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BRUNTON, Richard Henry FRGS MICE (1841-1901) Father of Japanese Lighthouse Service

Born Muchalls, Kincardineshire, Scotland. He was sent from Edinburgh to Japan in 1868, on the recommendation of the Stephenson brothers, to head a project to install a series of western style lighthouses and light vessels around its coast. He established a system for lighthouse keepers modeled on the that used by the Northern Lighthouse Board in Scotland, and a school to train them, along with engineers and craftsmen. This was Japan’s first school of Civil Engineering and it eventually became theĀ  renowned University of Yokohama. He made an immense contribution to the city and its port through his civil engineering skills. He was also consulted by the Japanese on the country’s first railway which he said should, and did eventually run between Tokyo and Yokohama. His insistence in the use of sound mathematics eventually led to him creating Japan’s first school specialising in maths and closely associated subjects.

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