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Interpretation -About Shibuya Library-

Reference:"Shibuya Library Catalog -The Technical Data of Shipbuilding of Navy-"Shibuy Library Investigation Committee
Related Sites:"Shibuya Library" at Faculty of Marine Science, Kobe University (Japanese Only)

The Process of Self-reliance of Navy Shipbuilding

Technology and Mr.SHIBUYA, Ryutaro

The Japanese Navy initiated to import not only fighting naval, but also whole dog yard. Moreover, the Navy concentrated on independence of technology regarding development of human resource as a core problem. As a result of that, the Navy adopted Miyahara Steam Generator that was self-developed to the capital ships exclusively as early as Meiji era.

Mr.MIYAHARA, Jiro, a chief of the 4th section of the Department of the Naval Procurement and Installation, was so willing to adopt steam turbine that he changed his mind about the plan of making the cruiser, IBUKI, and ordered the biggest turbine in the world from the Four River Corporation in 1906. Next September, the turbine was equipped.

In 1912, the Japanese Navy officially changeover from Miyahara Steam Generator to the formal steam generator. Since then, importing and equipping foreign steam generators, the Japanese Navy achieved the self-reliance of shipbuilding technology that made core technologies of steam generator and reciprocal steam engine when Mr.SHIBUYA began his career as a technologist. There was no steam turbines used in Japan but Japanese Navy comprehended the information from advanced countries correctly. Mr.SHIBUYA wrote the following on the p.35 of No.2 (50-002 in Shibuya Library) of "Technological Data of the Imperial Navy (the Production Technology Association 1970)" "When I specialized steam propulsion engine as a student of the Naval War College in 1920, I made layout of engine room that was the same horsepower as the American battle cruiser, Lexington (electric propulsion) for one year. Due to visit of the manager of the fifth section, I became to work at the fifth section from December 1st of this year. At that time, with construction of capital ships, so were many cruisers and destroyers under construction. I was involved in the center of many accidents about turbines of cruisers and destroyers, and was trained very well (snip)."

As this quotation implies, the failure of turbine was terrible accident all over the world then. In general, real innovative technology developed with overcoming trouble, and the steam turbine was not exception. No.1 and 2 turbines of the Imperial Navy were imported from the most authorized manufacturer. However, they had a lot of accidents due to the biggest turbines in the world. Nevertheless, technologists had enough skills to master them, in addition, the right to produce Curtis turbine and Parsons turbine developed the Navy's technology.

In terms of chronological data, the important term of the Imperial Navy's technological self-reliant process and Mr.SHIBUYA's term of a technologist were simultaneous. the Imperial Navy became to be able to equip single cylinder direct-coupled turbines that were laid all out independently by the Department of the Naval Procurement and Installation on the second-class destroyers, MOMO and KASHI (2 engines and 2 shafts, 16700 horsepower) in 1915. When the term of rights that permited the Imperial Navy to manufacture Curtis turbines and Parsons turbines until 1923 and 1928 were expired, the Imperial Navy got its turbines independent from foreign patent both in name and reality.

Mr.SHIBUYA was installed in the core of technology development team as a member of the Department of the Naval Procurement and Installation in 1920. Since then, he contributed to self-reliance of turbine technology. After November of 1944, he worked at an important post of the Department of Naval Procurement and Installation until the end of the war. He also made effort to develop technology in Japan just until he demised on April 8th 1973.

Formal steam generator and turbine-oriented machinery technology of the Imperial Navy was developed smoothly after the formation of formal steam generator, capital ships that were constructed around 1940 had 2 evaporators for 1 engine, and 40000 horsepower of 1 engine for 1 shaft, 4 shafts, 30 exhaust pressure and 350 degree Celsius around the entrance of turbine. As for the internal combustion, the Imperial Navy developed own formal one in practical use. Although large double-acting diesel for YAMATO and MUSASHI were not adopted to both of two, NISSHIN, a seaplane carrier for operational suitability test as a next fighting naval (3 engines for 1 shaft, 47000 horsepower for 2 shafts), adopted them. Including internal combustion, auxiliaries, shafts, propulsion, electricity, and instrumentation, engines of the Imperial Navy performed well enough to accomplish almost all operations against engine troubles for 4-year war time from 1941.

>>History of Mr.SHIBUYA, Ryutaro (in Japanese)

Formation of Shibuya Library

Accumulation of Source Material

Right after the war end, all of governmental organizations got the order that made all government organizations burn each kind of documents, by the same token, the Imperial Navy burned a lot of books. Furthermore, the GHQ commanded the government of Japan to submit materials of the war time, which must have unrooted almost all capital technical data.

Under the circumstances, the Imperial Navy's heads of departments had a conference and decided to embark a project to accumulate, investigate, and analyze the technological data as much as possible regardless of the completion of the investigation, then the first survey began with 500000 yen of emergency military fund. However, implementation of the project became to be impossible because of blockading currency and exchanging it for new one, in addition to disbandment of the Imperial Navy.

