Topic: Japan/Biography

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πŸ”— Otokichi

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— United Kingdom πŸ”— Japan πŸ”— Japan/History πŸ”— Japan/Biography

Otokichi (ιŸ³ε‰ or 乙吉), also known as Yamamoto Otokichi and later known as John Matthew Ottoson (1818 – January 1867), was a Japanese castaway originally from the area of Onoura near modern-day Mihama, on the west coast of the Chita Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture.

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πŸ”— Seki Takakazu

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Mathematics πŸ”— Astronomy πŸ”— Japan πŸ”— Japan/Science and technology πŸ”— Japan/Biography

Seki Takakazu (ι–’ ε­ε’Œ, 1642 – December 5, 1708), also known as Seki Kōwa (ι–’ ε­ε’Œ), was a Japanese mathematician and author of the Edo period.

Seki laid foundations for the subsequent development of Japanese mathematics known as wasan; and he has been described as "Japan's Newton".

He created a new algebraic notation system and, motivated by astronomical computations, did work on infinitesimal calculus and Diophantine equations. A contemporary of German polymath mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and British mathematician Isaac Newton, Seki's work was independent. His successors later developed a school dominant in Japanese mathematics until the end of the Edo period.

While it is not clear how much of the achievements of wasan are Seki's, since many of them appear only in writings of his pupils, some of the results parallel or anticipate those discovered in Europe. For example, he is credited with the discovery of Bernoulli numbers. The resultant and determinant (the first in 1683, the complete version no later than 1710) are attributed to him. These achievements are astonishing, considering that Japanese mathematics before his appearance was at such a primitive stage. For example, comprehensive introduction of 13th century Chinese algebra was made as late as 1671, by Kazuyuki Sawaguchi.

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πŸ”— Ichiki Shirō

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Biography/arts and entertainment πŸ”— Japan πŸ”— Photography πŸ”— Japan/History πŸ”— Japan/Science and technology πŸ”— Photography/History of photography πŸ”— Japan/Biography

Ichiki Shirō (εΈ‚ζ₯ ε››ιƒŽ, January 29, 1828 – February 12, 1903) was a pioneering Japanese photographer.

Ichiki was born in Satsuma Province (now Kagoshima Prefecture) in Kyūshū on 24 December 1828. He excelled in the study of topics related to gunpowder production in the Takashima-ryū school of gunnery. This talent was recognized by Shimazu Nariakira, the daimyō of Satsuma, who selected Ichiki to be one of his personal retainers. In 1848, Shimazu obtained the first daguerreotype camera ever imported into Japan. Ever fascinated by Western technology, he ordered his retainers (including Ichiki) to study it and produce working photographs. Due to the limitations of the lens used and the lack of formal training, it took many years for a quality photograph to be created, but on 17 September 1857, Ichiki created a portrait of Shimazu in formal attire. All this was recorded in detail in Ichiki's memoirs, which were compiled in 1884.

This photograph became an object of worship in Terukuni jinja after Shimazu's death, but it later went missing. Lost for a century, the daguerreotype was discovered in a warehouse in 1975 and was later determined to be the oldest daguerreotype in existence that was created by a Japanese photographer. For this reason, it was designated an Important Cultural Property by the government of Japan in 1999, the first photograph so designated.

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πŸ”— Atsugiri Jason

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Comedy πŸ”— Biography/arts and entertainment πŸ”— Japan πŸ”— Japan/Biography πŸ”— Japan/Owarai πŸ”— Japan/Gaijin tarento

Jason David Danielson (born April 9, 1986), known professionally as Atsugiri Jason (εŽšεˆ‡γ‚Šγ‚Έγ‚§γ‚€γ‚½γƒ³, Atsugiri Jeison, lit. "Thick-sliced Jason"), is an American comedian based in Japan and associated with Watanabe Entertainment. Danielson's comedic narrative is based on his confusion with kanji, ending with the punchline, "Why Japanese people?!"

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πŸ”— Yasuke – The First African Samurai

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Africa πŸ”— Japan πŸ”— Japan/History πŸ”— Japan/Biography

Yasuke (variously rendered as εΌ₯助 or εΌ₯δ»‹, 彌助 or ε½Œδ»‹ in different sources) was a man of African origin who served as a retainer under the Japanese daimyō Oda Nobunaga. In 1579, Yasuke arrived in Japan in the service of Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano, Visitor of Missions in the Indies, in India.

Yasuke is thought by some to have been the first African that Nobunaga had ever seen and he was one of the many Africans to have come with the Portuguese to Japan during the Nanban trade. He was also present during the Honnō-ji Incident, the forced suicide of Nobunaga at the hands of his samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide on 21 June 1582.