Heinrich Edmund Naumann und die Entwicklung der Geowissenschaften in Japan

Küppers, Andreas N.

Heinrich Edmund Naumann was certainly not the first geologist to enter Japan when he arrived in August 1875 at the age of 21. But as an o-yatoi gaikokujin (employed foreigner) he was to become the first professor in this subject in Japan, teaching at the University of Tōkyō. He instructed the first generation of geo-scientists, whose work has had a lasting impact up to the present. Naumann’s outstanding contributions include: the first tectonic map of the Japanese archipelago, which remained accurate for a long time; the analysis and interpretation of the dominant tectonic elements of Japan, which meant the first geo-scientific analysis of volcanic activities in Japan; the compilation of historical data on earthquakes together with the creation of a macro-seismic scale; and finally various contributions in the field of paleontology. His most significant achievement was the foundation of the Chishitsu Chōsajo (Geological Survey of Japan). He directed the scientific work of this national geological service during its first years and soon achieved a standard of research comparable with international levels. The Geological survey was essential for macro-economic resource management and for the economic development of Meiji Japan.