In the 1960s, radio astronomy research in Japan was at a developing stage in comparison with that of leading countries. However, in the following decades the situation improved dramatically, and Japan gained a competitive position in this research field. This was achieved largely through the construction of the Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO). This paper describes the NROʼs construction history by focusing on the setting of scientific goals and development of the equipment to achieve them.
Although there have been a few preceding studies on the Japanese history of modern astronomy including radio astronomy, it is characterized that this study utilized mainly the minutes of the Science Council of Japan and documents of research groups as primary sources.
This paper clarifies the following processes. In the 1960s, with a series of major worldwide discoveries in radio astronomy, the importance of radio astronomy was recognized in Japan as well, which led to the planning of the Science Council of Japan. Responding to the global trend of radio astronomy, Japan set as the scientific goal exploring millimeter-wave astronomy. In order to meet the requirements, the 45m radio telescope and an acousto-optic radio spectrometer for spectral observations were designed and their specifications were actually realized, which far exceeded world standards at that time. Consequently, Japanese radio astronomy could obtain its global position.
The author will clarify the engine operation and its specifications of Hakki-Maru of Kaga clan that was the steamship introduced to Japan at the end of the Tokugawa period.
Hakki-Maru was propelled by sails and a steam engine on Japanʼs coastline. The engine operation was relatively smooth under the calm weather, but some steam leaks of the boiler occurred mainly at the stormy weather. Though the boiler of Hakki-Maru was designed to generate steam pressures of 60 psi., the steam pressure was frequently less than 1/4 of the maximum working pressure. The repair of the engine required the help of a Shogunate engineer with a lot of operating experience.
Hakki-Maru built in the United Kingdom and was equipped with a compound engine. Also it is highly probable that a combination of cylindrical boiler and surface condenser was equipped. These were developed to improve the efficiency of the engine but had been just put into practical use. The frequent breakdowns at Hakki-Maru were due to the installation of the latest equipment that required careful operation and maintenance.
The steamship sold to Japan at the end of the Tokugawa period included not only old ones but also new one equipped with some cutting-edge technology. Since the steamship itself was the means of transportation, the latest technology onboard could quickly spread to the distant locations.