only boy working in an office. Others were working half-outdoor as mechanics for streetcars and bus repairs. Then I saw a big flash of light, and a moment later, a big bang , then the building collapsed.
I found myself completely buried under the debris and rubble. I was unable to move in the darkness with cloud of dust and smell. As a disabled boy I was helpless. I remember praying with my hands together as if I gave up to escape from the debris, just waiting to die.
Soon there was a dim light above me. I tried in a trance to crawl up to the hole of light and found myself as if I were on the top of a rubble hill. I became aware that there were much blood pouring out from my face, and I began to cry out "Mommy, I’m bleeding" I was a pampered child with three nice sweet sisters.
I heard someone saying "go to the Red Cross Hospital!" The hospital was between my house and the company. I looked for my bicycle, my only partner when I mobilized, but in vain. I picked up a wooden bar in the debris and began to walk to the hospital using it as cane. On my way, I rested many times to wipe the bloods with the towel. In case of emergency, we were taught to always hang towels with us, because its really helpful in those days. Even now it reminds me the past every time I see towels,.
The Hospital was not collapsed because of its concrete-built. But the inside was awfully deserted, full of injured people, people who had burnt, crying, "give me some water!" I stood in a long line of A-bomb victims waiting for the medical care. I stood between a man and a woman who looked like ghosts because their skins burnt awfully.
A soldier, who was wearing an armband red cross mark came to me and said "boy, come with me."and he gave me mercurochrome and all over my face was red colored and he just wrapped with bandages without stitching the deep cuts on my face. I was sitting on the floor at the entrance with a big pillar behind me watching the houses burning across the street. And I saw some nurses trying to stop a severely injured soldier roaring “let me kill myself “ with a sword in his hand. That moment I put faith in me that my daddy or someone will come to save me.
A soldier came with a full bucket of "umeboshi", salted fermented pickled plums, and he gave me some. I never felt them so tasteful in all my life, I remember. I picked up the "cane"and began walking to my house, still hoping my house is okay. When I come across to the street at the corner of Takanobashi, I saw my sister, Fumiko, coming toward me, loudly crying “Yuuki!”. I sat down, better say, sank down on the ground and we both hugged with full of sad and happy tears.
After the reunion of my father, Fumiko and me, we three began to walk for evacuation through the middle of city toward our aunt's home about twenty miles away. The most unhappy thing then was that there was no whereabouts of one of my three sisters, Hiroko and my youngest eight-year-old brother, Yuusaku. Later days we became to know that they were obliged to stay in the city for a week hand in hand together, lying on the ground. My sister was too deeply injured to walk while my youngest brother, with not a single injury, but absent-minded.
It was in our aunt's house that the Emperor made for the first time on the air the declaration of the war-end, and a few days later, my youngest brother, Yuusaku, died of leukemia. At the very moment of his death's coming, he was grasping mom's chest, uttered "Mama, as I come to Nyonnyon-san(meaning Buddha), I ask Him to make revenge against America. During those days we were taught to hate America.
Our mother was out of the city at the time of A-bomb drop. She was in a countryside some sixty miles away where my younger brother, Yuuji, was waiting for her to come to bring him back to Hiroshima home. He was evacuated from the city with his classroom mates. In those days, we called it "student evacuations". He felt homesick and injured himself so that the school will let him back home.
My father's death brought me to some life decision
Hiroshima city was busy for reconstruction after the disaster. My eldest sister, Hatsue, married. Her husband ran three sawmills under a big construction company. His name was Yukio Takeda. Yukio needed some workers for more work to be done. So he came to ask our father for his help, but later days this brought our family a misery. He died by accident in sawmilling operation. He was brought to the Red Cross Hospital, but medical cares has no all means. The top director of the hospital was Dr. Shigetou, who happened to be our relative, but he could do nothing, because of the damaged technology hospital facilities system.
My father's death in 1955 forced me to go to work at a young age so that I could take care of my family as the eldest son. To say the truth, it was my brother-in-law, Yukio's advice, that brought my decision to work. He advised me that the best thing for a handicapped boy like me better not to get higher education in college, but rather try to be able to be independent in living. He thought that was the best for me. He was to make me confident in making a living myself. At first I was hesitant. It was not long before I became to be aware, however, that the best thing for me was to possess something with which I could be strong enough to live in spite of my physical adversity. He was right and so my decision.
