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Die Entwicklung der Schallplatte aus japanischer Sicht

überarbeitet im April 2019 - Im Anschluß an eine Zusamenstellung der Entwicklung der Magnetbandtechnik - aus japanischer Sicht - habe ich eine weitere Zusammenstellung über die der Geschichte der Entwicklung der Schallplatte in Japan und weltweit gefunden.

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4 The Advent of Electrical Recording (Der Beginn)

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4.1 The Age of Disk Records and their Rivalry with Radio

The early 1920s rode on a wave of prosperity (einer Welle des Wohlstands) following the end of World War I, and although the American record industry reached a peak in 1921, production volumes gradually began to decline (abflauen). This was caused by the commencement of regular radio broadcasts, which began to captivate the average consumer.

Until 1924, all records had been recorded acoustically (and without electricity) since the invention of the phonograph in 1877.

Artists performed in front of horns, setting the diaphragms at the end of the horns vibrating, which caused a cutting stylus to cut a wax disk. With this method of recording, the overall reproducible frequency range was limited to about 300–1.500 Hz, as lower-pitched sounds were limited by the cutoff frequency of the horn and higher-pitched sounds were limited by the resonant frequency of the diaphragm.

Most records from this era are voice recordings, perhaps because this frequency band corresponds with the spectrum of the human voice, or because it was easy to pick up vocal music.

Radio, on the other hand, had the advantage of high-quality sound, and was free to boot. In May 1924, H.C. Harrison, who was an engineer for AT&T’s primary supplier, the Western Electric Company, filed a patent for electrical recording. This widened the reproducible frequency range to 100–5.000 Hz, and also enabled the use of multiple microphones.

4.2 The Electric Gramophone Arrives

The range of reproducible frequencies widened with electrical recording, but electrical playback was desired, because electrically-recorded records had an unusual sound quality that emphasized scraping sounds when they were played back using soundboxes.

Bell Laboratories researched electrical sound reproduction at the same time they were researching electrical recording. The first electric gramophone went on sale in 1926, and although this improved declining sales for a while, sales plummeted with the Wall Street crash in the fall of 1929.

Then, to add insult to injury, the advent of talkies around 1930 caused sales to plummet even further. Figure 4.1 shows a Victrola RE-45, an early electric gramophone. This electric gramophone featured electrical sound reproduction and a radio receiver.

4.3 Broadcasting Stations Adopt Electric Disk Recorders

Edison had envisioned a self-contained machine to record and reproduce sound when he invented the phonograph, but as disk records became commonplace, he changed his standpoint and began developing technologies to mass-produce records for content distribution.

Broadcasters, who do not need mass-production technology, rapidly adopted machines that recorded and played back disks until magnetic disk recorders were introduced. The history of disk recorders in Japan up to that point is described in detail in "The Story of Disk Recorders by Yoshiharu Abe" [3].

In 1936, German broadcasting stations used many disk recorders made by Telefunken Gesellschaft für drahtlose Telegraphie mbH in Germany in broadcasting events at the Berlin Olympics.

This encouraged NHK to import the same machines in preparation for the 1940 Tokyo Olympics, but equipment gradually became more difficult to import, prompting the domestication of disk recorders.

At the time, although there were steel tape and steel wire recorders, as well as optical sound-on-film recorders, only with disk recorders was it possible to play back sound onsite immediately after recording it, and sound quality was also of an acceptable level.

Als das Magnettophone im Rundfunk die Disc ablöste

Disk recorders were the mainstay of the broadcasting industry until they were displaced by magnetic tape recorders, beginning in Germany in 1942, then in the U.S. in 1947, and later in Japan about 1950.

In 1934, Koichi Tsubota (formerly a managing director of Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.) established the "Nippon Denki Onkyo Research Institute" and began researching and developing electroacoustic devices.

After five years of work, he completed a compact record cutter head that was compatible with German Telefunken recorders. The prototype cutter heads were installed on Telefunken disk recorders and tested repeatedly at NHK, and finally in 1938 a disk recorder was completed that surpassed the performance of the Telefunken machines.

