Table of Contents:
Through contact with Dutch traders, Japan had early access to western knowledge. In the Edo period (1603-1868), a total of more than 10,000 books on medicine and technology were imported from Holland. The number of Japanese, who could understand Dutch and acquire the knowledge from Western country, was by the end of the Edo period about 3,000. They disseminated the technical, medical and cultural knowledge from the West through their job as teacher in the schools of Western science (yôgaku-Juku), which were the center of reception and diffusion of Western knowledge in the Edo period.
This accumulated knowledge about the western technology and medicine was increasingly implemented since the mid-19th Century to develop their own techniques. The Japanese industrialization occurred thus with a long-term knowledge and technology transfer from the West and therefore cannot be considered as a spontaneous, by the new Meiji government inspired phenomenon. The industrialization of Japan must be analyzed much more in its historical continuity and contexts. In the so-called the Japans era of the Industrial apprenticeship (1850-1870), many early industries were established in Japan.
In this era there was a vocational training for technical specialists largely independently, but also, as for example in the Nagasaki shipyard, by foreign specialists and masters. The human capital formation in the Yokosuka shipyard began in the time of the Japans industrial apprenticeship and completed their training program in the industrial boom. Between 1865 and 1907 there were nearly 300 engineers and foremen trained. The graduates received after their training directly a higher position as an engineer or a teacher in other shipyards and training schools, such as in 1873 founded Kôbu dai-gakkô (College of Engineering). It can be easily assumed, that in the Yokosuka shipyard-trained engineers for the diffusion of technical knowledge in Japan and thus contributed superbly to the industrialization of Japan. This work will attempt to explain, how the training of highly qualified technical staff in the early stage of the industrial development in Japan organized and how important this human capital formation in the Yokosuka Ship Yard for the industrialization of Japan was.