It happened that Yukio's sawmill needed more skilled "saw filer" who is the key man for the efficiency of the mill production. Better and well-cutting band saw means more lumber production with faster speed. I was sent to a well-known man of character with good skill, Mr. Kurokawa was his name, and I was put under his guidance and coaching. Yukio paid him some eight thousands yen for the tuition. That was equivalent as four-month-salary in those days. With my being clever with hand working by nature and my eagerness to learn, I took not many weeks before I became well-skilled to be independent.
My first work as "a band-saw-filer" with wonderful episode
I decided to enter night high school while working in the day time. Oh, one of the most proud achievement in my high school days is that I won the first prize in English Speech Contest for Hiroshima Prefecture High school Students. The title was "How I've fought my way out." This glorious record and my eager wants of learning English later years brought wonderful fruits. Some English-speaking student friend girls are the ones. One of them became my wife! The other one became my life-time spiritual real friend! They will come out in this corner later.
With my high technological ability and desire of inventions, I succeeded in developing some new techniques and patented devices. While on the other side, with my ability of the English language, I tried to read some American books concerned where I found that American saw-filers have new skills we Japanese never had. And they were "band saw oxyacetylene-welding" and "heat-tensioning". I succeeded in getting contacts with many American co-workers and companies concerned. By corresponding with those people, I finally succeeded in importing the new techniques from America!
The most beneficial opportunity I had is that I was given many chances by an American company named "Armstrong Manufacturing Company" in Portland, Oregon.
http://www.armstrongblue.com/Default.htm I still remember that one of the books the company sent me for rent, wrote "In the past, the saw-filers used to wear tuxedo to and from the mill as if to demonstrate their status. They are some sort of magicians."
Together with those accomplishments, I began to travel throughout Japan, to teach and demonstrate those two new techniques and how to use my invented devices for sales promotion. My lecturing ability was early born in my young hood, for which I have been grateful the years come up to this day as a consultant and a lecturer.
One of the interesting things about my contacts with those concerned in the States is that an American magazine named "Lumberman" once published my article with big photo in two pages. I was paid twenty dollars for the article. The Yen rate was \360. Mr. Crosby was the name of the Editor, I vividly remember. He asked and offered me to write for two-page-article every month. An interesting thing about the magazine is that a professor of Hokkaido University, a subscriber of the magazine, came to see me in Hiroshima for interview. He brought with him a local governmental person to witness my new operation and my invented tools. My activity was thus exported to and reported in the States and then imported back to Japan from the States!
One more episode is that a member of the Hiroshima Prefecture assembly came to me saying "a young man like you should go to the States for study and bring back new technology from America with local government expenses." And it seemed the plan would be a matter of reality.
In the mean time, things happened to prevent me from doing the job further more. It happened that I had to determine to quit the job, and shift my life to a certain new business. With my 14-year career as a band saw filer, I thus spent my life with wonderful experience and accomplishment. I was mid late twentieth and became one of the most famous specialist in this field in Japan. I call this period of time "my First Life".
Benefactor of My Life The Girl Whom I Made Platonic-Love
Oh, by the way, I would like to introduce another girl mate whom I got acquainted in my high school days. Her name was Yoshino Murakami, a daughter of then professor of Hiroshima University. I was introduced to her by an American missionary, Miss Anderson, at the time I won the first prize in the speech contest. Miss Anderson came to me saying "Congratulations, Mr. Yoshida. This is Yoshino Murakami." We shook hands with each other, and that was the beginning of our long association that lasted until her death . She was the first girl with whom I ever made a date!
As soon as she was graduated from high school, Hiroshima Jogakuin High, she entered Mount Union Collage in Ohio, and married with an American student while the both in the college. As mentioned, she died young with a son left. When the couple came to Hiroshima, I and my then-wife met them at the station. Her husband, Bob, said to me "I know, you used to be my wife's boy friend!"
