First airplane flights in Japan

(Updated on October 13, 2021.)

On December 8, 2013, I went to Yoyogi Koen (park) in Shibuya, Tokyo and visited a monument for the first aeroplane flights in Japan that took place in 1910 there. Why was it there? Because the flights were made by two army captains on the military drill grounds that later became the park. On December 19, 1910, Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa flew France's  Farman III biplane (powered by a 50hp engine) for a distance of 3,000m in four minutes and reached a height of 40m. This flight was followed on the same day by Captain Kumazo Hino who flew Germany's Grade ll monoplane (powered by a 24hp engine) for 1,000m.  


Here are the photos of the aeroplanes.


Farman III biplane
Source: "Nihon Koukuki Soshu V.6", 1960,  by Shupan Kyodosha


 Grade II monoplane

Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-2008-0141/CC-BY-SA


This is the monument at the park.

The statue of captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa standing nearby. 


The original Farman III biplane is being displayed at the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum, Tokorozawa city, Saitama prefecture. 


Addendum: Both captains were sent  to France by the Japanese army in order to learn how to fly and then to purchase airplanes. Captain Tokugawa (1884-1963),

a member of the Tokugawa family, became Lieutenant General and a baron. Captain Hino (1878-1946) left the army in 1918. His interest was focused on inventing aircraft related mechanisms and engines, but without much success.  

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