Today in Transportation History – 1873: The Father of Japanese Lighthouses Lights a Lighthouse

Tsuru Shima Lighthouse, which can be found on the island of Tsuru Shima in southeastern Japan and remains in operation today, was first lit. This lighthouse was one of 26 in the Land of the Rising Sun that were designed by Scottish-born engineer Richard Henry Brunton during the early years of the Meiji era, a period in the history of the Empire of Japan that encompassed its steady shift from a largely insular feudal society to a modern and more outward-looking world power. As a part of these major reform efforts, the imperial government commissioned Brunton to help create lighthouses that would better enable foreign ships to sail to and from Japan safely. Brunton’s work on these navigational aids earned him the sobriquet “The Father of Japanese Lighthouses.”

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