Conclusion: Beyond Success or Failure

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


From 3 to 7 July 1911, just one year before the end of the Meiji period, the jubilee of the INA was held in London. It began with a private dinner at the Ritz hotel given by Mr Charles E. Ellis (Hon. Treasurer of the Institution) on the 3rd, and ended with a dinner and reception at the Savoy hotel given by His Majesty’s Government on the 7th. The International Congress in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering was held in between. Seventeen foreign governments were invited to attend the official meetings. Japan dispatched six delegates to the meetings including Kyoji Suehiro, mentioned in Chapter 5. It is noteworthy that to the Proceedings of this International Congress in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering made up of twenty-one papers including eleven foreign papers, Japan contributed four, the largest number of any foreign country.1


Turbine Blade Steam Turbine Naval Architecture Naval Vessel Impulse Turbine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    For a standard work by sociologists on ambivalence, see Robert K. Merton, Sociological Ambivalence and Other Essays (New York: Free Press, 1976). For example, in addition to the remarks quoted above, William H. White called the development of merchant shipbuilding in Japan ‘a most marvellous story’ and drew the attention of his audience to its rapidity by saying as follows: ‘I do not know whether it has been appreciated that this mercantile fleet has been created since 1894.’ (This is the year when the Sino-Japanese War started, after which the domestic production of large-scale merchant steamers began to be promoted by government policies, as described in Chapter 3. There was only one home-built steamer of more than 1000 gross tons — the Kosugemaru, built at Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard in 1883 — before 1894.) See TINA, vol. 53, pt 2 (1911), p. 147.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Junkichi Ishikawa, Kokka Sodoin Shi (History of the wartime mobilization), 13 vols (Tokyo: Kokka Sodoin Shi Kanko Kai, 1975–1987), Volume of source materials 3 (1975), pp. 412–14.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    For this, see Chikayoshi Kamatani, ‘Daiichiji taisen to kogyo gijutsu no shinko saku’ (The First World War and the promotion of industrial technology in Japan), Kagaku Shi Kenkyu, no. 15 (1981), pp. 13–28.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    See Tetsu Hiroshige, Kagaku no Shakai Shi: Kindai Nihon no Kagaku Taisei (The social history of science: the social institution of science in modern Japan) (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1973), pp. 115–23.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    For this, see Shoichi Oyodo, Miyamoto Takenosuke to Kagaku Gijutsu Gyosei (Takenosuke Miyamoto and the Administration of Science and Technology) (Tokyo: Tokai Daigaku Shuppan Kai, 1989), based on a diary of Takenosuke Miyamoto who was deputy chief of the Agency of Planning and died just before the setting up of the Board of Technology on 24 December 1941.Google Scholar
  6. 28.
    The term ‘trajectories 7 here broadly indicates the patterns of change specific to a certain area of science and technology. Apart from classical diffusion studies of technology (for example, William F. Ogburn, The Social Effects of Aviation (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1946), there are two contexts in which the term is used. One is neo-Schumpeterian innovation studies, in which the term is broadly understood as technological change with economic effects within a certain sector. The other is path-dependency studies, in which the term is more specifically understood as a stochastic process indicating the divergence of dominant technologies from optimum ones. As the description and analysis that follow will show, what the extension of the term employed here shares with prior usage is the incalculable and/or unanticipated nature of change to the eyes of the parties involved at a given time. For an example from neo-Schumpeterian innovation studiesGoogle Scholar
  7. See Giovanni Dosi, ‘Sources, procedures, and microeconomic effects of innovation’, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 26, no. 3 (1988), pp. 1120–71. There are many other references relating to use of the term in this context, which are too numerous to list exhaustively here.Google Scholar
  8. For a few of these, see, for example, Richard Nelson and Sidney G. Winter, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982);Google Scholar
  9. Christopher Freeman and L. Soete (eds) New Explorations in the Economics of Technical Change (London: Pinter, 1990);Google Scholar
  10. Nathan Rosenberg, Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics, and History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Nick Von Tunzelmann, Technology and Industrial Progress: The Foundations of Economic Growth (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 1995),Google Scholar
  12. And others. Studies on path-dependency originate in the following two pioneering studies: Paul A. David, ‘Clio and the economics of QWERTY’, American Economic Review, vol. 75, no. 2 (1985), pp. 332–7;Google Scholar
  13. W. Brian Arthur, Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994); his original paper was published in Economic Journal, vol. 99, no. 394 (1989), pp. 116–31. For recent developments relating to these two research traditions,Google Scholar
  14. See, for example, John Ziman (ed.) Technological Innovation as an Evolutionary Process (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  15. Studies in the history of technology which coincided with these two research traditions can be found, for example, in George Basalla, The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  16. There are long-standing debates about the necessity of various narratives which go beyond the chronological description of technological change. For these debates, see, for example, R. Angus Buchanan, ‘Theory and narrative in the history of technology’, Technology and Culture, vol. 32 (1991), pp. 365–76;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. John Law, ‘Theory and narrative in the history of technology: response’, ibid., pp. 377–84; P. Scranton, ‘Theory and narrative in the history of technology: comment’, ibid., pp. 385–93. Also see Robert Fox (ed.) Technological Change: Methods and Themes in the History of Technology (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic, 1996).Google Scholar
  18. 29.
