Yawata city
Hiko Shrine

Modern Times
Ninomiya Chuhachi
Buprestied Style Airplane

In 1915 Chuhachi Ninomiya (1866-1915) founded Hiko Shrine to pray for the repose of victims of airplane accidents around the world (hiko means flight).
Chuhachi Ninomiya was the first inventor of an airplane and a pioneer in airplane development in Japan. In 1891 he invented a crow style propeller plane driven by the elasticity of rubber. It was the first propeller model plane in the world. He also made a model of a buprestied style plane which could carry people. However, it was financially and technically impossible for an individual to develop the airplane drive. Therefore, he submitted a petition to the army for the adoption of his research plan together with an airplane engineering plan. The plane he designed is said to be superior in some aspects of the structure to that which the Wright Brothers designed later.
Chuhachi decided to complete his plane by himself. He joined a pharmaceutical company in Osaka and raised funds through research and the improvement of medicines. He devoted his energies to development of planes. The Wright Brothers succeeded in the world's first flight of a manned airplane in 1903, though Chuhachi had completed the engineering plan of a manned airplane 16 years earlier.
Thereafter he gave up producing airplanes, but whenever he heard news of airplane accidents, he grieved over the victims and constructed this shrine with his own money.

Source: The Yawata municipal government

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