- 社会経済史学 (ISSN:00380113)
- vol.72, no.3, pp.331-353, 2006
This article focuses on the activities of the Research Groups (Kenkyu han) promoted by the National Research Council of Japan (NRCJ) during World War II. Research collaboration has recently attracted the attention of many scholars as a factor in the development of Japanese technology. In fact, there were a large number of research collaboration activities during the period, and the Research Groups were one of the largest of such groups. NRCJ, established in 1920 under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, had been mainly involved in the promotion of international academic collaboration until World War II. But when the Board of Technology (Gijutsuin) was established for the mobilization of science and technology and the tide of the Pacific War turned against Japan, the Ministry of Education enforced a reform so that NCRJ could launch widespread research collaboration throughout the country. The Research Groups were organized in 1944, and at its peak had 193 groups and a total of over 1,900 scientists. Typical research issues included electronics, scarce and rare materials, and public health. These were similar to those of the Research Neighborhood Groups (Kenkyu tonarigumi), which were promoted by the Board of Technology, resulting in some duplication of activities between the two groups and leading to inefficiency in the mobilization of science and technology research.