Enjoy Simple English 2019/5/6-2
Japan Without a Mapニッポンぶらり旅
A＆B @ Tanegashima Island 種子島-2
Guns? Let’s go!
Look at all the antique guns. Oh, you can also learn about the history of Tanegashima and its natural environment.
That’s nice, but I want to know more about the guns! Akito Well, after the Portuguese came, the leader of this island, Tanegashima Tokitaka, ordered the people to make guns in Japan. Guns soon became popular. Some people say that because many samurai used them, it helped end the sengoku-jidai, or Warring States period.
Ah, I see. In the 20th century, rockets were launched from the same place. That’s really interesting!
After the museum, we go to the Tanegashima Space Center.
Whoa! We were in a forest, but suddenly we’re in a city from the future.
You’re right. This space center is called the most beautiful rocket-launching center in the world because the forest and the ocean are all around it.
Cool! So, why did they build a space center on Tanegashima?
Well, the idea to build a space center first came up in the 1960s. The government chose Tanegashima because they needed a place close to the equator. The earth spins the fastest at the equator, so it’s better for the rockets to be launched near it.
That’s really interesting.
Also, they needed a lot of open space around the launching area. Tanegashima was the best place because it’s an island, and they could launch the rockets over the water.
I see. So, when was the first rocket launched?
In 1968. They sent up a small weather observation rocket. Nearly 180 rockets have been sent from here since then.
That’s a lot! Well, I guess it’s our turn next.
What do you mean?
To become a big success, we need to reach for the stars, just like a rocket.
Wow, Ben! I hope you don’t drink tonight. I want you to remember that tomorrow!