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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 the  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.

DYER Henry (1848-1918) Scottish Mechanical Engineer in Japan

Born in what is now Bellshill in Lanarkshire, he studied engineering at Anderson’s College, now Strathclyde University, and at Glasgow University. In 1873, on the recommendation of his professor, he was awarded the post of first Principal and professor of engineering at the newly constructed Imperial College of Engineering (ICE) in Japan, where he played a major part in revolutionising the Japanese engineering education system. He greatly contributed to the progress Japan made to become an industrial giant, and contributed much to Scottish and Anglo-Japanese relations.

GLOVER, Thomas Blake (1838-1911)

Born in Fraserburgh, Scotland, he went to Japan in 1859. He made a massive contribution to the modernization and industrialization of Japan,  playing a major part in the foundation of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Kirin Brewery. His Nagasaki mansion, which has links to the setting for Madam Butterfly, was presented to the Japanese nation by Mitsubishi and is a very popular tourist destination, and, in an act of further homage , Mitsubishi acquired the Glover family home in Scotland and presented it to the Grampian-Japan Trust.

Website on Brunton’s work in Japan.

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