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A Wizard with Electricity 3

Ichisuke leaves academia for business, where his long record of achievements earns him the nickname "the father of electricity in japan."

THE ELECTORIC TRAIN

Japan's first electric train on displayat the Third National Industrial Exposition. Ichisuke Fujioka stands next to the driver's cab.
Reference:
Japan's first electric train on displayat the Third National Industrial Exposition. Ichisuke Fujioka stands next to the driver's cab.
[photo courtesy of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc., Electric Power Historical Museum]

At an 1890 exposition, Ichisuke exhibited Japan's first electric train, which he designed himself by modifying a U.S.-built carriage. Later, he supervised construction of the first electric railway in Japan, the Kyoto Electric Railway, which started service in 1895. He also designed the electric motor that powered the train. Subsequently, Ichisuke superintended planning and construction of the Tokyo municipal electric railway. Thus, he played a central role in the spread of the electric railroads in Japan.

POWER GENERATION

In Tokyo Electric Light's early days, Ichisuke was involved in designing and building five power stations in Tokyo, and took part in construction of many power stations in outlying towns as well. Japan's first hydroelectric plant, too, was built under his supervision.

THE ELEVATOR

Picture of the Ryounkaku
Reference:
Picture of the Ryounkaku
[photo courtesy of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc., Electric Power Historical Museum]

Japan's first high-rise, the Ryounkaku, was completed in 1890, and it was equipped with Japan's first electric elevator system, also designed by Ichisuke. Two elevators, each with a 10-person capacity, served the first to eighth floors of the 12-story structure. But the authorities did not approve: half a year after construction, they ordered operation suspended.

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