About the Subaru Telescope
Director of the observatory
"Culture is not just for enjoyment; it is something we create."
With such a strong aspiration in their hearts, Professor Keiichi Kodaira and other astronomers constructed the Subaru Telescope together with many engineers. Since its first light in January 1999, the Subaru Telescope has been continuing to deliver unique science results that cannot be achieved by other telescopes. What have made this possible? The end of the 1990s was culminated with completion of nine telescopes of an 8-to-10-meter class around the world. The project team may have learned something from those telescopes’ designs, but just following suit of others without being creative would not have allowed them to make what the Subaru Telescope is today. It is the product of both the originality of their defined goal of the performance and the dedication of many people to realizing it. The construction of the telescope itself was finished, but we never cease to add more uniqueness by constantly upgrading science instruments. The spirit of creating culture has been passed down to our generation, and is firmly here to stay. When no other telescopes can offer what the Subaru Telescope can do, astronomers worldwide ask for time on it to take advantage of the unique capabilities. This interaction with different cultures can bring forth a new culture.
The Subaru Telescope, built on the summit region of Maunakea, Hawai`i Island, is Japan’s first research facility that is located overseas. The inception of the project was the start of dealing with a succession of issues never experienced before. Whenever any difficulty arose, people in Hawai`i, Japan and others were always there to steadfastly help us. No words can suffice to express our gratitude for their support. The dedication ceremony and other significant occasions were commemorated by mele, Hawaiian chants, for prayers. Recognizing that their chants are the profound messages of Hawai`i that na kanaka maoli, the Native Hawaiians, pass on from generation to generation, as Director of the Subaru Telescope, I commit myself to respectfully engaging their communities and continuously learning from them.
Developed for over 20 years of history of the Subaru Telescope, the partnership with people in Hawai`i serves as the observatory’s solid foundation and constitutes its culture, which sustains the activities. Carrying on this culture, we are working to enhance programs that reflect needs of wider communities in Hawai`i through close communication with them.
Our focus stays on delivering the benefits of astronomy on Maunakea, the world’s premier site for observing the Universe, to larger and broader communities.