... Great Kaouru Ikeya, who took a factory job at the age of 14 to help support his family but eventually saved enough money to build his own inexpensive telescope. He searched the pre-dawn skies before work for 335 hours over 109 nights in more than a year before finding his first comet. His co-workers were so proud of him that they put together a gift of $300 to help him continue his comet hunting. ...Ikeya proceeded to discover another comet the next year (1964) and then, in 1965, one of the great comets of the century -- the sungrazer Ikeya-Seki. In 1966, Ikeya found a rather dim comet and then, at the end of 1967, another comet that also ended up being called Ikeya-Seki. In 1965, Ikeya had found the great comet just 15 minutes before Tsutomu Seki; in 1967, he beat Seki by no more than 5 minutes!

The many Japanese amateurs' skll and intensity is demonstrated by the events of October 5, 1975. That night, three of them independently discovered Comet Mori-Sato-Fujikawa within 70 minutes of each other. Later that night, five of them independently discovered Comet Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori within half an hour of each other. Hiroaki Mori is the only person ever to have discovered two comets visually in one night.

– P.127, Comet of the century, Fred Schaaf,  Copernicus, Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.