"There are, in fact, two satellites orbiting the Earth. One we call the Moon, and the other is the eminent Dr.Tanakadate. Once a year we recall on Earth his international achievements."
Profile of Dr. Aikitu Tanakadate's Early Life
Sept.18, born Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture.
Commences studies in Chinese and Japanese literature
Martial Arts training
Enters Keiogijuku University to study English
Enters Tokyo University majoring in Physics (under tutelage of the American, Thomas C. Mendenhall)
Undertakes gravimetric measurements around Tokyo and Mt. Fuji Studies mechanical engineering under the Englishman, Ewing Both teachers influence him greatly
Graduates from Tokyo University, begins Assistant Professorship (his students gain prominence in Physics and Science in general)
Studies electricity and magnetism under Lord Kelvin at Glasgow University (United Kingdom)
(following Kelvin's death, Tanakadate never failed to visit his mentor's grave whenever he visited London)
Transfers to Berlin University, Germany
Returns to Japan
Throughout his life he also maintained an active interest in the movement to replace the traditional Japanese writing system with roman letters - having devised his own system.
In 1891, a large earthquake struck the Nagoya district killing more than 7000 people. Following a request from Tokyo University, Dr. Tanakadate completed a study of the affected area. While feeling great sympathy for the victims of the disaster, he suggested that they remain constantly on alert should another earthquake strike. The government then formed a committee charged with effecting measures to counter future disasters.
Dr. Tanakadate went on to found the Institute of Seismology at Tokyo University, to which he devoted much of his time. in 1898, he attended the International Conference on Seismology in Strasbourg, as the representative of Japan. The conference opened with Dr. Robert Darwin (1809-1882) of England, Dr. Fernand Richthofen (1883-1905) of Germany and Dr. Tanakadate presiding as joint-chairmen.
Dr. Tanakadate became a member of the World Earth-Science Academic Society. He was also the first person to join the international Observatory of Magnetism, Gravitation and Latitude voluntarily and attended the Conference of Geophysicists, held in Stuttgart in 1898.
He attended a total of eight geophysics-related conferences and became familiar with geophysicists from all over the world.
Dr. Tanakadate was instrumental in the establishment of want is now the Mizusawa Astro-Geodynamics Observatory. He also had an influence on Dr. Hisashi Kimura (1870-1943) who followed in his footsteps. Dr. Kimura became the first director of the Mizusawa observatory and is renowned for discovering the Z-term (or Kimura-term) of latitude variation.
France was the first nation to take the initiative in establishing the Metric System and an international treaty was soon concluded among 18 countries.
Dr. Tanakadate was appointed to the standing committee of the organization attending the 1906 Paris conference on behalf of Asian countries. He attended a total of nine conferences and observed developments. He of measurement. The Diet was called into session and a reform bill presented. The bill was adopted during the sessions establishing the Metrics System in Japan.
In Japan he constructed a wind-tunnel in his laboratory and began his own study of aeromechanics. In 1910, he was persuasive in his efforts to have Tokorozawa selected as the site for Japan's first airport. Later in 1918, he set about a department of aviation added to Tokyo University. For these and other efforts, he is recognized as the father of aviation in Japan.
On November 23, 1938, on the fortieth anniversary of the discovery of radium (by Curie), Tanakadate delivered a congratulatory message to the French via broadcast from Japan.
In 1928, Dr. Tanakadate received the Legion of Honour from the French government for his contribution to aviation. This was followed by the Order of Cultural Merit from his own government in 1944.
Dr. Tanakadate passed away at the age of ninety-six on May 21, 1952. He is buried in his birth-place of Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture. His name is inscribed in roman letters on his headstone. With his constant and diligent efforts throughout his long life, he made an outstanding and highly-respected contribution to teaching, technology, and cultural understanding, which will be long-remembered.
President, Aikitu Tanakadate Society
August 31, 1995
Society Address: 80-1, Nagamine, Hukuoka, Ninohe City