The Orientation of Science and Technology

A Japanese View


One of the most distinguished science historians of the twentieth century, Shigeru Nakayama has been at the forefront of redirecting or ‘reorientating’ conventional East Asian science and technology, arguing, like Joseph Needham, that the ‘orientation of science’ refers not only to the direction of science but also implies a turning to Eastern science. In recent times, he has been arguing for implementation of a ‘Service Science’,which is linked to the rights and needs of mankind. A survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, he majored in astrophysics at the University of Tokyo and wrote on the history of astronomy for his PhD and later on the history of science for his Harvard PhD.
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Biographical Note

Shigeru Nakayama graduated from Hiroshima Higher School in 1948 (physical science major) and from the University of Tokyo in 1951 with an astrophysics major. He then went to the USA as a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded a Ph.D. in the history of science and learning (history of universities) at Harvard in 1959. During his graduate studies, he worked with Thomas Kuhn at Harvard in 1955-56. In 1957 he worked with Joseph Needham at Cambridge, and in 1958 continued his research at the Institute of Humanistic Science, Kyoto University. In 1960, he joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, remaining there until his retirement in 1989. He then moved to the School of International Business Administration, Kanagawa University, where he was Professor of the STS Centre until 2000. Following his retirement he was made Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa and continues to be active in both writing and teaching, becoming Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society in July 2002 and Visiting Professor at UCLA in September 2008.

Table of contents

Preface; Foreword; Introduction; 1 The First Appearance of Aristotelian Cosmology in Japan, Kenkon Bensetsu; 2 On Introduction of the Heliocentric System into Japan; 3 Japanese Studies in the History of Astronomy; 4 Abhorrence of ‘God’ in the Introduction of Copernicanism into Japan; 5 Cyclic Variation of Astronomical Parameters and the Revival of Trepidation in Japan; 6 The Role Played by Universities in Scientific and Technological Development in Japan; 7 Diffusion of Copernicanism in Japan; 8 Grass-Roots Geology – Ijiri Shoji and the Chidanken; 9 Problems of the Professionalization of Science in Late-Nineteenth-Century Japan; 10 History of Science: A Subject for the Frustrated – Recent Japanese Experience; 11 Science and Technolgy in Modern Japanese Development; 12 Public Science in the Modernisation of Japan; 13 Japanese Scientific Thought; 14 The Future of Research - A Call for ‘Service Science’; 15 The Transplantation of Modern Science to Japan; 16 The American Occupation and the Science Council of Japan; 17 Independence and Choice: Western Impacts on Japanese Higher Education; 18 Human Rights and the Structure of the Scientific Enterprise; 19 History of East Asian Science: Needs and Opportunities; 20 The Chinese ‘Cyclic’ View of History vs. Japanese ‘Progress’; 21 The Ideogram versus the Phonogram in the Past, Present and Future; 22 Preface to ‘A Social History of Science and Technology in Contemporary Japan’; 23 The Scientific Community Post-Defeat; 24 Overcoming the Digital Divide between Phonetic and Ideographic Languages; 25 Eighteenth-Century Science: Japan; 26 Technology in History: Japan; 27 Colonial Science: An Introduction; 28. Thomas Kuhn: A Historian’s Personal Recollections; Bibliography; Index


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