    C. A. Parsons, ‘Improvements in the Mechanism for Propelling and Controlling Steam Vessels’, Patent Record No. 394, AD 1894 (kept by Tyne and Wear Archives Service in Newcastle upon Tyne). As for the procession of events before 1884, see W. Garrett Scaife, ‘Charles Parsons’ experiments with rocket torpedoes: the precursors of the steam turbine’, Transactions of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology, vol. 60 (1991), pp. 17–29.Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    For a brief history of steam turbine development, see H. W. Dickinson, A Short History of the Steam Engine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938), chs 11–14. A standard work by D. S. L. Cardwell on the modem history of steam power and thermodynamics paid, unfortunately, virtually no attention to the advent of the steam turbine.Google Scholar
  20. See D. S. L. Cardwell, From Watt to Clausius: The Rise of Thermodynamics in the Early Industrial Age (London: Heinemann, 1971).Google Scholar
  21. Comprehensive analyses of the worldwide turbine development trajectory within the general context of turbojet development can be found in Edward W. Constant II, The Origin of the Turbojet Revolution (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  22. 32.
    For detailed description and analysis of these dual strategies of the Navy, see M. Matsumoto, ‘The Imperial Japanese Navy’s connection with a marine steam turbine transfer from the West: a sociological model of the early 20th century’, Historia Scientiarum, vol. 6, no. 3 (1997), pp. 209–27.Google Scholar
  23. As for a more general background of the relation between the Navy and private companies, see M. Matsumoto, ‘Le jeu des roles autour d’une turbine à vapeur’, Les Cahiers de Science & Vie, no. 41 (Octobre, 1997), pp. 80–90.Google Scholar
  24. 33.
    The above descriptions are based on Ryutaro Shibuya, ‘Kyu Kaigun Gijutsu Shiryo’ (Technical documents of the Imperial Japanese Navy) (Tokyo: Association for Production Technologies, for private distribution, 1970), vol. 1, ch. 4; Shun Murata, ‘Asashio Gata Shu Tabin no Jiko (An accident of the main turbines of the Asashio-class)’, manuscript (n.d.), p. 6.Google Scholar
  25. 36.
    Japan Shipbuilding Society (ed.) Showa Zosen Shi (The history of shipbuilding in the showa period) (Tokyo: Hara Shobo, 1977), vol. 1, p. 668.Google Scholar
  26. 37.
    Michizo Sendo et al, Zokan Gijutsu no Zenho (A conspectus of warship construction technology) (Tokyo: Koyosha, 1952), pp. 247–9.Google Scholar
  27. 38.
    Masanori Ito, Dai Kaigun o Omou (On the Japanese Imperial Navy) (Tokyo: Bungei Sunju Sha, 1956), pp. 439–40.Google Scholar
  28. 39.
    War History Unit, National Defence College of the Defence Agency (ed.) Kaigun Gunsenbi (1) (Military equipment of the Navy, part 1) (Tokyo: Choun Shinbunsha, 1969), pp. 621–2.Google Scholar
  29. 41.
    Institute for the Compilation of Historical Records relating to the Japanese Imperial Navy (ed.) Kaigun (The Navy), vol. 9 (Tokyo: Seibun Tosho, 1981), p. 161.Google Scholar
  30. 58.
