The telescope was initially bought by the Department of Astronomy,
Kyoto University in 1927, and was installed in the Kwasan
Observatory when it was founded two years later.
At that time, this telescope was equipped with a 30cm diameter lens.
However, a new 45cm lens manufactured by Carl Zeiss replaced the original
lens in order to improve performance. This replacement required
a longer focal length, and thus necessitated minor changes in the telescope design. For example, the
light which enters the telescope is first reflected by a mirror at
the bottom, and then by a second mirror to form an image at the exit of
an imaging lens mounted in the middle of the telescope.
Such changes made the telescope's appearance quite unique.
The tracking system is powered by gravity, which
is the same method that is often used in antique clocks.