A doctor with divine hands in Vietnam: Tadashi Hattori

In the autumn of 2001, Tadashi Hattori (服部 匡志), an ophthalmologist, was requested to come to Vietnam by a Vietnamese doctor at a symposium and since 2002 he has treated over 2,000 patients while training doctor as well. In Vietnam he is called “the man with the divine hands”. He has a passion for teaching the latest techniques of vitreous body and retinal surgery to other doctors.
Following his motto “the patient is your parent”, he is giving free medical treatment to Vietnamese people living in poverty and he is paying the expenses with the medical fees he earns in various Japanese places. Read More »

Mt.Fuji, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world

Just gazing at the gentle slopes of Mt. Fuji — one of the world’s most serene mountains — creates a sense of ease and relaxation. Countless voices have admired its beauty. Read More »

The tallest lighthouse in the world – Yokohama Marine Tower

Yokohama Marine Tower was inaugurated in 1961 for the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Yokohama port. It is 106 meters high and the tallest lighthouse in the world. This is recorded in The Guinness Book of World Records. Read More »

Naoko Shimizu, the first female principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Naoko Shimizu (清水 直子) is the principal violist of the “Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra”, a world-distinguished orchestra. As a Japanese person, this is a splendid achievement. Read More »

Yuichiro Miura: The Man Who Scaled Mount Everest at Age 70

Yuichiro Miura (三浦 雄一郎), a famed professional skier and alpinist, scaled Mount Everest at the age 70 years and 222 days in 2003, which set the world record as being the oldest climber in the history of the Everest ascents then.

Being on top of Mt. Everest had been his dream-come-true. He said, “No matter how old you are, you can sill hold on to your dreams. You have to continue to make an effort to turn your dreams into reality. I learned that if you keep heart and take one small step after another, you can stand on top of the world.” Read More »

Mako: Pioneering Japanese-American Actor in Hollywood

Mako Iwamatsu was a pioneering Japanese-American actor who opened the doors for Asian Americans to Hollywood. He was best-known for his Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated role as Po-Han, the Chinese engine-room attendant, in 1966’s The Sand Pebbles starring Steve McQueen. Read More »

A planetarium that can project the most stars – MEGASTAR by Takayuki Ohira

In July 2004, Takayuki Ohira’s “MEGASTAR” was established permanently in the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. It can project a total of five million stars that would otherwise be too far to see, at a magnitude of up to 12.5 times their size. Read More »

Subaru: The largest optical telescope in the world, owned by the National Astronomical Observatory

In 1998, a large scale, optical infrared telescope, named “Subaru”, was established at the top of Mt. Mauna Kea in Hawaii Island by the National Astronomical Observatory. Read More »

Kaemon Takashima, a businessman who practiced the art of divination and had the first audience with the Emperor Meiji

Kaemon Takashima (高島 嘉右衛門) became engaged in his family business of lumber trade at the age of 14. He predicted, by his original divination, the major earthquake of the Ansei period that hit Edo (Tokyo) in 1855 (Ansei 2). Although, he made great profit from lumber dealings, a storm saddled him with debt. He, then, took advantage of the difference in the monetary exchange rate and profited from foreigners. Because such dealings were illegal at that time, he was sent to prison. He mastered the art of divination during his six years in prison. Read More »

Tamae Watanabe: The Oldest Woman to Reach the Summit of Everest

On May 16, 2002, Tamae Watanabe, at the age of 63 years and 176 days, reached the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world (8848m). The news of this feat by the world’s oldest woman alpinist immediately spread across the world. Read More »

First Cow-to-Monkey Kidney Transplant Performed Successfully at Dokkyo Medical School

On Dec. 12, 2004, the first successful cow-to-monkey kidney transplant was performed at Dokkyo Medical School, Tochigi, in Japan. The recipient monkey survived for one day with no sign of rejection. Read More »

Diligence of the Japanese admired in Tang Dynasty China

In 2004, an inscription on a gravestone was found at Xi’an city in Shaanxi in China, site of Chang’an, the Tang Dynasty capital from 618-907. It is the oldest example of the written name of the country of Japan. Achievements of Japanese envoys to Tang China, Nakamaro Abe-no, Makibi Kibi-no and others, were additionally engraved on it. 171 characters of the seal-engraving style in 12 lines were carved on the monument of 40 centimeters square. Read More »

Culture of syphilis germ and discovery of yellow fever by Hideyo Noguchi

Hideyo Noguchi (野口 英世) succeeded in culturing syphilis in 1911(Meiji 44). In 1913(Taisho 2), he announced that syphilis bacteria can cause progressive paralysis and tabes dorsalis. Noguchi was mentioned as a final candidate for a Nobel Prize. In 1918(Taisho 7) he went on a business trip to Ecuador where yellow fever broke out and found the pathogen that caused the disease. He developed a vaccine that saved a lot of lives. Read More »

Goto Shinpei 後藤新平: Father of Taiwan’s Modernization

Goto Shinpei後藤 新平) is considered to be the father of Taiwan’s modernization.

During the Japanese colonial period, Goto Shinpei was in charge of civil affairs at the Taiwan Governor’s Office between 1898 and 1906, during the rule of the fourth governor, Kodama Gentaro児玉 源太郎). He launched many innovative projects which would lead the way to Taiwanese economic independence from Japan. Read More »

Takuji Gotoda, Hiroyuki Ono: Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) of gastric cancer with the insulation-tipped electrosurgical knife

In the past, gastric cancer that exceeded 2cm would result in an abdominal operation, however it has become possible to remove cancer in the mucous membrane layer with an ESD. Read More »

World’s fastest electric car named “Ereca” Faculty of environment and Information Studies of Keio University, and 38 enterprises

2003. The Laboratory in the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University and 38 enterprises in Japan.

The maximum speed of “Ereca” using Lithium-ion battery power is 370km per hour. It is a five-passenger, eight-wheel-drive car, and motors are encased in each wheel. It is 5.1m in total length, 1.9m in width and about 800 h.p. Fuel consumption is 24km/l in 10.15 running mode.

It is twice or more as good as a passenger car in the same class. It will go 300 km on one battery charge. It can be fully charged in about 5 hours using the power supply at home.

Yugama, at the peak of Kusatsu-Shirane volcano(2,160m) in Gunma Prefecture, is the most acidic lake in the world

Yugama at the peak of the Kusatsu-Shirane volcano (2,160m) in Gunma Prefecture is the most acidic, about pH1, volcanic lake. This lake measures 300m in diameter, 30m in depth and is almost circular in shape. The lake contains stagnant water in the crater, spews hydrogen sulfide and water vapor, and is accumulating sulfur on the bottom. Read More »

Koukichi Ukita: the Japanese who flew in the sky more than 100 years before Otto Lilienthal

It is generally believed that the first human who flew a glider was the German glider king, Otto Lilienthal. Yet it is said that Kokichi Ukita, a picture framer during the Edo Period, flew more than 100 years before that. Read More »

The most beautiful hotel in the world. Imperial Hotel light hall

Imperial Hotel light hall (帝国ホテルライト館) was built on September 1st 1923. It was designed by maestro Frank Floyd Wright who was so familiar with Japan as to own thousands of Ukiyoe. It is praised as a masterpiece in Japanese architecture. Read More »

Olympus, Endoscope for medical treatment

In 1950, chief engineer of Olympus Optical Co. Ltd. (now Olympus オリンパス) Mutsuo Sugiura and his subordinate Shoji Fukami developed the gastrocamera, the first in the world. From this technology an endoscope and a fiberscope have also been developed. As of 2007, Olympus’ endoscope represents 70% of the world share. Read More »