Japanese Computer Pioneers

Minamisawa NoburoMinamisawa Noburo

Minamisawa Noburo was born on February 11, 1918, and graduated from School of economics of the University of Tokyo. He joined Onoda Cement and promoted consistent mechanization of office processing as the division manager specializing in the Administrative Division information processing since 1953. He was inaugurated as the chairman of the board of directors of Japan Computer Utility Association and the vice president of Japan Data Processing Association after a while.

The general recognition to computers in our country of the 1950s was the grade that they could be used for a weather forecast etc. The punch-card system was chiefly used for mechanization of office calculation. Minamisawa was ordered business mechanization from Houroku Ando of the president of Onoda Cement, he thought that computers would be utilized for rationalization of office calculation, and examination was started to move this to enforcement in 1953.

In the punch-card system, in order for the handmade business of an input to take a labor, it had become an obstacle to consistency of various kinds of business. Although this is general common sense now, since being that the mechanization of office calculation itself was new, and rationalizing the whole office calculation those days did not remain in replacement of mere calculation business, generally it was not accepted. Minamisawa's view was advanced .

He started examination of computer introduction since 1953, worked out a detailed plan, and reached the concept of one system. It was the M formula synthesis mechanization/management indicator determination data consistent processing system. Since the design for Minamisawa was not performed by others, Ando, the president, supported promoting. UNIVAC cooperated in the design for him and it decided to introduce UFC. However, since it was the time when it took years by import from order of a computer, he started from the punch-card system of IBM first.

Minamisawa visited the United States, and inspected the integrated data processing system in 1956. Also in the United States of America, this attracted attention as the newest data-processing system, and just went into practical use in US steel, Ford, Merrill Lynch, etc. This was just his design itself and was waiting for introduction of a computer full-scale for the realization. Although the design for Minamisawa was unique existence in our country, it was evaluated correctly in the U.S. those days. Onoda Cement introduced the computer UFC (UNIVAC File Computer) completely in 1959.

Minamisawa not only constituted the system of his company from pioneering thought, but educated the world through works, such as "Management Automation" (Doubunsya,1957), "Automation and Economics" (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd,1958), and "Automation
and Accountancy" (Doubunsya,1958). The role which he played in the office rationalization and the realization of online system in our country was large.

(As of Aug. 29, 2003)