Juichi Obata (1888-1947) was a member of the Electrotechnical Laboratory for approximately ten years, since he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1910. Since 1922, he was with the Aeronautical Research Institute, till the end of WWII. In the history of science, so far Obata has been recognized as a scientist of acoustics. However, we have unveiled another aspect of his study which has not been mentioned in the history of science until now, that is "the measuring of minute vibrations by the electric method. " This paper clarified the following two points : 1) In the early stages of Obata's membership at the Aeronautical Research Institute, before he began his research on sound, he developed an interest in the methods of measuring minute vibrations. He conducted several measurements of minute vibrations by improving the meter that measures minute vibration by the electric method (=using the electronic circuit containing vacuum tube). 2) Thereafter, Obata adopted the approach of exploring "an objective state (vibrating state) through sound, " by paying attention to the correspondence relation between minute vibrations (object), measured using the method of measuring minute vibrations and the sound emitted by the vibrations.
In Japan, education in modern Western science started with the Meiji era (1868-1912). Midway through the Meiji era, a change occurred in the science curriculum in Japan. During the early Meiji years, individual subjects, such as physics and chemistry, had been taught in elementary schools. However, a new and comprehensive subject, termed "rika " in Japanese, was then instituted. So far, evaluations of this change have been carried out from mainly a national perspective, based on analyses of educational statutes enacted by the Japanese government and the contents of the widely used textbooks of those days. For a deeper understanding of the significance of the change, however, it is essential to examine it at the level of prefecture, or district, and individual elementary school, as well. We report on the process of this change in science education in Gunma Prefecture. We draw on sources from the archives of Gunma Prefecture and also examine the teaching materials (tests and text books) actually used at the elementary schools of Gunma Prefecture in those days in order to paint a detailed picture of the change. The change in science education in Gunma Prefecture was accomplished considerably later than its official announcement in national statutes. The Normal School of Gunma Prefecture had an overwhelming influence on education in Gunma Prefecture in the Meiji era. Thus, we also discuss the Normal School's views on science education, based on Meiji - era archives kept in the Gunma Prefectural Archives and at Gunma University. These archives suggest that the Normal School regarded the subject physics as playing an important role in the acceptance of Western scientific thought, and that the school was critical of the new comprehensive science subject, "rika ".
In March 1954 a Japanese fishing vessel, Daigo Fukuryu Mam (Lucky Dragon No.5), suffered from radiation exposure from an American nuclear test at Bikini in the South Pacific. After this incident there appeared both in the US and in Japan a nuclear policy debate that the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in general, and nuclear reactors in particular should be introduced into Japan in order to counter the communists' propaganda against American nuclear tests and anti-American movements in Japan. The Operation Coordinate Board of the US National Security Council adopted this policy very soon after the Bikini Incident. This was followed a wide range of strategic programs for Japan. Hidetoshi Shibata, then an executive of the Nippon Television Network Corporation, started his press campaign in January 1955 in the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun together with its owner Matsutaro Shoriki, later the first president of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission, for promoting nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Shibata and Shoriki apparently were working together to fight against anti-nuke movements and anti-American activities in Japan. In May they invited John J. Hopkins, President of General Dynamics Corporation, Nobel laureate Ernest Lawrence from the University of California at Berkley, and Lawrence Hafstad, director of the division of reactor development of the American Atomic Energy Commission. Their talks in Tokyo were reported to have impressed many Japanese. This paper shows that Yomiuri Shimbun group's activities were in fact supported by the US government, and were carried out within the framework of the US foreign policy.