The establishment of the Nishina Laboratory at Riken opened a new era for the Japanese physics community. All of the four major research fields studied there — quantum mechanics, cosmic rays, nuclear physics, and radioactive biology — were relatively new. Unlike most Japanese physicists who were satisfied to follow in the footsteps of great Western physicists, Nishina intended to compete with Westerners. He carefully focused on pioneering fields of interest and then secured the necessary financial support to establish a series of research groups, starting with those having the lowest start-up costs, the theory and cosmic ray groups. Nishina initiated both of these groups with the opening of the Laboratory, but, as discussed in the following chapter, the cosmic ray group produced important results only after securing necessary funding from the 10th subcommittee of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The nuclear research and radioactive biology groups, which will be discussed in Chapter 6, took shape after 1937 with the completion of a cyclotron.