Japanese Computer Pioneers

Yamamoto KinkoYamamoto Kinko

Yamamoto Kinko was born on Februry 8,1928 in Tokyo, and graduated from Mathematical Department of Tokyo Women's College in 1948. Right after the graduation she joined the Electrotechnical Laboratory of the Ministry of Communications. In 1950, the ETL Division she worked for became a part of the Electrical Communication Laboratories of NTT. There, in the early days of Japanese computers she encountered developmental work of the MUSASHINO-1 parametron computer, which was completed in 1957. Yamamoto participated in reseach and development of software for the MUSASINO-1. In 1958, when Japanese computers of commercial base were about to appear, Yamamoto moved to newly established Computation Center of Japanese Electronic Industry Development Association(JEIDA), where she engaged in developing various advanced but practical programs such as landform revising program of aerial photographs. She also engaged in educating programers, and joined Moriguti Sigeiti of the University of Tokyo in developing the common assembly language "SIP"(Symbolic Input Program) for teaching programming. She participated in many seminars to teach programming techniques, and made a substantial contribution to the increase of Japanese computer population.

In January 1968, when JEIDA Computation Center was transferred to Japanese Information Processing Development Cooperation(JIPDEC), Yamamoto was appointed as Manager of Development Department, in which capacity she concentrated her efforts to research and development of novel software. In 1969 she launched development of TSS with the use of Japanese computers. Between 1973 and 1977 she engaged in developing JIPNET, a distributed heterogeneous computer network, which was after the model of the ARPANET. The JIPNET was an experimental network consisting of three different mainframe computers, IMPs, TIPs, and highspeed communication lines. It was referred to when the N1 Network of Universities was built, and was transferred to the joint experimental research project, RSS, among Ministries.

In 1985 Yamamoto was appointed to a Managing Director of the Board of the JIPDEC, in which capacity she was active in supporting the Fifth Generation Computer Project of MITI, and was made a member of various Committees of Governmental Ministries and Agencies. She participated in the MITI project promoting education for information-oriented age, proposed a framework for such education, and gave a guidance on determining 17 sets of curriculum and developing model texts for such curricula.

In 1975-1976 and 1979-1980, she served as a Director of the Board of the Information Processing Society of Japan. In 1980, she was the head of Japanese Office for the IFIP Congress 80 organized jointly by Japan and Australia. In 1992, she was awarded a prize for these contributions.

On September 10, 1997, Yamamoto Kinko died of natural causes at the age of 69.

(Takahashi Shigeru)