Then, Katsuma Tani (who later founded TEAC and acted as a representative director) became involved in efforts to improve its recording characteristic, and after improving both recording and noise characteristics, and reducing manufacturing costs, the first improved unit was completed in September 1939.

This disk recorder was equipped with Tsubota’s cutter head. This cutter head was later improved, and although it was small and lightweight for a general-purpose head, its frequency response was second to none at the time. Figure 4.2 shows this cutter head. The characteristic of the cutter head is shown in Fig. 4.3.

Eine eigene Plattenschneidmaschine von Tsubota

Tsubota’s cutter head (Fig. 4.3 A) is comparable with the Western Electric cutter head, which was considered to be the best cutter head of its time (Fig. 4.3 B).

As Fig. 4.3 shows, Tsubota’s cutter head had a lighter oscillatory system, which raised its upper frequency limit from 5 kHz to 12 kHz – a dramatic increase. This high-performance cutter head was used to cut the "Filmon Sound Belt" (described below) and records containing the imperial edict at the end of the World War II.

  • Anmerkung : Laut dem Neumann Handbuch von 1943 (7. unveränderte Auflage von 1935) konnte die Neumann / Telefunken Schneidemaschine bereits bis zu 15.000 Hz schneiden.


The disks for this disk recorder used a long-lasting flammable cellulose with excellent recording characteristics, and were developed with the experienced assistance of Yutaka Tate (former chief engineer of JVC).

On June 4, 1938, the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun (Tokyo Daily News) published an article covering Tsubota and Take’s invention, titled “A Triumph for Recorded Broadcasts – Outstanding Japanese Invention – Completed by Two Students,” reporting that the broadcasting stations who were panicking over the lack or foreign-made disk recorder were now set at ease. Unfortunately, the 1940 Tokyo Olympic Games were canceled due to the war.
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4.3.1 The First Japanese Disk Recorders

The first Japanese disk recorder (the Denon TPR-14-C) is shown in Fig. 4.4, and its mechanism is shown in Fig. 4.5.

Although the disk recorder shown in Fig. 4.4 was described as “portable,” the 94kg of recording and playback equipment was combined with over 40kg of recording amplifiers, playback amplifiers, speakers and power supplies, reaching a massive 135 kg.

The recording and playback mechanism shown in Fig. 4.5 had a 34cm turntable driven by a 78 rpm low-speed synchronous motor, and could record 25cm disks with 3 minutes of audio, but could alternate between two recording/playback mechanisms if longer recording was needed. Unlike analog records, the groove spiraled from the center to the outside edge (von inen nach außen), so that the swarf (der Span) would not entangle the cutter head.

A feed screw (Spindelantrieb) moved the cutter head like an engineering lathe to cut 90 grooves per inch. The cutter head used oil damping as an efficient mechanical filter, enabling it to cut the standard reference tone (1 kHz, 75 mm/sec) with 0.5 Watt.

Constant-amplitude recording was used for frequencies under 800 Hz, and constant-velocity recording was used for frequencies over 800 Hz.

The recording frequency characteristic was such that it could capture frequencies from 50 Hz to over 10,000 Hz. This meant that it had an extremely wide-band recording characteristic for its time.

Der Stichel war aus Stahl

The steel stylus had very high mechanical impedance, enabling the recorder to cut wax or acetate disks without the recording characteristic changing due to the difference in hardness.

Records for this machine were made from high-purity aluminum disks with a diameter of 25cm and a thickness of 1mm, which were coated with a 0.3 mm-thick layer of nitrocellulose lacquer on both sites.

Such records are usually called acetate disks or lacquer disks.

Acetate disks could reportedly be played back a few dozen times if light tracking force was used; noise increased as wear accumulated, and after about 30 plays they had the same level of noise as a new (shellac) SP record.

Weitere Verbesserungen beim Disc-Recorder

Further improvements were made to the first Japanese disk recorder, resulting in a succession of models; the DS-15-A stationary recorder, the DS-14-B (installed at NHK’s various main broadcasting stations), the DP-16-B (portable), the DP-16-C (stationary), the C-16-E (cutter), and the slim DP-16-K. These were used not only for broadcasting but also by the army and navy for various military applications.