The story about me and Yoshino is written and published in a book "First Love, First Boy Friend, First Girl Friend", under the title of "Benefactor of My Life. The Girl Whom I Made Platonic-Love". The publishing company, Bungeisha, Tokyo, recruited essay contest with the given theme. Some 717 essays were enlisted and mine was among the 55 essays selected. The 369-page book has ever been one of my "publication", and you can see the pages(in Japanese, tough)at 「My Benefactress An Eternal Platonic Lover」
The story I describe in this book is a real story in my youth. I used real name with the permission of her younger brother, Suminao, who said "My sister, Yoshino, would be pleased in Heaven". He and my younger brother were classmates and they played messengers handing English letters between me and Yoshino.
My last word here about her is that because of her existence in my early life, I have been successful and being who and what I am now for which I am grateful and thankful to her, indeed. She is living in my heart till the last breathe I will have.
My shift to a trucking business happened. In 1960, I was obliged to succeed a trucking company management because of the death of the owner. To say the truth, I had been married with the daughter-in-law of the deceased owner. My then-wife was the girl whom I got to know as an English conversation fellow friend. "Then-wife"is a kind of strange expression, though. We had been divorced years later. I will write about it at the end of this section.
The trucking company was small business with only seven or eight trucks. My 180 degree turn of the occupation was thus made. I left everything that I possessed in the former job with tools and commercial rights to my young boy apprentice and made a complete change in my life. By the way my salary as the head of the firm was only half of my income at the time.
It was in 1960, that I became the president of the trucking company. Within some 32 years, the company grew as big as seven affiliated company group with about a hundred workers. During that period of time, I have done lots of work and was given various social positions and status. The story about the life of a trucking business person for 32 years is itself quite a story. I call this period of time "my Second Life".
At the age of 60, things happened for me to leave the companies. The disclosure of the company accounts to the labor union was one reason for the family-dominated management staff, including my wife's mother-in-law and brother, to dislike my way of management. You can call it "family feud". So I decided to leave the company with my own will and established the present new firm alone. Oh, yes, I left, or better say, was obliged to be divorced with "the-then-wife"
My management life as trucking industry thus ended in 32 years. But I can say for sure that what I have done and experienced during that period of time turned to be a very good one when things happened for me to throw everything away to turn my life drastically thereafter..
My "third life" is Management Consultant
On 7th, October, 1993, I established a company named LOGITANT, INC. with the capital investment of ten million yen. The firm's English name is "Logitant, Inc.", logistics and management consulting firm. The name is derived from "logistic consultant" and "logic consultant". With my 32-year experience of trucking industry management, I wanted to do something for the industry as a token of my thanks for being with the industry.
The virgin work was visiting American trucking industry for writing articles
As the first virgin work with the newly established firm, I wrote an essay advocating the introduction of the Owner-Operator System to this country. The system is "one person with one truck", that is, independent owner trucker. In this country, trucking company has to possess at least five or seven or ten trucks each according to the size of population where the firm to be opened. That is called "the minimum-number-of-truck regulation". I began my new business as the opinion leader of the deregulation of the trucking industry in Japan. The Owner-Operator System, better known as "Owner Operator" or "Independent Contractor" is not permitted in this country, in spite of the fact that all of the developed countries have this system.
As soon as the first edition of eight series was published in the industry journal "Logistics Japan", I left for the United States for investigation of the American trucking industry. It was late in 1993. That happened to be my second visit to the United States, this time with alone. I stayed for a month, traveling from Michigan to Virginia and across the Continent to the west coast. The story about the trip was written as soon as I returned to Japan. With the series of fifteen editions, the journal published them occupying a whole page each time. The story itself could be well much as a book.
My strong advocacy of the introduction of the Owner-Operator System began ever since. The trucking journals began to publish my articles, and voices began to rise, be it positive or negative. The articles brought a great deal of controversy among trucking managements and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
With much discussions on the subject through journals and lecture meetings, some nine authorized organizations came to support my theory, and after two or three years of hot debates, the regulation of "five, seven, ten trucks" has been revised to "five trucks throughout Japan". This is one step forward, but I am trying to make it "one truck one person", final deregulation of the trucking industry.
My writings that I ever have made since then are as equivalent in the volume as ten books. This website contains all of them in the following "Writing Records" Sorry all articles are written in Japanese. If I were to translate them into Japanese, it would take years! Oh, the English-speaking readers of this site might be interested not in reading but just watching the scanned newspapers. The trucking journal named "Logistics Week" published my articles on the front-one-whole-page on its New-Year editions. Just click at2006 ,2007 2008
By the way, this journal is publishing in each edition, my published Book "The Way for the Professionals for the Truck Drivers" in the serial form with photo. The series of this publication has been some 200 times and still on. Just click the above link. I am thinking of making its English edition, tough its table contents only, not the 364-page all.
