Lighthouse Observations

Meteorological Observations of Japanese Lighthouses

In 1868, a British engineer R.H.Branton was invited by Japanese government to command constructions of lighthouses in Japan.  Total number of lighthouses constructed under the command of Branton reached 36 during his stay in Japan for 9 years.
Meteorological observations have been carried out under the control of former MSA(Maritime Safe Agency) since 1877 at all lighthouses 2 to 8 times a day continuously, and most of these observed data have been kept in JMA(Japan Meteorological Agency) in microfilms. Also visual images of data-sheets have been converted to the image files (TIFF format).
The lighthouse meteorological data include air pressures (English inch), temperatures (Fahrenheit), precipitation amounts, wind directions/wind force scales, cloud types/cloud amounts and detailed weather descriptions.


Location of Lighthouse Met. Data in Japan




An example of observational data sheet in 1877 (1877-1881)



An example of observational data sheet in 1882 (1882-1899)


(1) More than 40 lighthouse meteorological data since 1877 are available in the form of image files.
(2) Data for 1877-1881 have twice daily observations at 9:00 and 21:00. Data for 1882- have 8 times a day observations at 0,3,6,9,12,15,18 and 21.
(3) These lighthouse data would be useful for reconstructing daily weather maps and Typhoon tracks in East Asia in the end of 19th century.
(4) Also, these types of data will be especially important as input for a number of Reanalysis Projects undertaken by groups in Europe, the United States and Japan.