One can imagine (man kann sich vorstellen) the difficulties experienced by the staff who had to carry two heavy DP-16-K recorders into the imperial court without attracting the attention of the military for the "imperial edict" (war das die Ansprache des Kaisers zur Kapitulation ?) on the termination of the war on August 15, 1945.

These two recorders were used to make two records, which were taken to the broadcasting center in Uchisaiwaicho (while still avoiding the scrutiny of the military) where the edict was broadcast.

The same model of disk recorder and disk record can be viewed at the
NHK Museum of Broadcasting. The recording and playback machine is shown along with a microphone in Fig. 4.6, and the record used for the broadcast is shown in Fig.

Recorder jetzt mit 16" Platten - (wie beim AFN Frankfurt)

Disk recorder continued to be in demand after the war, with the R-23-A portable disk recorder being adopted by NHK in 1948.

The development of disk recorders with increased disk diameter (16" for longer recording/playback time), decreased rate of rotation and increased groove spacing (pitch) continued, and in 1950 the R-24-B stationary disk recorder was introduced, followed in 1952 by the first (and last) experimental Japanese LP disk recorder for broadcasting use was unveiled.

Support was added to this recorder for variable pitch (adjusting the spacing between grooves according to a signal - bei uns in Deutschland war das die Rheinsche Füllschrift) in 1957, and it was used to cut LP and EP master disks at a number of Japanese record companies.

One notable disk recorder was a portable household model (the Denon RC-1), which was released in 1949. This disk recorder (shown in Fig. 4.8) was the subject of much discussion, but interest waned as cheap magnetic recorders became widespread, and it disappeared without becoming popular.

The ubiquity or EP and LP records meant that they were even used in radio programs, so disk recorders were popular with broadcasting stations even after the transition from disk recorders to magnetic recorders.
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4.3.2 The Downfall of Disk Recorders for Broadcasting and the Rise of Record Players

Japanese disk recorders, which did not see much progress during the war, remained in the world of 10- or 12", 78rpm SP records until the end of the war when occupying forces brought 16", 33 1/3-rpm long playing disks to use in their broadcasts (das war der asiatische AFN).

Japanese disk recorder improved following this development, but the rise (das Aufkommen) of magnetic recording was more prominent.

Magnetic recorders using steel wire or steel tape already existed but were rare. Disk recorders remained unchallenged until magnetic tape recorders were developed by Masaru Ibuka and others.

Compared with magnetic tape recorders, the disk recorders of that period had the advantages of being easy to record and play back, and easy to cue, etc., but they were also extremely sensitive to external vibration, restricted to certain situations (use on level
surfaces, etc.), not suited to making multi-channel parallel recordings with, restricted to a certain number of plays, difficult to erase, impossible to re-record, and, above all, heavy and expensive.

At the time, although they were both similar in terms of size, weight, audio quality and reproducible frequency range, and play back directly after recording was not possible, the extreme sensitivity of disk recorders to external vibration during recording and playback, and their need for a level surface made them less convenient for broadcasters than magnetic recorders.

Ein großer Aufwand in den Studios

Record companies had to isolate their cutting machines (cutting lathes for disk records) from vibration caused by machinery such as air-conditioning equipment.

They would also avoid external vibrations by installing their cutters on anti-vibration mounts. Recording would be stopped during even the smallest of earthquakes.

The susceptibility of disk recorders to vibration was one reason for broadcasting stations to replace them with magnetic recorders, which they began to do in the 1950s. Broadcasting stations eventually ceased (vermieden) to install disk recorders, but adoption of record players proceeded rapidly with the spread of LP and stereo records and the growth of commercial radio broadcasting.

Der "magnetic disk recorder" von 1959

The only exception was the "magnetic disk recorder" developed by "NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories" in 1959, which combined the strengths of disk recorders and magnetic tape recorders but was unsuccessful because of shortcomings such as deteriorating sound quality towards the center of the disk.

Even in this digital age, one cannot say that it is extremely easy to make recording machines that combine the advantages of disk recorders and magnetic recorders by using optical or magnetic disks.

