Yosami Radio Transmitting Station

The Yosami Radio Transmitting Station in Kariya (then called Yosami Village, Hekikai-gun), Aichi, Japan was accredited the IEEE Milestone, in 2009, as the Japan’s first wireless telecommunication station with Europe built in 1929.

History of the Yosami Radio Transmitting Station

HOME > History of the Yosami Radio Transmitting Station > History of Communication

History of Communication

Information-communication must have started with the start of mankind, and various inventions have been created for fast and reliable communication.

Communication for the prestige or battles

In ancient times, beacon fire was used for the messages of kings, and fighting battles. Not mentioning Greek and China, in Japan the platforms for beacon fire were constructed on the hill along the coast to let the intruders’ news informed to the ruler in the Yayoi Era from 4th century BC to the 3rd century AD. In empires such as Rome, Mongolia, and Inca, the information-communication was advanced via relay points with the use of runners or horses. This was made possible by strong political and economic powers to construct road network, and thus such roads function as today’s communication channel.

In Japan, the system of express messengers started in the Kamakura Era of the 14th century, and in the Edo Era of 17th to 19th centuries, the fastest letters by express messengers are said to have reached from Edo, today’s Tokyo, to Kyoto, of some 500km, in as few as three days. The rice market in Dojima, Osaka, needed even faster communication, and they made it possible to relay messages by hand flag in just 3 minutes from Dojima to Wakayama, and four minutes from Dojima to Kyoto. The method had been used until the beginning of the 20th century.

Communication in the Electricity Age

1From the late 18th century to the 19 century, discoveries were made on electricity, and magnetism generated by electricity was discovered by English scientist Michael Faraday. Research had developed on electrical current, electromagnetic and electric waves, and some electric appliances were manufactured, before U.S. scientist Samuel Morse succeeded in transmitting electric signals between Washington and Baltimore of a distance of 60km by wire.

The Trans-Atlantic telegraph wire was laid in 1858, followed by in Americas, Asia, and Africa. By the beginning of the 20th century, 60% majority of such telegraph wire network was occupied by the British Empire. In Japan the first telegraph wire was set between Tokyo and Yokohama in 1869, and the connection between Tokyo and Aomori, the northern city of Honshu Island, in 1874, and within a few years the Japanese Archipelago was roughly run through the network.

U.S. scientist Alexander Graham Bell put human voices on the wire, and obtained his patent on telephone in 1876. Since wired telegraph was not able to communicate with ships, the study on wireless telegraphy had been studied, and Marconi, in Italy, succeeded wireless telegraphy in 1895. Wireless telegraphy was set on the Japanese Imperial Navy war ships in 1903, and that led the Japanese Imperial Navy victory in the Japan-Russia War in 1905.

Telecommunication Age with Technical Advancements

The Yosami Radio Transmitting Station was built in the Drastic Change Era of Communication round 1920s. Soon the study on TVs started, and the spread use of radios was observed in 1937 in Japan. In 1926 Shuji Yagi invented the Yagi antenna, and in 1928 Kenjiro Takayanagi succeeded in electrical TVs, making Japan then advanced in the world.

In 1955 just after the beginning of TV broadcasting in Japan, the number of TV sets in the country marked 1,500, and had rapidly increased with the economic growth. Color TVs and FM radio broadcasting were developed. Current major communication tools are cellular phone and the Internet that would be further developed for the future. The Yosami Radio Transmitting Station occupies a unique position in the history of communication.

The Yosami Radio Transmitting Station to Europe, from four hours to 15 minutes

In April 1929, Yosami Radio Transmitting Station was completed and began telecommunication, to Europe being Warsaw the firs destination two ways. Telegrams were sent to Yosami from the Nagoya Wireless Telegraph Station by land line, and the Kaizo, later called Yokkaichi, Receiving Station in Kaizo Village, Mie Prefecture, receives the messages from Europe. The time of four hours to transmit messages to Europe by marine cable had reduced to merely 15 minutes by Yosami with improved quality. Soon the destinations included Berlin, London, and Paris. Yosami served the London Naval Conference and the League of Nations Conference in Switzerland.

・Sadao Hoshina "Information and Cultural History of Communication" Hosei University Press 2006
・"How Telecommunications Work" Shinsei Publishing 2008
・Shiro Onizuka "History of Telecommunication" Tokyo Tosho Shuppan 2007