Click image to enlarge



The Shumisengi astronomical clock was constructed by Toshiba's founder Hisashige Tanaka, a prolific inventor who came to be known as "Karakuri Giemon," or the "Thomas Edison in the East," in his later years. The clock in the body shows time based on the seasonal time system by movable indicators. The pointer on the lid indicates the 24 seasons. The section enclosed in glass below decoratively depicts the geocentric theory in Buddhism, with the sun and moon rotating and revolving around Shumisen, or Mt. Sumeru.

Audio guide

Name Shumisengi
Time/Period 1850
Country Japan
Additional information Entsu, a priest of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, feared that the tenets of Buddhism might lose influence with the spread of Western Copernican theory. He designed the "Shumisengi" to visibly spread the Shumisen cosmology, the geocentric theory of the Indian origin Buddhism. Years later, a disciple of Entsu asked Hisashige to build the clock based on Entsu’s design. One of Shumisengi is now owned by Ohashi Watch (or Tokei-no-Ohashi), a watch dealer in Kumamoto city, and kept on display in the permanent collection at Seiko Museum.