The most important components of a disk recording and playback machine for broadcasting use are the turntable, the cartridge, and the pickup on the tonearm, but development languished in postwar Japan, and churning out (die Massenproduktion) replicas of products from the U.S. and other countries became the cornerstone of the postwar Japanese audio industry.

Some turntables developed and sold by "Tokyo Television Acoustic Company" (a subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation) were adopted by broadcasting stations (Tokyo Television Acoustic Company later merged with Tokyo Electro Acoustic Company (TEAC).

Tonearms were mostly imported from the U.S. and included models made by "Clarkstan Corporation" that were supported on steel balls, oil-damped tonearms made by "Gray Manufacturing Company" that rested on a single pivot filled with silicone oil (Fig. 4.9, Fig. 4.10), and tonearms made by Pickering and Company with articulated cartridge mounts. Broadcasters used Japanese-made copies of such tonearms.

Am Anfang wurde "widely copied or improved"

Clarkstan tonearms were eventually displaced by oil-damped tonearms for SP playback; Pickering tonearms were used for LP playback. Famous American cartridges, such as G.E. variable reluctance (VR) cartridges, Pickering balanced armature (BA) cartridges and Fairchild moving coil (MC) cartridges, were widely copied or improved.

One such cartridge was the Denon PUC-3, which had an excellent characteristic but was so similar to the Fairchild product that some called it the mane-child (imitation-child - oder auch Klone). Only after this period of copying overseas products had passed did technology unique to Japan appear.

An outstanding example of that technology is the Denon DL-103 moving-coil stereo cartridge (Fig. 4.12 and Fig. 4.13), which was developed by Takeo Yamamoto (former vice president of Pioneer) together with Nitadori and others from NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories (who introduced FM broadcasting in 1965) and Masuda and others at DENON.

Die Verwandschaft von MovingCoil System und Schneidköpfen

Moving coil cartridges have essentially the same construction as high-performance cutter heads, and their moving parts are lighter than those of moving magnet cartridges, meaning that it is easy to obtain a flat frequency characteristic close to the input obtained using a cutter head.

However, they had their disadvantages as well: for example, their complicated construction (the way the coils were wound and so on) prevented their needles from being changed easily.

Although the DL-103 cartridge was rated as having sound quality nearly as good as cutter head input (i.e. the output from the master tape), users could not replace the needle.

This cartridge was put on the market for consumer use in 1969, and it is still in production. Though it has contributed to the expansion of the Japanese audio industry for half a century, its amazing sound quality continues to captivate audiophiles even today.

4.3.3 A Long-Playing Medium Born in Japan: the Filmon Sound Belt

When records were first beginning to be recognized as a medium for distributing recorded music and other audio, many of the people involved wished to be able to extend the playback time of SP records somehow.

Anmerkung : Hier gehört eigentlich der Vverweis auf das deutsche Tefifon System - den Musik-"Film" - hin.

In 1937, the "Filmon sound belt" was introduced, invented by Shozo Konishi in response to this demand. The Filmon was a long-playing recording system unique to Japan with an extraordinarily long playback time of 36 minutes – unheard of in a household record.

Filmon – a contraction of “film” and “phone” – was a system for obtaining long playback time by attaching multiple grooves from disk records to an endless tape.

The sound belt was a 13m long endless loop of celluloid tape 35mm wide and 0.3mm thick, wrapped around 23 times, on which audio signals were recorded at a pitch of 80grooves per inch and a linear velocity of 610 mm/sec, to provide over 1.000m of grooves on the tape.

It recorded and reproduced audio signals using the same principles as disk records. This sound belt had up to 35minutes of playback time.

Filmon sound belts were manufactured in much the same was as disk records, and were cut with the same small wide-band cutter head developed by Tsubota for disk records (exterior shown in Fig. 4.2, characteristic shown in Fig. 4.3).

Because the sound belts were longer with more surface area than disk records, they needed a collection of mass-production stages such as electroplating vats exceeding 3meters in diameter and
stages for making and pressing the enormous masters and attaching the sound belts.

