Sakuhei Fujiwhara

Last updated
Sakuhei Fujiwhara
Fujiwara Sakuhei in 1949.jpg
Taken in September 1949
Born(1884-10-29)October 29, 1884
DiedSeptember 22, 1950(1950-09-22) (aged 65)
Alma mater Tokyo Imperial University
Known for Fujiwhara effect
Awards Japan Academy Prize (1920)
Scientific career
Fields Meteorology

Sakuhei Fujiwhara [nb 1] (藤原 咲平,Fujiwara Sakuhei, October 29, 1884 – September 22, 1950) was a Japanese meteorologist who became the namesake for the Fujiwhara effect. Novelist Jirō Nitta is his nephew and mathematician Masahiko Fujiwara is his grandnephew.

Japanese people are an ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.5% of the total population. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to mainland Japanese people, specifically Yamato people. Japanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.

Fujiwhara effect

The Fujiwhara effect, sometimes referred to as the Fujiwara effect, Fujiw(h)ara interaction or binary interaction, is a phenomenon that occurs when two nearby cyclonic vortices orbit each other and close the distance between the circulations of their corresponding low-pressure areas. The effect is named after Sakuhei Fujiwhara, the Japanese meteorologist who initially described the effect. Binary interaction of smaller circulations can cause the development of a larger cyclone, or cause two cyclones to merge into one. Extratropical cyclones typically engage in binary interaction when within 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of one another, while tropical cyclones typically interact within 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) of each other.

Jirō Nitta is the pen name of popular Japanese historical novelist Hiroto Fujiwara. He was born in an area that is now part of the city of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.



Early life

Born in the city of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Fujiwhara received his primary education at Takashima Common Elementary School and Suwa Higher Elementary School, where he was in the same class as future army general, Tetsuzan Nagata. He was also close friends with Shigeo Iwanami, who would go on to found the Iwanami Shoten Publishing company. He joined the Central Meteorological Observatory (current Japan Meteorological Agency) in 1909 after completing undergraduate studies in theoretical physics at Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo).

Suwa, Nagano City in Chūbu, Japan

Suwa is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 March 2019, the city had an estimated population of 48,972 in 20698 households, and a population density of 452 persons per km². The total area of the city is 109.17 square kilometres (42.15 sq mi).

Nagano Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Nagano Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan. The capital is the city of Nagano.

Tetsuzan Nagata general in the Imperial Japanese Army

Tetsuzan Nagata was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, famous as the victim of the Aizawa Incident of 1935.

Academic career

Fujiwhara earned his doctorate in 1915 through his research work on the abnormal propagation of sound waves, and earned the Japan Academy Prize in 1920 in recognition of his research. He traveled to Norway in the same year to study meteorology under Vilhelm Bjerknes.

Doctorate academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi. In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a number of doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

The Japan Academy Prize (日本学士院賞) is a prize awarded by the Japan Academy in recognition of academic theses, books, and achievements. An award ceremony has been held every year since 1911. Up to nine of these Prizes are awarded every year. There have been 676 winners and 592 winning works as of 2005. They comprise a certificate, medal, and prize money of one million yen.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

He joined the Central Institution for the Training of Meteorologists (current Meteorological College of Japan) as general director after returning to Japan in 1922. He started his tenure as a professor at Tokyo Imperial University in 1924, and succeeded Takematsu Okada as the fifth director of the Japan Meteorological Agency in 1941.

Japan Meteorological Agency meteorological service of Japan

The Japan Meteorological Agency, JMA, is an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It is charged with gathering and providing results for the public in Japan that are obtained from data based on daily scientific observation and research into natural phenomena in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, seismology and volcanology, among other related scientific fields. Its headquarters is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

Later life

Fujiwhara participated in the development of the fire balloon during the Pacific War, and was purged from his position after the conclusion of the war. He retreated to the countryside afterwards to concentrate on his writing, and devoted his efforts to educating the future generation of meteorologists and researching meteorological phenomena such as vortices, clouds and atmospheric optics. He also spearheaded the study of gliders in Japan, and became a member of the Japan Academy in 1937.

Pacific War Theater of World War II fought in the Pacific and Asia

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean theatre, the South West Pacific theatre, the South-East Asian theatre, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Soviet–Japanese War.



  1. He preferred to spell his surname as Fujiwhara, which is unusual by modern standards: Hepburn romanization (Fujihara or Fujiwara) is more common after World War II. Japanese texts give the furigana for his name as either Fujihara, Fujiwara, or both.

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