O.S.K. (Osaka Shosen Kaisha), a small shipping company covering only the Inland Sea of Japan, was established in 1884. And it has been one of the two large shipping companies (O.S.K. and N.Y.K.) having the regular ocean routes since 1909. As compared with N.Y.K. (Nihon Yusen Kaisha), O.S.K. has achieved a great expansion under the good labor management and active strategies of leading executives. This article tries to clarify why O.S.K. could catch up with N.Y.K.. From the viewpoint of the labor management, there are four reasons : First, after Tokugoro Nakahashi took office as the fourth president of the company in 1898, he employed many talented college graduates as staff members. Second, the employees were well treated even in extreme depression. Third, this company had a more adequate system of Yobiin (the seamen reserved for sailing the regular ocean routes) than N.Y.K. did. Fourth, since captains and engineers of superior ability were promoted to executives, the labor and the management cooperated well with each other. This article emphasizes the last two of them : one is Yobiin system, the other is the good labor-management relations in O.S.K..
In the Inter-War period, while “tramp shipping” was declining world-wide, Japanese tramp shipping developed remarkably well. This development was due to diversification in operating services, that was the development of “tramp linerization”. This is an analysis paper of the start of liner services and its development by tramp shipping enterprises-examining under what managerial environmental and cooperate strategies, this progress was made and maintained-through a case study of “MBK's Senpakubu” (Mitsui Trading Co's Shipping Div.) as a representative of the general merchant operator. The conclusions of this analysis are as follows : First the liner services by Senpakubu made a good start under circumstances in which there was suitable world-wide information and a trading network provided by the Bussan Co. But secondly, being an auxiliary unit of MBK's business, Senpakubu was requested to act on the whole organization's agreement in decision making, which sometimes reduced the strategic time horizon of Senpakubu's business. Thirdly, however, Senpakubu's strategy changed into soliciting a various or a wide range of different cargoes, loading more “Shagaini” (other shipper's cargoes) than “Shanaini” (its own cargoes) by steadily building a superior fleet, with which Senpakubu succeeded in new developments from an auxiliary unit into an autonomous functional operating unit within MBK's trades.
The Naigaiwata Co. began the construction of a cotton spinning mill in Shanghai, China, in 1909. Operations began in 1911 as the first mill overseas of the Japanese cotton spinning industry. Naigaiwata entered into the Japanese spinning industry on a full scale in 1905, when it was in the final stage of forming oligopolistic structure. While Naigaiwata sold only a limited volume of cotton yarns in the oligopolistic domestic market, it relied heavily on export. This market strategy was successful during the booming era after the Russo-Japanese War. In 1908 the Chinese cotton yarn market tempoalily shrank under the depression and the devaluation of silver currency. Then Naigaiwata had to shift the main outlets from China to domestic markets. But this move resulted only in a poor financial situation. Facing this crisis Naigaiwata reconfirmed that it could not grow based on a domestic market alone. It was only overseas markets that Naigaiwata was given opportunities to penetrateintre. But the export strategy was not effective enough to establish a reliable status there. Naigaiwata then planned local production in China. It had a good position to accomplish this project as it not only had had business experiences in China but owned strong leadership in executing it. The local mill was so efficiently equipped to be competitive vis-à-vis the imported yarns from India and Japan. The overseas strategy of Naigaiwata was formulated as a creative response to the various constraints to the growth of those late comers under oligopolistic structure of the cotton spinning industry in Japan.