Tens of thousands of Filmon players were manufactured and sold to spread Japan’s ambitious and unique long-playing sound recording and reproduction system. Meanwhile, musical content (mainly consisting of rokyoku, nagauta, and kodan performances by master artists) was being eagerly recorded in dedicated studios, with the number of recorded playback titles reportedly reaching 300. This would have equated to approximately 2,000 SP record titles at the time.

One cannot help but admire the passion of Tsubota and the others who worked as a company to develop a new sound reproduction system and to record titles for their new playback medium, all to realize long-playing records (thought to be only a dream at the time), and during the extremely difficult time as Japan teetered on the brink of WW II.

Die "Filmon"-Fabrik wurde 1940 zerstört

Figure 4.16 shows the Filmon player (Filmon FA100) that went on sale in 1937. This Filmon player could also be used to play 78 rpm records. It had an electric motor-driven turntable for disk records on the upper left-hand side, a mechanism for playing Filmon belts directly beneath it, and a small horn on the right, which was driven by a soundbox in the same way as phonograph horns were.

The Filmon was an ambitious, new, uniquely Japanese medium for music. Not only were recorders and players made for it, but new content was developed and produced as well. Although this made the problems that the engineers faced all the more difficult, and although success was hard to come by, it ultimately fostered many of the brilliant engineers that supported the Japanese audio industry after the war.

Filmon grooves were cut using a universal cutter head developed by Koichi Tsubota (shown in Fig. 4.2; characteristic shown in Fig. 4.3) in a similar way to the disk recorders for broadcasting that were described in greater detail in 4.3.

Unfortunately, the Filmon factory was demolished in 1940 as the war intensified, only a few years after it was built, and the Filmon disappeared with it.
Katsuma Tani, who was Koichi Tsubota’s foremost apprentice, penned a
17 moving essay on the Filmon for the JAS Journal in 1980 titled “Reminiscences of the Filmon.”

In it, he wrote: “Though the Japanese audio industry has without a doubt reached the highest standard in the world, behind the creation of this environment are the labors and hardships of those who went before us. For this, they deserve to be held in the highest esteem.”

  • Anmerkung : Das ist natürlich etwas arg lokalpatriotisch übertrieben, denn sowohl die Amerikaner wie auch die Dänen und die Deutschen hatten fantastische Audio-Erzeugniss nach 1939 entwickelt, aber damals nicht public gemacht.

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4.3.4 Japanese Audio and Record Technology Pioneers

Let us now turn our attention to the pioneering engineers who contributed to the expansion of Japan’s audio and record industries after the war.

It is widely known that Koichi Tsubota, founder of Denon in 1939, graduated from the same Department of Electrical Engineering (class of 1933) as Masaru Ibuka, founder of Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, later Sony) and Shigeru Shima, former head of NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories.

The academic support of Takeshi Itow, who was a professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at their alma mater (Waseda University) should also not be overlooked.

Ibuka developed a magnetic tape recorder in 1950, and being an engineer with a great interest with preschool education, he began music education projects, etc., for young children together with his good friend Soichiro Honda, Gen’ichi Kawakami (former representative director of Yamaha Corporation) and the composer Kuranosuke Hamaguchi.

Ibuka was named a Person of Cultural Merit in 1989, and in 1992 he became the first industrialist to be awarded the Order of Culture.

The first Japanese tape recorder (the Sony G Type), which was developed by Ibuka at Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering
Corporation (now Sony), is shown in Fig. 4.17.

  • Anmerkung : Auch hier ist mehr als merkwürdig, daß der Partner von Masaru Ibuka, Akio Morita, nirgendwo erwähnt wird ?? Warum ??

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Ein Blick auf die Ur-Väter japanischer Kultur

One of the first buyers of this tape recorder was Toriro Miki, the father of broadcast writing in Japan, who was born a hundred years ago in 2014.

Miki studied the violin under Anna Ono and the piano under Sealey Watanabe while studying at the Faculty of Law of Tokyo Imperial University (now known as the University of Tokyo).

