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Package deliverer's spirit of caring will live on


Package deliverer's spirit of caring will live on


In his autobiography titled "Watashi no Rirekisho" (My memory in life) published by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Masao Ogura, a former president of Yamato Transport Co., recalls an episode that inspired him to start a door-to-door package delivery service.

"My son had clothes he had outgrown, so I decided one day to give them to my younger brother's little boy.

"But I couldn't find any easy way to send my package, and I was the president of a transportation company."



Back then, a small parcel could be sent only by post or the now-defunct Japanese National Railways, and Ogura realized this had to be quite a hassle for busy homemakers.

"The traditional image of the transportation industry was tough and macho, and homemakers practically didn't exist in our customer-base picture," Ogura continues in his memoirs.

"But it dawned on me that those ladies actually represented a tremendous potential market."


Remaining sensitive to people's day-to-day needs and asserting firm leadership, Ogura blazed a trail in the small-package transportation business.

The imaginative and innovative pioneer was also a man of principle.

He instituted an administrative suit against the defunct transportation ministry for holding out for years on his application for a delivery-route licence.


His company had been founded by his father, from whom he also inherited the indomitable old Edo merchant's spirit. "If you are afraid of samurai, you cannot make a living in Edo," his father would say.

Ogura recalled that it was this ingrained spirit of defiance against the high and mighty in society that sustained him through his litigation against the bureaucracy.


On New Year's Day, 1998, The Asahi Shimbun ran a feature titled 21-Seiki o Yomu (Composing tanka short poems about the 21st century).

This was essentially a collection of tanka poems submitted by people representing a cross-section of society.

Ogura's piece went: "The year's first dawn/ I pull a wheelchair toward myself/ To kiss it." An attached note from Ogura said, "Japan is not a disabled-friendly society. I would like to see `normalization' realized during the 21st century."

He personally founded a welfare foundation and devoted himself to helping disabled people become self-supportive.


When he stepped down as Yamato chairman, Ogura wrote this tanka: "A little cuckoo has taken off/ Silence/ The journey has ended."

His life's journey ended June 30 at age 80.

I would have liked for him to go on longer, but I believe his legacy of intestinal fortitude and spirit of caring for the disabled will live on.


--The Asahi Shimbun, July 2(IHT/Asahi: July 18,2005)


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投稿: 辞書 | 2005/07/29 20:35






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