Industry-government-university collaboration (IGUC) in Japan during the period from World War II to the postwar time has recently attracted the attention of some historians. However, there are only a few case studies focussing on the development of a specific technology. This paper presents a case history of high frequency (HF) heating and hardening technology from the pre-war to the post-war period in Japan, and examines the role of IGUC for the technological development. Many new technologies were developed during the War, but the most famous and important among them was electronics. It originally led to the development of radio, but thereafter, people tried to apply it in other industrial and technological fields also. The HF heating and hardening technology attracted attention as a promising manufacturing technology after the War. It is one of the reasons for which a lot of idle HF valve oscillators for military use were applicable to HF heating equipments. Consequently, this paper gives a clear picture that the network of IGUC expanded from the pre-war to the post-war period in the field of HF heating technology. In the pre-war period, there was a lack of IGUC because new technologies for Japanese firms were mainly procured from foreign firms. But, the situation changed during the War. Japanese firms needed to develop new technologies by themselves or in collaboration with other domestic institutes. Public research institutes and university professors played an important role in IGUC. As a result of this collaboration, some new enterprises got the opportunity to establish and grow as leaders in the industry.
This paper aims to analyze the diffusion of tungsten filament lamps in Japan and the strategy of Tokyo Electric. In the United States, General Electric (GE) developed drawn-wire tungsten lamps in 1910. This electric lamp was three times more efficient (w/candlepower) and lasted twice as long as a carbon filament lamp. In Japan, Tokyo Electric, a GE subsidiary, introduced tungsten lamps in 1911. Initially, this lamp was adopted by small scale electric power companies/utilities in rural areas and new market entrants in major city. Some electric power utilities in major cities were cautious in the introduction of the tungsten lamp. The revenues of electric power utilities may have declined if there was no increase in the demand for electrical lighting service, corresponding to the improvement in the efficiency of electric lamps. Tokyo Electric promoted tungsten lamps, by introducing them in installations with more and brighter electric lights. This served the mutual interest they shared with the electric power utilities, which was building a large customer base for lamp manufacturers. During World War I, many electric power utilities decided to introduce tungsten lamps and the main channel of distribution of the tungsten lamp was through a cooperative relationship with Tokyo Electric. Electric power utilities succeeded in internalizing the effect of improved lamp efficiency by revising the advantageous rates for electric lighting service. The tungsten lamps that were launched in Japan were adjusted for lower efficiency and longer life spans, compared with their US counterparts. Electric power utilities tend to emphasize the longer life spans. Furthermore, Tokyo Electric marked down the lamp price while maintaining quality standards. Thus, Tokyo Electric, which pioneered the distribution of tungsten lamps in Japan, reaped significant profits.