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Toshiba to Celebrate 130th Anniversary with Special Events at National Science Museum

1 July, 2005


TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation today marked its 130th anniversary with the announcement of a series of events at the National Science Museum that explore the company's technological heritage and look to the future and further progress.

Today one of the world's largest companies, and a global leader in the fields of electronics and energy, known for products as diverse as semiconductors, notebook PCs, digital consumer products, social infrastructure and power generation, Toshiba traces its roots back to 1875. In that year the company's founder, Hisashige Tanaka, a prolific inventor and one of the modernizers of Meiji-era Japan, established a factory in Tokyo's Ginza.
(Cf; Toshiba's 130th anniversary site: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/130/en/index.htm)

Toshiba will celebrate its 130th anniversary year with a series of events from September 6 to 11 at the National Science Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo, including symposia and special exhibitions. This will be another first for Toshiba—the first time a single private company has organized events at the National Science Museum. From September 9 to 11, when the symposia will be held, the admission fee to the museum will be waived, to attract as many visitors as possible to see the exhibits. Entrance to the symposia will also be free and open to members of the public who make reservations in advance.

The centerpiece of the Toshiba exhibition will be the "man-nen dokei" and its recreation. The man-nen dokei—its name literally translates as 10,000-year clock—is the ornate, incredibly complex, six-faced chronometer created by Tanaka in 1851. The clock is owned by Toshiba, and on permanent loan to the National Science Museum. Long recognized as a masterpiece of precision engineering and art, the clock has also long been a mystery, due to the complexity of its mechanical structure. Under a National Project supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Toshiba and the National Science Museum disassembled the original, analyzed its mechanism, and built two working replicas. The anniversary event provides an overview of this work.

The Toshiba exhibition has received the full support of the National Science Museum. Both Toshiba and the Museum were fascinated by the opportunity to look back at and investigate one of wellsprings of Japanese technology and the virtual DNA that has sustained inventiveness and creativity into the 21st century. They also welcomed the opportunity to look to the future.

"One replica of the "man-nen dokei" we crafted in the project is now featured at Expo 2005 in Aichi, telling many visitors from Japan and overseas the excellence of Japan's invention and creation," said Masamine Sasaki, Director General of National Science Museum. "The history Toshiba has made for the past 130 years really parallels the history of invention and creation in modern Japan. I want to express my sincere congratulations to Toshiba on its anniversary of Toshiba and wish the company will further contribute to the development of inventiveness and creativeness."

This anniversary event also receives cooperative support from the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition as a "partnership event of the Expo 2005 in Aichi". A replica of the "man-nen dokei" chronometer is on display at the Global House Pavilion, managed by the association, one of the Expo's main attractions.

Outline of the Toshiba 130th anniversary events

Outline of the Toshiba 130th anniversary events

Outline of the Toshiba 130th anniversary events

Symposia and Science Shows

September 9:

  • Lecture by Fuyuji Dohmon, the author of "Hisashige Tanaka" a novel published on June 24
  • Panel discussion on "DNA for invention and creation – the heritage of the 21st century – and the future of technology" with panelists including Kazuyoshi Suzuki, Senior Curator of the National Science Museum, and science journalist Manabu Akaike.

September 10:

  • Introduction to the project to replicate the man-nen dokei
  • Science show for elementary and junior-high school children

September 11:

  • Science show for elementary and junior-high school children

Note:
The symposia will be open to the public, reservations are required.
From September 9 to 11, when the symposia and science shows are held, entrance to the Museum will be free, so that as many visitors as possible can enjoy the event.

Special Exhibits:

September 9 – 11, B1F Special Exhibits Room

  • Introduction to "the passion and spirit of enquiry" of Toshiba's founder Hisashige Tanaka, and Ichisuke Fujioka, the company's second founder, and another contributor to Japan's modernization. Tanaka's creations include the man-nen dokei, steam engine boat and improved Morse code telegraphic instrument. Fujioka manufactured Japan's first filament lamps.
  • Exhibition of replica of the "man-nen dokei" chronometer
  • Exhibition of Toshiba Group's most latest technologies (details to be announced)

September 6 – 11, "Progress in Science and Technology" section of permanent exhibition area

  • Expanded exhibition of creations by Hisashige Tanaka in addition to the original man-nen dokei, a permanent exhibit at the museum
  • Exhibition of Toshiba's historical products, including Japan's first electric washing machine and refrigerator, the world's first laptop PC, and the first Japanese word processor.

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