Hideo Shima, 96, the developer of Japan's Shinkansen, or bullet train. As the top engineer at the former state-run Japanese National Railways, Shima designed the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train network. The year before the train started service between Tokyo and Osaka, Shima resigned from Japanese National Railways partly to take responsibility for cost overruns on the project. The train, nicknamed for its bullet-shaped nose, ran at speeds up to 138 mph when service began Oct. 1, 1964, traveling the curvy 324-mile route between Japan's two largest cities. An improved bullet train now runs at speeds up to 169 mph. In 1969, Shima assumed the top post of the National Space Development Agency of Japan, leading the nation's early space development projects. He retired from the agency's top post in 1977. In 1994, he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government. In Tokyo on Wednesday.