Introduction to the History of Science and Technology

By National Museum of Nature and Science

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

The myriad-year Clock

57cm in height and decorated with cloisonné, lacquer work and mother-of-pearl, this large standing spring-driven click was made in 1851 by Hisashige Tanaka (1799-1881), a prominent engineer during the late Tokugawa era to the early Meiji period, after spending nearly a rear on the project. The six dials at the top features Western and Japanese time dials, as well as weekly, monthly and zodiac settings. On the upper part is an astronomical dial mechanism and the old Japanese temporal hour system of employing the time of sunrise and sunset in particular indicate Tanaka's high level of mechanical expertise and deep knowledge of nature science. Japan was capable of smoothly adapting Western science and technology in the Meiji period owing to the foundation laid down during the Edo period. The Myriad-Year Clock is a historical monument symbolizing Tanaka's contribution in bridging science and technology from the Edo period to Meiji period.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

A split-type dial that indicates the non-fixed-time method time

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Twenty-four solar term dial

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Indication of the seven days and the time strike

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Showing the date by the 10 calendar signs and twelve horary signs

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Sign plate for the lunar calendar and the waxing and waning of the moon

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Western watch

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Tempo ceremony showing the moon and sun's appearance (celestial model).

The sun and moon change their orbit with the season, the altitude of the sun rises in the summer, and the altitude drops in the winter.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

The process of cloisonné decoration.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

The process of "Decorative pillar" of "Watermark carving" and an ornamental cap.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

The process of engraving.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

The process of making wood inlay, fixing, and gold lacquer.

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Internal structure of the myriad-year clock.

A complex combination of gears...

The Myriad-Year ClockNational Museum of Nature and Science

Credits: Story

This exhibition is based on Global Gallery 2F : Progress in Science and Technology

Photo : NAKAJIMA Yusuke

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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