The Shinkansen's round-nosed profile, which made high speeds possible, was developed by Tadanao Miki, who had designed planes for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Miki played a leading role in designing the Ginga high-speed bomber, an unparalleled high-performance airplane. However, the Ohka suicide attacker he developed just before the end of the war sent many young soldiers to their deaths. Regretting that, Miki vowed to use his technology only for peace after the war ended.
His concept was simple: "Beautiful designs can run fast." To enable a train to reach 250 kph, there was no other way but to streamline the train's head and make its body lighter. Miki applied aviation technology and conducted many tests. The 0 series Shinkansen finally emerged when air resistance against the new train was half that of an existing train.
Miki later said: "Technology is inherently something that makes people happy. That's how it must be."
Sources: Sept. 30 and Oct. 4, 2000, Yomiuri Shimbun Osaka morning edition