'83: A Quintet Team Is Created
Back in 1980 Shimadzu Corporation newly established a Central Research Laboratory comprising three research groups (C for chemistry, M for mechanics and E for electronics), each staffed by over ten researchers. Sometime later Koichi Tanaka was to find himself affiliated to E-group where one of the research themes was "lasers" a leading technology at the time.
Within E-group a project team was put together to exclusively advance laser technology research. The first three members were the team leader Tamio Yoshida (currently General Manager of the Technology Research Laboratory), Yoshikazu Yoshida (currently a Senior Manager of the Technology Research Laboratory) and Satoshi Akita (currently an R&D Manager of the Device Department). With a two-and-half year deadline, the trio commenced research work on a laser-ionization, microprobe mass spectrometer in April 1982, each lending his specialist knowledge and experience to the theme at hand. One year later in the spring of 1983 the trio became a quintet as two more members were newly added to the team.
They were Koichi Tanaka and Yutaka Ido (currently a Manager in the Device Department), freshly trained recruits from University.
No sooner had Tanaka joined Shimadzu than he found himself with the role of "Preparing samples" - work that involved preparing analysis target substances so that they could be easily ionized. For Tanaka, a major in electrical engineering, this was specialist work "outside of his field." However, as Tamio Yoshida was later to say, "there were no other members who were specialized in chemistry", so Tanaka reconciled himself to gaining the chemistry knowledge he would need to do the job. It was this that changed his destiny so dramatically.