Japanese Computer Pioneers

Mizuno YukioMizuno Yukio

Mizuno Yukio was born on July 16, 1929. He graduated from the Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Science and Engineering of Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1953, and then joined NEC Corporation. He worked on the modernization of production control and achieved a big success applying methods of the operations research. For these achievements, the Tokyo Institute of Technology conferred a degree of Doctor of Engineering on him in March, 1962.

Thereafter, Mizuno engaged in the research and development of software, and carried out the development of basic software as well as application software for the NEAC 2200 series computer. In 1965, he -- together with Furuyama Ryoji, Aoyagi Ritsuo, Takeda Kenkichi, Yoshimura Mitsuyo and others -- developed the latest basic software in those days, such as FORTRAN-D, COBOL-D and MODI-TR. Mizuno did research on CTSS (Compatible Time-Sharing System) under the supervision of Professor John MacCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Subsequently, he accomplished the development of the earliest Time Sharing System (TSS) in Japan -- together with Sugisaki Makoto, Nitta Kenjiro and others -- for Osaka University in 1967.

In 1969, Mizuno contributed substantially to the enactment of JIS COBOL as the chairman of the Committee for setting JIS COBOL Language. By applying the Structured Programming technique into the compiler, he, along with Shinozawa Shoji and others, succeeded in the development of COBOL-S and FORTRAN-S Compilers, the world's first Structured Programming Language.

From 1971, Mizuno _ together with Toka Masao, Furuyama Ryoji, Takayama Yoshi, Tsuji Yusuke, Uchida Yukihisa, and many others _ devoted himself as the project leader to the development of ACOS-2 and ACOS-4 Operating System, which were the most advanced proprietary basic software in Japan. As the top NEC executive responsible for the personal computer business, he was in charge of creating PC-9801 together with Hamada Shunji and contributed to the development of the first commercial PC software enabling the processing of the Japanese language.

Mizuno also enthusiastically worked on the improvement of productivity and quality in the field of software. Together with Fujino Kiichi and others, he launched the SWQC (Software Quality Control) activities as its project leader in 1979 _ ahead of anyone else in the world. Thereafter, he made great contributions in the field of improvement of productivity and quality of software not only in Japan, but also overseas. For these achievements, he was presented with the Deming Prize in 1990 among many others, and in 1993, was awarded the Commendation by the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

Mizuno was appointed Senior Vice President in 1983, Executive Vice President in 1988, and Senior Executive Vice President of NEC Corporation in 1991. Thus he was responsible for supervising the information processing business at NEC as one of the top managers, until he was appointed Chairman of NITSUKO Corporation in 1998. He also contributed to the education of information technology as a part-time lecturer at the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Mizuno, at the Information Processing Society of Japan (ISPJ), served as a director in 1972-1973 and as the president in 1993-1994, and received the Contribution award in 1995 and an honorary membership of ISPJ in 1997. He was conferred the Medal with Blue Ribbon in April, 1997.

Mizuno died on January 24, 2003.

(Miyagi Yoshio)