Consequently, tentative hundreds of people responsible were appointed to collect the drafts with their memory by the end of June of 1946. In the meanwhile, he tried founding the organization to continue the project for time being. As the result, the Production Technology Association Corp. was founded as an authorized corporation. Most drafts were collected in the deadline of the end of June, 1946, and he worked hard to amass the data of the US Navy, personal data of the Imperial Navy and other technological paper materials. The number of the data was over 2000, and these data were made available for those who required. The published books on the basis of the data were 5 books called the "Technical Data of the Japanese Imperial Navy" described above. Since 5 of the books were defined as the first piece, Mr.SHIBUYA hoped that other pieces would be published successively at that time.

Mr.SHIBUYA passed away at the age of 86 on April 8th, 1973, and his age when the "Technological Data of the Japanese imperial Navy" was published was as old as 83. Members who managed the Production Technological Association with Mr.SHIBUYA might have ended their life after another. Therefore, taking into deliberate consideration his age, he made his decision to dismiss the association peacefully, and designed to prevent the collected data by the PTA from being scattered. He seemed to image that the Editors Committee of Marine Engine History played active role when he presented conglaturations as one of the founders in the inaugural general meeting. So some parts of collected data of the association (but, most of them play important role) were contributed to the committee of Marine Engineering Society in Japan.

Coincidentally, Professor MUKOUHARA, Seiya and Professor SAKAMOTO, Kenzo of Kobe University of Mercantile Marine were members of commission, accordingly, voluntary instructors including two of this university tentatively stored the data with caution. In the reality, voluntary instructors had to treat the data as tentative storage because the data had no catalog and the detailed contents were unspecified, which meant that this university could not accept these data as formal data. In addition, the quantity of the data were too enormous for poor funded the Editors Committee of Marine Engine History of Marine Engineering Society in Japan to make catalog. The materials in a locker was arrived from Tokyo, and after arranged in the Marine Sankokan, the data placed in a locker. However, 20 years could not help but drift from place to place.

Launch of the Project of Cataloging

One of the autumn days of 1991, angels did dance on pinheads. ISHITANI, Kiyomoto and TAKEDA, Yasuo, the heads of the Editors Committee of Marine Engine History visited Kobe University of Mercantile Marine to check the materials. When they pulled out a drawer and picked sheets of paper out with speaking about the EICE (Rinkicho), they found the sheets the original text of the EICE (Rinkicho) Report sealed with still-raw vermilion by YAMAMOTO, Isoroku, an assistant secretary of the Imperial Navy and a chairman of the EICE (Rinkicho).

Both recieved a great blow, and ISHITANI reported it to the Marine Engineering Society in Japan, and Takeda reported it to YOSHIDA, Manabu, an adviser of Kawasaki Heavy Industry Ltd. then, YOSHIDA contacted with the Naval History Preservation Society (founded on Jul, 1985) about the fact. It was 7 months just before the final deadline of history drafts planned to be published by the Preservation Society.

To secure a budget of cataloging, contents of target materials must be identified not so precisely but accurately. However, the data had not been specified at all, members were supposed to get start from reference about the contents. The Naval History Preservation Society was aforetime concerned about the trace of the data collected by Mr.SHIBUYA in the PTA, but it had to budget for the project as soon as possible. Drawing up the budget needs an organization and its budget. Therefore, Sibuya Library Investigation Committee was founded as a tentative small like-minded organization, and launched the preparation. In consequence, a preparatory meeting for the establishment of special interest group of Sibuya Library Investigation in the Editors Committee of Marine Engine History of the Marine Engineering Society in Japan was taken place, and this special interest group had started up its action funded by the Naval History Preservation Society since March 6th, the date of the first conference.

The Epitome of the Contents of Shibuya Library

This Shibuya Library includes the following different 4 kinds of materials.

  1. Technological materials produced by the Japanese Imperial Navy
  2. Other materials produced by the Japanese Imperial Navy
  3. Technological materials produced by other than the Japanese Imperial Navy
  4. Other materials produced by other than the Japanese Imperial Navy

As an example of these materials of I., Vice Admiral SUGI, Masato left data collectively to Mr.SHIBUYA when the Vice Admiral retired a chief of the Department of the Naval Procurement and Installation, and some (but perhaps capital parts) of the materials exist, but we will find the truth by up-coming research. The materials seem to include raw data about steelmaking skills and factory management of military factory at Kure.

The Production Technology Association presided by Mr.SHIBUYA made own catalog of the material in order to cope with some sorts of problems, which means that a number of material about ship-building, artillery, electric weapons and marine weapons existed when the catalog (the PTA catalog, 78-013) was produced. However, those of the data are missing now. Also, some members expected to find the original data about statistics of marine turbine accidents and engine history of the Imperial Navy, but neither were found.