My main work as a consultant, however, is educating truck drivers of the two clients, one is located in my town and the other in Shimbashi, Tokyo. The former is the type of average scaled firm with some 23 trucks, and the latter with some 300 trucks, having some 20 branches throughout Japan. In the latter case, I make monthly visit to one branch. That means each branch receive my lecture once in two years. Each time my lecture takes for two hour straight.
The former client is the one I am especially proud of. The name of the company is "Kuki Transport, Inc." The company keeps monthly meeting with not a single absent driver, that is I mean, the company holds the meeting three times or more until all of the drivers could attend it. The level of the driver character is so high that when I make lectures we call it "Kuki College Lecture", calling ourselves "professor and college students".
My experience of educating and dealing with truck drivers is quite long. The former 32-year as the trucking business person and 15-year as a consultant, thus 47-year all together, is quite enough to give good education to the truck drivers. I have come to preserve my own philosophy of driver education. By the way, during my 32-year life as a trucking management, I have never had a fatal accident with my drivers. This is something that I still make myself proud of. The client mentioned above with 23 trucks has never had an accident of "rear-end collision" in fifteen years ever since I became its consultant.
My lecturing activities
My lecturing activities are wide in variety. Trucking industry managers and their drivers are the ones I am most good at and aimed at. But the varieties of my speeches is quite wide. When you click "Lecture Articles", you find more than twenty themes with each describing the contents when clicked further. Again, sorry that the contents are all in Japanese.
The type of the lecture I am proud of is the one so-called "legal lecture" for the Safety Driving Manager which is legislated in the Road Traffic Law. "The safety driving managers" are obligated to attend once every year. There are some 12000 safety driving managers belonging to some 11000 companies throughout in Hiroshima Prefecture. The lecturers appointed are some 20 college professors. I am the only one who is a small company manager with high age of 76. I would be in the position for five years.
One of the recent happenings about this lecture is that a vice president of a fire department, raised a voice to invite me for his fire department lecture meetings. The fireman workers are 135 in number and I made the lectures two times to the divided attendant firemen. The title of my lecture, by the way, was "The Mission of Firemen and Safety Driving Operation" with the subtitle of "The Philosophy of Safety Driving that I reached after 47-year-experience". Sounds interesting? Oh, yes, I received so good reputation! I am proud of it, indeed!
Publication of a book "The Way for the Professionals for the Truck Drivers"
As a compilation of my drivers education career, I finally came to publish a 364-page book for drivers and managements in April, 2004. This kind of book would be the one first ever and never to appear, I presume. One of the episodes about this book is that a college-graduate, newly employed lady worker as a manager read the book and came to be aware that she wants to become a truck driver herself. And she did turn to be a truck driver a year later.
The most exciting thing about the book is that my friend company manager (not trucking) read it and said to me "Mr. Yoshida, what you want to appeal in your book is exactly the same J. M. Keynes wrote in his book!". The world famous scholar wrote "It is much more important how to be rather than how to do." Needless to say, this sentence became my favorite words to explain what I want to appeal in my lectures. What I want to say to the drivers and every corner of the professionals is this. In case of drivers, I say to them "Try to be a good driver, rather than trying to be good at driving." The same thing can be said to the golfer, namely, try to be a good mannered golfer in stead of being good at it with bad manner. The book plays meaningful status as a lecturer when I stand before the audiences.
My wish to walk around the world speaking in English as a A-bomb survivor
Right now, I am playing what I call "my Third Life". At the age of 77, I am planning of trying to challenge what I call "Fourth Life". You might say, "How greedy you are!" But this comes not from my selfish desire, but from some sort of volunteer spirit. The following message would give you what I wish to do in my Fourth Life. Click here at My Dream. You can find my secret life plan in this short message. But I am not supposed to tell anyone in Japan about what in my heart and soul at this time. Why? Because the time is not ripe enough.
