Professor Naruhisa Takato passed away on May 14, 2021. He got ill on April 24 while he was staying in Taichung to participate in the final phase of integration and test of Prime Focus Instrument (PFI) of the PFS instrument. An emergency surgery was operated on the same day and then he was under intensive cares, but he never returned. He was at the age of 56. We are all sure that he would have continued to make various accomplishments both in science and engineering, and we would have witnessed them as his collaborators throughout his career. It is our great sadness to realize that these would no longer be possible.
Prof. Naruhisa Takato was always centered in various aspects of the PFS project both as a member of the PFS project office and as a member of the Subaru observatory, NAOJ. He was responsible for receiving PFS at the observatory as a completed and matured instrument as much as possible, but he did not try to be separate from us. Rather, he tried hard to work together with us as a developer, which is we are sure because he knew there would be no success unless developers and receivers worked together cooperatively facing the same direction.
He knew how the project should look like, and therefore what we should do at each time, no matter what phase the project at. Design studies, construction, integration & test … he raised our faces up to such big pictures and reminded us of what’s missing and what we should pay more attention to. But same time he was also well aware of how hard the reality is, and how tricky actual implementations are. So he stayed closely with us to correctly undertand where we were and brain-stormed options of how we should move forward. And he always gave us guidance that was just right, based on his sea of knowledge, experiences, and creativity. Clearly, without his great efforts and contributions, PFS would not have been developed to what we are seeing today, and we would not be able to see any of its future.
We express our sincere condolences to his family.
The official obituary from the Subaru Telescope observatory NAOJ can be found here.