Shitamachi Rocket – Episode 4 Synopsis


Tsukuda is asked by his former colleague, Motoki, if he would like to return to being a rocket engineer at the agency. Motoki was the one who had introduced Suda to Tsukuda in the hope that he would be able turn Tsukuda Industries over to someone else to run, and come back to the agency so that they can create a rocket engine together. Tsukuda thinks that it would be irresponsible of him to leave at a time when the company is saddled with problems, and broods over his dream and reality.

Zaizen is made to sit out the upcoming tests to assess Tsukuda Industries’ eligibility to be a supplier of Teikoku Heavy Industries. Noticing that it will be more stringent than usual, he warns Tomiyama not to fail Tsukuda Industries because there is no alternative to their technology. Tomiyama informs him that if Tsukuda Industries fails any stage of the tests, he will negotiate to buy the patent or sign a license agreement.


On the other hand, Zaizen’s wife, Fuyumi, who has been hospitalised because of her heart condition, points out to him that what matters most is not the ongoing political maneuvering going on within the Aerospace Division, but the space rocket’s launch. She confides that the doctors have told her that a transplant will be too difficult for her, so she wishes to see the rocket’s flight as soon as possible because she is not sure how long she can hold out.

At Tsukuda Industries, Tsukuda sets up a project team. Having made the decision to go ahead and supply the engine valve to Tekikoku Heavy Industries despite opposition from the majority of his staff, he asks Tonomura, Tsuno, Yamazaki and Ehara for their help to accomplish this. Ehara voices his concern that things will not work out if they ignore the dissenters, but Tsukuda says that this is his decision after taking all opinions into consideration.


“We just have to make sure that we fail Teikoku Heavy Industries’ test. That way, the president will give up on supplying the component, won’t he?” Mano Kensaku, one of the young employees tells Ehara later, but Ehara merely shrugs it off and grumbles about Tsukuda’s obstinacy.

Meanwhile, Ryoko, who has recovered from the blow dealt by Okawa, launches a salvo of her own. Okawa and Mita wake up one morning to find that Nakashima Precision has made newspaper headlines: “Legal strategy that plunders small and medium enterprises of their technology”. A reporter that Ryoko knows had written about Nakashima Precision after Ryoko’s tip-off. This causes a sudden shift in the circumstances surrounding the trial as public opinion is now in Tsukuda Industries’ favour. A furious Okawa threatens to destroy Ryoko as well as Tsukuda Industries.


Before long, a team from Teikoku Heavy Industries arrives at Tsukuda Industries to start conducting the tests. Tomiyama, who is in charge of assessing the manufacturing environment and technology, is contemptuous of the manual labour that Tsukuda Industries’ uses to produce its prototypes, and the clean room facility which he finds excessive for a manufacturer of engine parts. His colleague Tamura, who is in charge of assessing the financial affairs and business environment, is equally critical of Tsukuda Industries’ finances.

The inspection standards are stricter than imagined. It occurs to Tsuno that the Teikoku Heavy Industries’ team may not wish to have an association with Tsukuda Industries and the tests are being conducted with that as the intention. But Tonomura believes that the numbers will speak for themselves. Someone in the company will take notice of it even if people like Tomiyama and Tamura bear ill will. If no one does, then perhaps Teikoku Heavy Industries is not the right company. Tsukuda, who has overheard this conversation between his men, weighs in on the discussion and says that if that is the case, he will refuse any sort of transaction with Teikoku Heavy Industries because their engine valve technology is far ahead of the rest of the world.

The next day, the third hearing of the trial between Tsukuda Industries and Nakashima Precision is held. As Okawa makes his case, Ryoko raises an objection. Pointing out that the accusations put across are repetitive and nothing new, she questions if Okawa is deliberately trying to prolong the trial and asserts that a proper legal brief should only be accompanied by legitimate evidence. The presiding judge decides that the technological information submitted for the case is sufficient and asks to meet both lawyers. He tells them in private that it would be better for Tsukuda Industries and Nakashima Precision to reach an out-of-court settlement instead of continuing to contest it in court, and advises Nakashima Precision to pay 50 billion yen to Tsukuda Industries. It is a victory for Tsukuda Industries and Ryoko happily breaks the news to Tsukuda and Tonomura. Okawa tells Mita to accept the decision as it will do neither Nakashima Precision or Okawa’s law firm any good to continue pursuing the case.


Buoyed by the positive turn of events and determined to show the Teikoku Heavy Industries’ team what Tsukuda Industries is made of, Ehara rallies his colleagues to prepare for the next visit. When Tomiyama, Tamura and the rest come to Tsukuda Industries again, Yamazaki, Tsuno, Tonomura and Ehara also adopt more assertive attitudes that are in marked contrast to their earlier submissiveness. Tomiyama carelessly remarks that he would stop the tests if he could and arrogantly says that Tsukuda Industries should behave in accordance with its status as it would have saved both parties from this exercise in futility. Tsukuda counters that he will not let an unreasonable company have the use of the patent as Tsukuda Industries will do well enough without Teikoku Heavy Industries. He invites Tomiyama to leave. This forces Tomiyama to meekly swallow his words.

Later that night, Tsukuda gives Motoki his reply. He has decided to turn down the offer to go back to the Japan Space Science Development Agency because he now believes that he can fulfill his dream even if he is not a researcher.


Tomiyama and Tamura come to Zaizen’s office to report their findings. Zaizen warns the two men that their standing in the company will be determined by their evaluation of Tsukuda Industries. When Tamura privately informs Tomiyama that he will not write anything other than the facts, Tomiyama tells him that they cannot go against Mizuhara’s wishes. If Tomiyama wishes to prevent Tsukuda Industries from becoming a supplier, his only chance is to tamper with the technical quality test which is about to be conducted.

Mizuhara is furious with the team’s findings and warns Tomiyama that his future depends on the final outcome. The worst that they can do is a license agreement with Tsukuda Industries. As if in answer to Tomiyama’s prayers, Asagi calls him at that moment to inform him that abnormalities were found in the engine valve during a performance test.


At that same moment, Tsukuda and Yamazaki discover that the wrong engine valve was delivered to Teikoku Heavy Industries. Then, Asagi calls Yamazaki with the news … … An internal check reveals that there were two components with the same lot number. As they try to figure out how it came to be, Ehara recalls that Mano was the one who had packed the engine valve, and confronts him. Mano admits to the deed because he thought that was what Ehara had wanted. Ehara scrambles to send the engine valve that they have to Teikoku Heavy Industries. Tsukuda, who hurries to join him, answers an incoming phone call from Tomiyama. His message is, “I’m sorry, but we have stopped the tests.”

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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.

2 Responses to Shitamachi Rocket – Episode 4 Synopsis

  1. vburi says:

    Just wondering are you still planing on subbing this series?

    • jadefrost says:

      I initially thought I would, but after watching the entire drama I’ve decided not to do so. I’ll just be sticking with recaps as I didn’t enjoy it enough. It was too trite for my liking.

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