Nobumichi ARIGA
Name Nobumichi ARIGA
Department & group Department of Science and Engineering, Division of History of Science and Technology
Degree Ph.D. (Letters) (Kyoto University)
E-mail E-mail

Research Field

Dr. ARIGA is a historian of science and has been working for four years at the museum. His research interest is broad and diverse, and there are two principal concerns: the history of methods and concepts in physical and mathematical sciences, and the history of "science-based technology" in modern Japan. In addition to these, he is increasingly engaged in archival activities of Japanese scientists and research institutions.

Research Contents

Dr. ARIGA prefers to think about the "big picture" which integrates "Western" and "Japanese" versions of the history of science and technology. He is aiming for this through historical studies on the following research subjects.

1. History of Mechanics
He has studied the history of mechanics in eighteenth-century Europe since he first took his postgraduate course. In his PhD study, he deeply examined the concept of force by critically reading primary texts of mathematicians and philosophers including Euler and Lagrange.

2. History of Computational Science
One of his academic interests is about how computers have changed science and technology. He set out to make a series of comparative research on the beginnings of computer simulations, which are mainly based on Japanese cases. The first example is the numerical weather prediction developed in the 1950s.

3. Introduction of Western Science to Meiji Japan
He is curious about the reception of sciences from Europe and the United States, including not only scientific knowledge but also the social system of research and education. In particular, he aims to understand these Japanese developments in the context of a contemporary situation in the West.

4. Aspects of "Technological Innovation" in Postwar Japan
He is also trying to reconsider the development of Japanese technology after the World War II, chiefly by paying attention to different kinds of discourse and representation. Examples include the governmental White Papers and the Expo '70 held in Osaka.


I was trained in the philosophy and history of science department at Kyoto University and joined the museum in 2013. I hope to make contributions to the academic world (both domestic and international) as well as the public understanding of the history of science in my country.