Amateur Radio News

Remembering Shintaro Uda, Co-Inventor of the Yagi-Uda Antenna (June 1, 1896 to August 18, 1976).

History is filled with scientists and inventors whose contributions didn’t get their just due. As we’ve discussed previously in this blog, Alfred Vail played a significant role in the development and advancement of Morse code, but most outside of the ham radio community are way more likely to recognize the name of singer Jerry Vale than Alfred. Vail’s work has been overshadowed by that of Samuel Morse, whose life-changing invention in collaboration with Vail bears his name, and thus, the spoils of greater fame.

This brings us to the story of the Yagi-Uda Antenna—more commonly referred to today as the Yagi in honor of its co-inventor Hidetsugu Yagi. Yagi and Shintaro Uda, both working at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, invented this beloved antenna in 1926. The antenna design (a parasitic array antenna with a single driven element, a reflector, and parallel thin rod elements—“directors”—in a line) got its first major workout assisting airborne radar during World War II, followed by appearances on many rooftops with the rise of post-war television broadcasting.

Both Yagi and Uda introduced the antenna to Japan in a 1926 publication. The first English-language reference to the antenna can be found in a 1928 article published by Yagi—perhaps a reason why the official name of the antenna, Yagi-Uda, was truncated to simply a single name. Further, it was Yagi who applied for the Japanese patent (awarded in 1926) and later the U.S. patent under his name only. Despite the name becoming synonymous with Yagi, it is widely acknowledged (by the scientific community and Yagi himself) that Uda—an assistant to Yagi and radio engineer—played the lead role in the antenna’s design.

August 18, 2022, marks the 46th anniversary of Uda’s death at the age of 80. Yagi died in January 1976 at the age of 89.

For hams, Uda’s and Yagi’s legacies can be found today in the high-gain, directional antennas that have been responsible for allowing operators to log untold numbers of QSOs over decades of use. DX Engineering is proud to carry a range of these high-performance antennas including:

View DX Engineering’s complete lineup of Yagi-Uda Antennas at

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