The people of the Japanese Islands have been sensitive in observing the richness and diversity of nature around them since the beginning of their history. Our daily life in harmony with nature has also enabled us to acquire uniqueness in manufacturing and industry. Tools, instruments, crafted objects and literature handed down from their own time to the present, demonstrate our activities in the fields of science and technology.
“Techniques in Observing Nature” explains how Japanese people have used various natural phenomena in Japan. Divided into four corners, heaven, earth, time, and minute, the history of using astronomy, earthquakes, the flow of time, and minute in various fields to capture the history and lead to a modern science and technology nation. It shows the progress of the technology.
Astronomical Observation:Astronomy/Celestial Glove
Celestial and Terrestrial Globes in Edo Period
What We Have Observed with Telescopes
This section will guide you from the astronomical section first. The Trouton telescope was imported from the United Kingdom in 1873. At the time, the Meiji Restoration Government introduced a 20 centimeter refraction equatorial mount that was introduced to perform astronomical observations using advanced western technologies. Currently, it is designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Take a look at the exhibition of astronomy history. This is called “Astronomical Map” and was created by Harumi Shibukawa, the first astronomical person of the Edo Shogunate.
Japanese astronomy in the early Edo period used astronomy imported from China as it was, but Harumi Shibukawa, the first astronomical person of the Edo shogunate, observed himself on a Chinese star map to establish Japan’s unique astronomy It added the star that was done. The part written with these red dots is what Shibukawa Harumi newly added, and this is the astronomical map. It’s a birthplace of Japan’s unique astronomy.
Earthquake Measurement: Seismograph
To Read Motion of the Ground
Development of Seismographs
This is the section of “Know the movement of the earth”. In the Meiji era, many foreigners hired visited Japan, many of whom were geoscience researchers. For them, the earthquake in Japan was a very surprising natural phenomenon. Not surprisingly, seismology seems to have originated in Japan, as scientists have come up with the idea of recording the shaking of the earth using their western technologies.
This is a reconstructed model of Ewing’s seismometer, but there is also the Omori-type seismometer newly devised by Japanese people based on such a seismometer.
To Measure Time:Clocks and Watches
Temporal Hours and the Japanese Clock, Wadokei
Modernization of Clock Industry
This is an section about “To Measure Time:Clocks and Watches”. Japanese astronomy has developed not as observational astronomy but as practical astronomy for making calendars. Thus, making the calendar was an important task of the Shogunate in the Edo period. Japanese astronomy has been focusing on science to create a calendar, and as a result, a very sophisticated calendar has been created worldwide as a result. The reason why the Shogunate made the calendar so hard is that it was the authority of the powerful people at that time. It is a translation. In that sense, the Shogunate undertook and produced the calendar. In this way, a precise calendar was created by successively changing the calendar.
At that time, the calendar was based on the phases of the moon to measure the number of days, and based on the movement of the sun for seasonal changes. Although these are called lunar solar calendars, the solar calendar was adopted in the Meiji era, and the task of producing such calendars ended.
In the Edo period, understanding the movement of the heavens and the calendar was very important for educated people.
It was considered an important culture, and I studied at various private schools and clan schools. So I used such celestial globes as learning materials. This is the globe and celestial globe made by Harumi Shibukawa, the first astronomical figure of the Edo Shogunate, which I mentioned earlier. These are replicas, as important cultural properties cannot be displayed here at all times.
“To Measure Time” is exactly a watch, but the Japanese have always used a very interesting tense method, and there has been an “irregular time method”. The irregular time law is a tense that symbolizes that the Japanese have lived in harmony with nature, day and night, from sunrise to sunset, and from sunset to sunrise, respectively. Because the time is counted in units of an hour, the length of the hour depends on the season and day and night. However, I think that it is a system that symbolizes the natural harmony of the Japanese people who live in a way that determines the tense according to the movement of nature.
This is an exhibition of Japanese clocks. In the above irregular time method, the length of each hour varies depending on the day and night or the season, so a special clock is required. A clock that can properly display the irregular clock, and a clock that has such a mechanism, is a Japanese clock. That’s why Japanese people have a very high level of technology for a long time and applied it to their lives in this way. These Japanese clocks show the high technical level at the time in Japan. In the Meiji era, the irregular time law was abolished and the regular time method was adopted, so Japanese clocks were not used, but a new mechanical watch production began, and today, Japan The watch industry has also evolved significantly and is becoming a world-leading industry.
Scientific Ideas Inspired by Curiosity
Challenging the Minimum: Ultramicroscopes
The “Tiny Miracles:Microscopes” corner. Exhibition on microscope technology. What has the Japanese seen using a microscope for a long time? Microscopes were originally imported from a foreign country and were a foreign technology, but here we show the interests and interests of Japanese people in nature. For example, Japanese people looked at very small objects, such as small mosquitoes, and when they looked at them under a microscope, they were surprised that they looked like monsters. Here is a picture of a snow flower figure, but by looking at the snow crystals under a microscope, I have left a figure showing that there are various crystals. Such interests, interests, curiosity objects, and observation techniques have been applied to natural sciences and the like over the years. In addition, Japanese microscopes have been manufactured, and today the microscope manufacturing technology in Japan is at a very high level.
Here, as an example where such interests and interests have been incorporated into daily life, a sword tsuba designed with a snow crystal pattern is exhibited. In this way, you can see what you see under the microscope in various decorations, and you can see that it had interesting effects and effects that became fashionable again.
National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan
Established in 1877, the National Museum of Nature and Science boasts one of the richest histories of any museum in Japan. It is Japan’s only nationally administered comprehensive science museum, and is a central institute for research in natural history and history of science and technology.
Each floor of National Museum of Nature and Science is organized around a unifying theme, informed by the Museum’s rich and high-quality collection of original specimens. Each floor’s exhibits work together to convey a message, in turn relating to the overarching message of the permanent exhibits, “Human Beings in Coexistence with Nature.” By presenting these themes in a clear and systematic fashion, the Museum encourages visitors to think about what we can do to protect the environment in which all living things exist and to build a future of harmonious coexistence between people and the natural world.
Organized around the theme of “The Environment of the Japanese Archipelago,” the Japan Gallery offers exhibits on the nature and history of the Japanese archipelago, the process by which the modern population of Japan was formed, and the history of the relationship between the Japanese people and nature.
The theme of the Global Gallery is “The History of Life on Earth” which explores the deep interrelationships among the earth’s diverse living things, the evolution of life as environmental change drives a cycle of speciation and extinction, and the history of human ingenuity.