LtE in CMO #289

From Françoise LAUNAY

® . . . . . . . . .Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 21:51:41 +0100

Subject: Re: Janssen at Nagasaki


Dear Masatsugu,


Many, many thanks for your long message and the beautiful images !


I am especially happy to learn that the stone small shrine that Janssen photographed in 1874 at Nagasaki has been re-found.


I have been in touch with a very kind lady at Nuits St Georges, and I have now got the pamphlet with the photo of Janssen's team. I also know the address of Tisserand's grandson and I shall write to him to know whether he has other documents. I am a bit surprised that the photo is dated 8 May, the day before the transit that is, and to see people who were observing in Nagasaki together with "Chimizou" who was definitely observing in Kobe. I would have thought that everybody was preparing the instruments they were in charge of. In my opinion, the photo was more likely taken several days before the event, maybe in Yokohama, before the team splitting.


I am also very happy that we have both identify Makoto Shimizu without any doubt. Many thanks for all the information about him !


>  Yes, Janssen wrote he was an ancien élève, but it is known

> Chimizou (Shimidzu) was allowed to enter the École Central des Arts

> et Manufactures in 1873 (he went to France in 1868), and so I think it

> must have been improbable for him to have graduated.


I shall get in touch with the Association des anciens élèves, to know whether they have documents dealing with him.

> Recently here it is widely known

> that an interesting photo was

> nicely preserved by what's-his-name

> Ishiguro family (Ishigouro in

> French). Please find two images attached
>here. Full and part. It is said it shows

>the site of French expedition working at the

> Suwa-yama, Kobé. Do you identify the

>telescopes as well as persons

> (including a sailor)? (cf the "part")


A retired teacher who lives in Nantes sent us about one year ago a few photos dealing with Meudon observatory. Among these photos is the very one you sent (!) and I thought it was taken in Nagasaki, though I cannot identify anybody on it. Are you sure it was taken in Kobe ?


> The content between a meeting of Janssen and the

> Foreign Minister Terashima is well known recorded in Japanese.

> Ministry of Education put forward an interpreter called Koga to the

> French team, and Foreign Ministry thought one person was enough. But

> Ministry of Education thought one more interpreter was needed, and

> so the Foreign Ministry offered another called Tsuruda (maybe

> Tourouda in French. In Japan we spell French "ou" as "u". If we want

> to write ru in a French sense, we write ryu).


Very interesting ! I understand now why Janssen wrote both Japanese names in his notebook...


> As you know, Janssen at Nagasaki (reached there on 24 Oct) decided

> to dispatch a subgroup to Kobe (reached again on 30 Nov) because of

> dismal weather, and Tsuruda followed back to Kobe. Though Koga's

> documents were not yet found


hope you'll find them some day...


> there are preserved several useful

> documents written by Tsuruda, and they are sometimes detailed (about

> a detailed schedule of their trip from Yokohama to Nagasaki via Kobe

> and the places at Nagasaki they lodged and so on as well as about

> three Japanese naval officers and two policemen worked at Kobe).


So it must be easy to know whether Janssen, Tisserand and Shimizu were together on the 8th May and in which place...


> Finally I should tell you that I shall visit Nagasaki in the coming

> April. It's partly because the Annual Convention of the Oriental

> Astronomical Association (OAA) will be held on 24 and 25 April

> there, but partly because I want to see the Monumental Pyramid as

> well as other sites related with the Venus Transit in 1874. I shall

> make a further survey about the shrine, and take more images by

> myself and will readily communicate the results to you. I hope I

> will take also good pictures of the surface of the Pyramid where the

> statement



>should have been engraved. The names others here are

> known to be Janssen, Tisserand, Picard, Arents, D'Almeida, Vacher.

> There have been found a base near it several years ago, but as far

> as I compared the reported size, its size was not identical with

> anyone Tisserand described, and so I will make a further survey.


Of course I am especially interested in d'Almeida, a Bresilain who was operating the revolver, and I am looking for a portrait of him in order to identify him on the team photo. Maybe Tisserand's family will help.


> Recently William Sheehan, an American S&T writer, informed me that he

> and John Westfall already published a book on a history of the Venus

> Transit. He was once very interested in the Janssen Revolver, and

> so I suppose they wrote also something about Janssen.


Yes I am in touch with Bill who will probably visit France in June


>  Janssen sometimes alluded to Lowell, and so I would

> be very pleased if you could find a complete list of evaluations

> of Lowell by Janssen.


I shall try and find it for you.


With very best wishes and thanks again


Françoise LAUNAY (Meudon, France)

Observatoire de Paris-Meudon

5 Place Jules JANSSEN        


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