After graduating, he learned composition from Saburo Moroi, who was the father of composition in Japan. Miki began working in the radio industry in 1946, and took charge of the Jodan Ongaku (Joke Music) show in 1947 for the Nichiyo Gorakuban (Sunday entertainment program), which was said to have emptied the streets (wir nennen das Straßenfeger wie bei uns "Einer wird gewinnen") when it was being broadcast.

He is widely known in Japan as the producer of that famous radio show, full of dry humor, in which he viciously satirized society, which even Shigeru Yoshida (then the Prime Minister of Japan) found to be greatly amusing.

This show used Miki’s own personal tape recorders during production and recording, and thanks to this, we are still able to listen to his radio programs.

Naotake Hayashi, of the same generation as Tsubota, Ibuka, and Shima, who also studied at the University of Tokyo, should also not be overlooked. Hayashi, an innovative and persistent engineer who developed electroacoustic transducers, founded Showa Ko’on Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Showa Photo-Acoustic Industries KK.) in 1938, and then went on to release a condenser microphone under the STAX brand in 1950.

Kopfhörer und Mikrofone von STAX

In 1952 he displayed the CP-20 condenser pickup system at the first Japanese Audio Fair, after which he then worked to develop electrostatic headphones and speakers, commercializing the world’s first electrostatic headphones in 1960. A pair is shown in Fig. 4.18.

In 1963, Showa Ko’on Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha was renamed STAX Industries Ltd. STAX headphones were called “ear speakers,” and even now, over 50 year later, the successors of the original SR-1 remain unassailable as some of the highest-quality headphones on the market.

While these ear speakers have the advantage of having light diaphragms, they also require special amplifiers, which made them expensive and limited their popularity.

Tsubota, who developed the record cutter head that compared with American models, was a violinist and once was the concertmaster for his school orchestra, received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon for “Achievements in contributing to the development of disk recording and reproduction technology” in 1967.

Takeshi Itow was a pupil (Student / Schüler) of Saburo Moroi, father of Japanese composition (and teacher of Toriro Miki), and in addition to composing, wrote the two-volume classic Onkyo Kogaku Genron (Acoustic Engineering Theory) (Corona Publishing Co., Ltd.).

Die diversen japanischen "Society's"

Ibuka, Ito and literary critic Kenzo Nakajima were deeply involved in establishing the "Japan Audio Society", which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. They were also key members of the Japan section of the US-based "Audio Engineering Society" (AES) at the time of its establishment.

Ito worked together with the "Acoustical Society of Japan" and the "Institute of Electronics and Communication Engineers" to encourage apprentices to participate in research activities at academic societies such as the "Electro-Acoustic Research Society", freely providing guidance and support.

Tsubota’s pupils (Studenten / Schüler) included the aforementioned (ausgezeichneten) Katsuma Tani (founder of TEAC), and also Yasunori Mochida (former senior managing director of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd, now Yamaha), Yoshiharu Abe (former director of TEAC), and many other talented individuals in the Japanese audio industry who appeared after the war.

Takeo Yamamoto (former vice president of Pioneer Corporation), who developed cartridges at "NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories" (STRL) for use in broadcasting, went to work at Pioneer where he played a central role in developing LaserDiscs.

Heitaro Nakajima (former president of AIWA), who later supervised the CD development program at SONY, was Yamamoto’s boss at NHK STRL.

Natürlich waren die US-Erfindungen signifikant ....

Although the contributions of AT&T Bell Laboratories and other American companies to the popularization of audio have been significant (as this paper shows), the contributions of NTT Telecommunication Laboratories (called “Japan’s Bell Labs” by some) should not be forgotten.

One such contribution was from Tanetoshi Miura, former president of the "Acoustical Society of Japan". After working at NTT Telecommunication Laboratories, Miura went to the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, and then on to Tokyo Denki University where he conducted comprehensive research into orthostereophonic sound.

In the late 1960s, Miura called attention to matters such as dummy head pickup and surround stereo, the importance of measuring head-related transfer function in Japanese people and the problem of unnatural lateralization in headphones, and the importance of digital recording as a future technology.

In 1943, the Recording Industry Association of Japan was established. Shozaburo Wada (former Imperial Japanese Navy Commander and former director of King Record Co., Ltd.) provided technical support for the association from the beginning, and was later made an advisor.
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Der Vater des japanischen Fernshens

Supporting the Recording Industry Association along with Wada were Kenjiro Takayanagi (former vice president of Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC)), a man known as the father of TV in Japan, Toshiya Inoue (former executive managing director of JVC), the aforementioned Koichi Tsubota (founder of Denon), Takeo Shiga (former managing director of Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.) (who devised methods for cutting piezoelectric elements and invented the “cigar cartridge” which could produce a stereo signal from a pair of piezoelectric elements), and other distinguished Japanese engineers.

Kenjiro Takayanagi, who dreamed of musen-enshi (television), became an assistant professor at Hamamatsu Industrial High School (now the Faculty of Engineering at Shizuoka University) in 1924. He immersed himself in his beloved television development and in 1926 successfully scanned an image of the Japanese character “イ” with a Nipkow disk, transmitted it, and received it using a cathode ray tube. Figure 4.19 shows a reconstruction of the “イ” character on a display at the NHK Museum of Broadcasting.

In 1937, Takayanagi moved to NHK STRL, where he perfected a TV that could display 441 scan lines at 30 frames per second, and in 1939 he successfully performed Japan’s first experimental television broadcast. He continued development with the aim of broadcasting the 1940 Tokyo Olympic Games, but they were canceled.

After World War II, he moved to Victor Company of Japan Co., Ltd. (now JVC Kenwood Corporation), where he worked to improve televisions and train technicians. He was named a Person of Cultural Merit in 1980, and was awarded the Order of Culture in 1981.

Zurück zu "development of audio technology"

Kenjiro Takayanagi taught Toshiya Inoue, who oversaw the development of audio technology. In 1958, Japan’s first 45/45 stereo records were unveiled and demonstrated at Victor Studio in Tsukiji, Tokyo, and they provided a cheerful topic of conversation for the Japanese people as they recovered from the war.

This demonstration is said to have triggered the rapid expansion of the Japanese audio industry. Japan’s first stereo LP (Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, conducted by Fritz Reiner and featuring Emil Gilels on the piano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) (Victor Company of Japan SLS-2001) was released in August of the same year.

In November 1958, JVC’s second stereo LP and Nippon Columbia’s first were released. Toshiya Inoue’s efforts were spectacular. He was involved in the development of VHS, which took the world by storm with VCRs and video cassettes; VHD disks, which competed with LaserDiscs; and the CD-4, which was a discrete 4-channel record.

In 1979 he supervised the editing of the famous Japanese book Records and Record Players.

Shiga Takeo, who received an AES Silver Medal Award for his achievements (including the development of the “cigar cartridge”) (an award later awarded to Toshiya Inoue as well), was a pupil of Hideo Itokawa (formerly of Systems Research Institute), a man known as the father of Japanese space and rocket development, when the latter was conducting research into acoustics.

Another pupil of Itokawa at the same time was Masahiko Morizono (former vice president of Sony). Itokawa graduated from the Department of Aeronautics at Tokyo Imperial University’s Faculty of Engineering in 1935 and joined Nakajima Aircraft Company, where he worked to design fighter aircraft such as the Hayabusa. In 1941, he became an assistant professor at Tokyo Imperial University’s Second Faculty of Engineering in Chiba City, where the influence of the military was relatively weaker.

In 1949, he obtained a degree for his thesis Research concerning Methods of Measuring Minute Displacements due to Acoustic Impedance.

In 1954, Itokawa formed the Avionics and Supersonic Aerodynamics research group at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo. After the Pencil Rockets, the Baby Rockets, and the Kappa rockets were developed and test launched, he was involved with the Lambda rockets, the Mu rockets, and Japan’s first satellite “Osumi.”

Itokawa was a member of his high school music club, where he was deeply involved in music with cello performances and ballet etc.
Masahiko Morizono joined Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (now Sony) in 1953, where he later was involved in developing systems for capturing TV programs. In 1991, he received an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Technology.

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