Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 68.djvu/143

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TEN years ago, after Japan's sweeping victory over China, the world was awakened to realize that the Japanese were more than yellow barbarians. And only a score of months ago, when Japan made a declaration of war, Russia scoffed at Japan's overtures, and the world pitied her. To the American and the European eye, it seemed like simple suicide for Japan to go to war with the seemingly most powerful nation on the earth. The opinion that Japan would be wiped out of existence once prevailed even in well-informed military and naval circles. Japan has, however, crushed the faith and the fear. She has triumphed so completely that the world now recognizes that this nation possesses a great fighting power and mighty fighting machines. But how few, indeed, realize that, behind this warlike scene, our men of science are industriously and ingeniously attacking great problems of nature, making discoveries and inventions, valuable not only for warfare, but also for the welfare of humanity, and for the progress of science itself. Saying nothing of the knightly spirit of old Samurai, which has been the soul of Japan, the most important factor in the making of new Japan has been her readiness in scientific research and the applications of science to the arts of peace and war. Japan is preeminently a land of science. It is said that there are more people in Japan who read the books of Darwin and Huxley, Spencer and Mill, Faraday and Tyndall, than in England, the land where these great thinkers lived. "What will Japan do after peace is attained?" This question is often asked, and all intelligent Japanese will unanimously answer that "Japan will once more fight a great battle, not naval or military, but intellectual, for the recognition of her scientific achievements in the world."

Elsewhere I expect to give a full account of the recent progress of science in Japan, but my present task is an attempt to give, within a short space, some idea of the Japanese meteorological service[1] and recent advances in meteorology. One of the Washington newspapers stated some time ago that even Japan has a weather-bureau system.

  1. A full account of the Japanese Weather Service is given in the monograph, 'The Organization of Meteorological Service of Japan,' published by the Central Meteorological Observatory, 1904.