Japanese Computer Pioneers

Takashima KensukeTakashima Kensuke

Takashima Kensuke was born on February 23, 1928. In 1950, he graduated from Tokyo University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, and in the same year was employed as a telecommunications engineering official at the Telecommunications Research Laboratory of the Ministry of Telecommunications. After entering the Ministry, Takashima continued to make contributions to the development of the telecommunications industry in Japan. Until his retirement from NTT Public Corp. in 1979, he devoted his talents and efforts to research in various fields, and was credited with many significant research accomplishments. He was involved in research targeting high-speed computation technologies using electronic circuits, and contributed to the establishment of computer configuration and design technologies, as well as research and applications for electronic switches and the "Dendenkosha Information Processing System" (DIPS: an original mainframe developed by NTT in 1968). In 1979, Takashima became a professor at Osaka University, turning the deep insight and experience that he had cultivated in a broad range of research activities through his years at NTT Public Corp. to the education of students and the instruction of researchers. At the same time, he took a leading role in the promotion of research into the theoretical performance evaluation of computer communication networks and distributed processing systems.

During his years at the Telecommunications Research Laboratory, Takashima conducted research related to computer technologies, a field in which he was particularly interested. He participated in research into super-computers using digital circuit element parametrons, which had been studied as part of a major research project, and completed the "Musasino-1" -- the first computer in Japan to use parametrons. This research into parametron computers provided impetus for a period of germination for electronic computer technologies in Japan, and played an important role in forming the foundations for computer configuration and programming technologies. Takashima was among the first to envision the coming of the era of data communications, and began research targeting central control units for electronic switches that applied electronic computer technologies. He also promoted research that focused on new computer application methods for connecting electronic computers and communication lines -- methods that would later become the foundation for data communication systems. Based on this research, Takashima began applications of the supercomputer DIPS-1, and became one of the key individuals responsible for method design, achieving practical applications for both hardware and software. With these practical applications, he succeeded in developing Japan's information processing technologies to a level that rivaled that of the United States.

After beginning his tenure at Osaka University, Takashima conducted research in a variety of fields -- including research in multiple access schemes for multi-media communication networks (particularly LANs), theoretical research in performance evaluations for distributed processing systems, and research in programming education using computers -- while offering his valuable guidance to foster younger researchers.

Takashima won high acclaim both in Japan and overseas for his research efforts, having received numerous awards of merit and awards for outstanding research papers. Throughout his lifetime, he made great contributions to the development and popularization of technologies in the computer field.

Takashima Kensuke passed away on May 13, 1986

(Miyahara Hideo)