Shitamachi Rocket – Episode 3 Synopsis


Zaizen offers 20 billion yen to buy Tsukuda Industries’ patent for the engine valve system. He thinks that it will be difficult for the company to find a use for this technology because it is completely unrelated to its core component manufacturing business. His belief is that Tsukuda Industries needs plenty of money right now to fight the lawsuit against Nakashima Precision. However, Tsukuda takes offense at the implication that he should sell his company’s technology because he is in need of money.

Zaizen leaves Tsukuda to consider his proposal, but unlike Tomiyama, he is not certain that Tsukuda will sell the patent to Teikoku Heavy Industries even with the strain of company’s present circumstances.


Tsukuda does not know what to do. Tonomura, Tsuno, Ehara and Yamazaki argue over whether they should sell the patent or keep it: Tsuno supports Tsukuda’s idea of a license agreement. Ehara thinks that they can be richer by 20 billion yen and develop new technology again if they sell the patent. Yamazaki refuses to relinquish the patent because technology development is not easy. He does not rule out the possibility of other uses for it even though there is nothing concrete at the moment. Tonomura wonders whether the offer of 20 billion yen is too low. Seeing how the discussion is progressing, Ryoko steps in. Offering the opinion that in the long-run, income from a license agreement will be greater than selling the patent, she urges them to “think of Tsukuda Industries’ future rather than the near term” because she will win the trial for them.

Some days later, Tsukuda informs Zaizen of his decision to reject the offer to sell the patent for 20 billion yen. Even though Zaizen had anticipated this outcome, he cannot hide his disappointment. If Teikoku Heavy Industries wishes to use the patent, it can only do so through a license agreement. This is swiftly turned down by Zaizen who cites company policy. It irks Tsukuda and he points out that it is not something that a leading technology company should say. Teikoku Heavy Industries is being conceited if it thinks Tsukuda Industries should sell the patent just because it wants it. Then, in a sudden about-turn, Zaizen surprises Tsukuda by dropping his company’s policy and asking for an exclusive license agreement because his priority is the success of the rocket’s launch.


Just as things are seeming to take a turn for the better for Tsukuda Industries, a man named Iwasaki appears in front of Ryoko before the start of the second hearing between Tsukuda Industries and Nakashima Precision. “You crushed my company, but you are saving them?” he asks her accusingly. A flustered Ryoko can find no reply to that. This is all Okawa’s ploy to unsettle her, and it succeeds as she remains unsettled and preoccupied throughout the hearing.


Iwasaki’s company collapsed and his family broke up under the weight of a 5 billion yen compensation he was ordered by the court to pay when NPHI, the client Ryoko represented while with Okawa’s law firm, won the patent infringement lawsuit. Okawa taunts Ryoko in a phone call after the hearing that she is as dirty as he is. It takes encouragement from Tsukuda before Ryoko finds it in herself to shake off the paralysing guilt she feels and fight back.

On the other hand, a conversation with his ex-wife, Saya, makes Tsukuda think of his dream of building rockets. One that he has tried to bury after taking over Tsukda Industries.


The next day, he announces to key members of his staff that the company will not sign a license agreement with Teikoku Heavy Industries, but instead supply the engine valve needed for the space rocket. It is an unnecessary risk for Tsukuda Industries when they can easily earn money from the agreement. To Tsukuda, it is not about the money, but about pride as a manufacturer and the future of the company.

This is naturally impossible for a company like Teikoku Heavy Industries, which has never outsourced the production of key components to other companies, much less a small factory of no repute. Zaizen agonises over how he can reject the stubborn Tsukuda and persuade him to sign an exclusive license agreement.

Sometime later, Zaizen visits Tsukuda Industries to give Tsukuda his reply. But before he can do so, Tsukuda insists on showing him the company’s facilities to help him to reach a decision. A reluctant Zaizen follows him through the tour. As they make their way around, Zaizen who had started out dismissive of the capabilities of a small factory like Tsukuda Industries, leaves feeling impressed by its advanced technology and the passion of its people. He professes admiration for Tsukuda who took over the family business and yet continued to pursue his space rocket dream. This also makes him feel a lesser man for he had once faced similar circumstances but chose one over the other.


Zaizen brings Tsukuda’s proposal to Mizuhara, who is immediately opposed to the idea of outsourcing the production to Tsukuda Industries, even though Zaizen points out that Tsukuda Industries not only has better technological capabilities than Teikoku Heavy Industries, but will also be able to produce the engine valves more cheaply than they can.

Like Mizuhara, Tomiyama is against the idea of letting Tsukudua Industries supply the engine valve. Both men cannot understand why Zaizen has chosen to suggest this unusual approach in complete disregard of company policy. Speculating that it may be because Zaizen empathises with Tsukuda given their similar backgrounds, Tomiyama comes up with the idea of conducting a series of tests to assess the quality of Tsukuda Industries’ engine valve. It will be rigged to ‘fail’. In that way, Zaizen as well as Tsukuda Industries will have no choice but to accept the outcome. Mizuhara gives his blessings and tells Tomiyama that he will replace Zaizen if he succeeds.


Tomiyama informs Tsukuda and Yamazaki about the tests which are to include a review Tsukuda Industries’ financial documents. Tsukuda wonders if there is a need for Teikoku Heavy Industries to go to this extent, but is curtly told that the decision lies with Tomiyama. Tsukuda Industries has to comply if the company wishes to become a supplier. Should any of the items fail to meet the criteria, the tests will be immediately halted.

Meanwhile, a man named Suda, who represents Berth Partners, a company involved mergers and acquisitions, contacts Tsukuda on behalf of a big client that has great interest in Tsukuda Industries. “Do you have any intention of selling Tsukuda Industries?”

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About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
This entry was posted in Shitamachi Rocket, Summer 2011 Dramas, WOWOW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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