I would say at least the followings. My wish is to travel around the United States, giving speeches in English as a goodwill ambassador, trying to convey the American people some of the messages of a man who succeeded in life with the command of English language. And for one thing, as a survivor of the A-bomb, and I have some intention that I speak to the people abroad someday from such a sight as no Hibakushas ever spoke from. What would it be like? Yes, when time comes I will disclose my own message. I have already written up the whole message in Japanese. It is some 17 pages. I am translating it into English.
By the way, I had an exciting experience in making speech in English in front of some 340 people, most of them college professors and graduate students and company managers. It was in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 3-5, 2005, when I attended "SAM 2005 International Business Conference". I then was awarded "Material Handling Award". As the award-winner, I made the speech in English for nine minutes. As soon as I ended the speech saying "Thank you and Arigatou", I received "standing ovation with whistling". That continued even when I returned to my table! I motioned with smile "please, be seated." Next morning at the front of the hotel, some men came to me saying "Your speech was so wonderful. My students were so much impressed!". It was a great guts for me!
The Award introduction is seen at SAM Material Handling Award Introduction By the way, SAM is "Society for Advancement of Management". For its detail click http://www.cob.tamucc.edu/sam/ For more information of the speech scene and messages in Japanese and English, click the scene 1&2 Full English speech text is seen.The speech text was well prepared. This experience teaches me that if I have well-prepared speech texts as a Hibakusha teller, I would be able to express well enough to the people abroad the real meaning of the A-bomb. I am going to make several types of speech texts with time variations ready to meet any occasion.
By the way, for my effort of keeping good health, I make it a rule every morning to practice two-hour-physical-exercise, and then take a bath with eight-mimute of English recitations in nice and warm bath tub. They are“Lord’s Prayer”,“The Lions Code of Ethics”, “Lincoln’s Gettysburg’sAddress”,“Youth”and “My Way”. This recitation habit of them from memory began when I was 60-year-old.
Well, from time to time, I would like to continue writing further. So please come back to this site when you feel free to be interested in knowing what Yoshida is doing. Well, thank you so much for reading that much English of my profiles. Thank you. (September 1, 2008)
(To be continued)
Well, since the date of this site written last time, some seven months have passed. I am proud to be able to say that so many things happened to my own life ever since!! I will continue writing in this site, so please make a visit to this site every once in a while. Thank you!
My profile up to this time would be more precisely known by reading my autobiography, "A-bomb and Me", which has been stopped at the stage of the Chapter 5, the Third Stage of my Life" as its beginning.
"The Fourth Stage of My Life" has just begun!!
On February I, 2009, I moved my residence from Japan to the Republic of the Philippines. Thus began the start of "The Fourth Stage" of my Life. At the age of 77, for what or why!? The visitors of my site or the ones who receive my [E-mail Magazine] would know the story behind. Before writing about it, however, I would like to tell the visitors why I am trying to do something at this age.
Being myself as "Health & Sound-Life Adviser", I find myself doing something for something or somebody. Up until this age, I have been working, working and doing something never to end or give in. As written in this site of "Profile in English", the first stage of my life continued for 14-year, with another 32-year in the second stage, and 15-year of the third stage, making altogether 61-year as the top management life for more than half a century!
No matter how rich one may be, if he/she has nothing to do, one lives no long. In 2006, I happened to meet and talk with an American who is much interested in my way of life. He said, "You Japanese seem to do something even after retirement and live longer. We American try to enjoy retirement life going for fishing and die young. Ever since then, I became to talk about this secret of long life as “Health & Sound Life Adviser”
I am proud of myself that I have been able to do something for the good of society up until this age, and I am determined to do something more, or might better say, the greatest one in all my life, which I place as the mission of the fourth stage of my life.
Testimony by an A-bomb Survivor after 65-year of Silence
-Based on the Three Viewpoints-
The above is the title of my testimony article as an a-bomb survivor. I wrote it and posted in my website on October 28, 2009, my 80-birthday.
Together with this, I also sent by email to the White House "The opened letter to President Obama", and posted in my website.
The mission for Hibakushas --Needs for building consensus for the Reconciliation between the a-bomb dropper and the sufferers
In March 21, 2010, I wrote another article as an a-bomb survivor from a little different angle. I emphasized the importance of "The spirit of forgiveness or reconciliation" between the a-bomb dropper and the sufferers..........(To be continued;Dec.20, 2011)