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- A (largest)Ultrasound investigations in Japan probably originated at Tohoku University, Sendai. In the history of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tohoku University, Professor Heiiichi Nukiyama studied on elctroacoustic transducers with Professor A. E. Kenelly at Harvard University in Boston early from 1917 to 1919. After he returned to Tohoku Imperial (then Imperial) University in Sendai, he taught ultrasonics in his department and his knowledge and findings spread through his many student researchers and engineers throughout Japan. In 1936, Professor Nukiyama was awarded a highest prize on science and technology in Japan, the Asahi Prize, on the development of underwater telephony (hydrophony) and magnetostriction ultrasonic transducers. Professors Yoshimitsu Kikuchi and K. Shibayama of Tohoku University, and Professor J. Saneyoshi of Tokyo Institute of Technology - all students of Professor Nukiyama - cultivated ultrasoncs in such fields as underwater ultrasonics, non-destructive testing, ultrasonics in medicine and biology. Many engineers working in ultrasonics industries later on have continued their good relationships with Tohoku University.
Kenji Tanaka and Toshio Wagai, surgeons at the Juntendo University, Tokyo, together with Rokuro Uchida, a physicist, were also researching into the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of breasts and other tumors at the Nihon Musen Radiation and Medical Electronics Laboratory which had later become the AlokaŽ Company in 1950, headed by Uchida. Uchida built Japan's first ultrasonic scanner operating in the A-mode in 1949. Tanaka and Wagai with the help on instrumentations from Yoshimitsu Kikuchi from Sendai started their formal ultrasound research in 1952. Wagai's successors later on included Hiyashi Takeuchi, M Ishihara and H Murooka in Tokyo, who delivered their first paper on ultrasound diagnosis of gynecological masses in Japan in 1958, but which had not been known to the west until much later. AlokaŽ produced their first Commercial medical scanner (A-scope), the SSD-2 in 1960.