Naojiro Nirazuka was the son of an oil press worker working for the Odaka family and a live-in domestic servant at the Odaka home, and he lived with the family until the age of seven. Later, he married the daughter of a Hikone samurai family who became an adopted daughter of the Odaka family. During the uproar regarding changes to water supply for agricultural purposes, he worked with Odaka to resolve the issue. To coincide with the construction of Tomioka Silk Mill, Odaka, who was in charge of construction, asked Nirazuka to procure building materials. Nirazuka then relocated to Tomioka, leaving his family behind, to assume duties such as manufacturing bricks. When the silk mill began operation, he was put in charge of the kitchen and dining hall.