Visit to Sendai, Japan in 1986

I have received the itinerary and the official report of Allan’s visit to Japan in 1986, as well as many pictures, from Prof. Akira Shima of Tohoku University, Institute of High Speed Mechanics at that time and Institute of Fluid Science now, through Prof. Yuka Iga. The reports are available from:  [Itinerary] [Report]. Prof. Shima stayed with Allan long time before and arranged the visit. He is happy that he was appointed as a Fellow of ASME, recommended by Allan.

The documents remind me of the emergency phone call from Prof. Ohashi, on March 23, 1986. Allan’s flight JL61, scheduled to land at Narita, was diverted to Osaka because of heavy snow at Narita. All roads to Narita were closed. Prof. Ohashi was concerned that Allan could be kidnapped in the cabin till Narita is reopened and asked me to rescue him at Osaka. We were happy to welcome him as the first guest to our new apartment. He traveled to Tokyo by Shinkansen on the next day and could fit into the original schedule.   

Another memory is associated with his invited talk at the Cavitation Symposium. To show the cavity inception in the laminar separation bubble, he planned to use a high-speed film. However, the meeting site did not like him to use their movie projector:they were afraid of film jamming. Since the film was the key of his talk, we negotiated with the site saying that we will take all the responsibility in case of jamming, although we were not sure how we could. His talk was perfect: it proved that “take responsibility” is a key phrase in Japan.

The latter part of the report was written by Allan himself and I now learned from it that motivation and preparedness is very important for us engineers and researchers. He found that engineers in Japan are requested to be a specialist not only in a field but sometimes requested to lead a group in another quite different field. He argues that this might be very stressful not only for the engineers but also for their managements.  The flexibility he found might be a strong point of Japanese engineers and we might need to cultivate it also in the future.

Thank you Allan, for your careful observations and warm suggestions!!

Yoshi, based on material from Prof. Akira Shima, September, 2019

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