    Junkichi Ishikawa (ed.) Kokka Sodoin Shi (The history of national mobilization) (Fujisawa: Kokka Sodoin Shi Kanko Kai, 1982), compiled materials, vol. 3, p. 412. The author was in charge of drafting the national mobilization plan at the Cabinet Planning Board (Kikaku In) in the prewar period. For the Navy, war preparation updates started from August 1940. See Sanbo Honbu (ed.) Sugiyama Memo (Memorand written by Sugiyama) (reprinted Tokyo: Hara Shobo, 1967), vol. 1, pp. 93–4. Sugiyama was the Chief of the General Staff of the day.Google Scholar
  31. 62.
    In general, such was the standard of turbine design in the prewar period. Cf., Katsutada Sezawa, ‘Vibrations of a group of turbine blades’, Zosen Kyokai Kaiho, no. 50 (1932), pp. 197–206;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. S. J. Pigott, ‘Some special features of the SS Queen Mary’, Engineering, vol. 143 (1937), pp. 387–90; ‘Turbine-blade fa tigue testing’, Mechanical Engineering, vol. 62, no. 12 (1940), pp. 919–21;Google Scholar
  33. S. J. Pigott, ‘The engineering of highly powered ships’, Engineer, vol. 170 (1940), pp. 410–12, and others.Google Scholar
  34. 65.
    Kansei Ono, ‘Tabin yoku no kyosei sindo ni kansuru kinji keisan’ (An approximate calculation on the forced vibration of turbine blades), Engine Laboratory, Department of Sciences, Naval Technical Research Institute, August 1943. Dr Yasuo Takeda also found this document on 3 March 1997, and it was added to the Shibuya archives. Shigeru Mori, a contemporary Navy engineer who graduated from the Department of Physics of the Imperial University of Tokyo, seems to have tried to construct a model to grasp the mechanism, whose details are not available now. See Shigeru Mori, ‘Waga seishun’ (My youth), Shizuoka Newspaper, 29 August, 30 August, 1 September (1969).Google Scholar
  35. 67.
    See W. E. Trumpler, Jr, and H. M. Owens, ‘Turbine-blade vibration and strength’, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, April (1955), pp. 337–41;Google Scholar
  36. F. Andrews and J. P. Duncan, Turbine blade vibration: method of measurement and equipment developed by Brush’, Engineering, 17 August (1956), pp. 202–8;Google Scholar
  37. G. A. Luck and R. C. Kell, ‘Measuring turbine blade vibrations: development of barium titanate transducers’, Engineering, 31 August (1956), pp. 271–3;Google Scholar
  38. K. Leist, ‘An experimental arrangement for the measurement of the pressure distribution on high-speed rotating blade rows’, Transactions of the American Society of the Mechanical Engineers, April (1957), pp. 617–26;Google Scholar
  39. A. M. Wahl, ‘Stress distribution in rotating disks subjected to creep at elevated temperature’, Journal of Applied Mechanics, June (1957), pp. 299–305;Google Scholar
  40. N. J. Visser, ‘Turbine blade vibration’, VMF Review, vol. 2 (March, 1960), pp. 61–2, and others.Google Scholar
  41. 70.
    Based on Yasuo Takeda, ‘Kawaju wa Kanpon Shiki Tabin no Point o Doshite Toraetaka’ (How did the Kawasaki Heavy Industry Ltd. assimilate the points of the Kanpon type turbine?), n.d.; Kawasaki Tabin Sekkei Shiryo (Kawasaki Turbine Design Materials), Dai 2 Bu (October, 1955); Letter from Yasuo Takeda, Kawasaki Heavy Industry Ltd to Kanji Toshima, IHI (n.d.). For a general description of marine turbine development in Japan, see Shigeki Sakagami, Hakuyo Tahbin Hyakunen no Koseki (A hundred years of marine turbine development in Japan) (Osaka: Yunion Puresu, 2002). As for the detailed description and analysis of the Rinkicho failure, see M. Matsumoto, ‘A hidden pitfall in the path of prewar Japanese military technology’, Transactions of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology, vol. 71, no. 2 (2000), pp. 305–25.Google Scholar
  42. 71.
    Shigeru Nakayama, ‘Science and technology in modern Japanese development’, in W. Beranek, Jr, and G. Ranis (eds) Science, Technology and Economic Development: A Historical and Comparative Study (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1978), pp. 202–32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Miwao Matsumoto 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations