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Ichisuke Fujioka

A Wizard with Electricity

They dubbed him the "father of electricity in japan" for his long list of technological achievements.

Ichisuke Fujioka

Toshiba's other founder, Ichisuke Fujioka, was born in 1857, the eldest son of a samurai. At eighteen he began studying under Professor William Ayrton, an expert in telegraphy and electric lighting. Later, he switched on Japan's first arc lamp, at a location in Ginza. In 1884, on a tour of the United States, Ichisuke met Thomas Edison, the “King of Inventors,” and reportedly pledged to devote himself to establishing a Japanese electric power industry. After returning home, Ichisuke started to manufacture prototypes of incandescent light bulbs, and, he set up his own firm, Hakunetsu-sha, in 1890.

After intense effort, he succeeded in developing an economical, durable light bulb, and went on to lay the foundations for a domestic electric power industry that could hold its own against the Europeans and Americans. He was also involved in constructing an electric railway and the introduction of electric power to the nation. Ichisuke was true to his word to Edison: he took Japan into the age of electricity.

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