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Science of soap bubbles a magic formula for captivating kids

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In the late Edo Period (1603-1867), Japan did not possess technology for the mass production of soap.

The first man to attempt soap-making by a modern method was Yoan Udagawa (1798-1846), a scholar of “rangaku” (Western studies). This spring marks the 220th anniversary of his birth.

“Udagawa was not just a rangaku scholar. He was also a first-rate chemist,” noted Masahiro Ono, 51, a curator at the Osaka Science Museum. Not only did Udagawa introduce the West’s advanced chemistry to Japan, he also conducted experiments of his own to verify the theories.

This spring, Ono is “grappling” with the “mystery” of bubbles that pop up from........

© The Asahi Shimbun