History

= History of MMBS (Meiji Period) =

 It has long been well known to biologists that the Misaki Peninsula is exceptionally rich in marine fauna. This was first noticed by Ludwig DODERLEIN, Professor of Natural History at the Medical Department, University of Tokyo, when he collected marine forms around Misaki in 1881. This information seems soon to have been communicated to Kakichi MITSUKURI, Professor of Zoology of the Science Department, University of Tokyo. After several preliminary inspections, Professor MITSUKURI decided, in 1884, to establish a marine biological station at Misaki. The University of Tokyo obtained a site in the town of Misaki in 1885, and the laboratory was completed on December 13, 1886. The first marine biological laboratory in Japan was named the "Misaki Marine Biological Station" (MMBS) on April 1, 1887.
 Though the Station was very small in scale (it consisted of only one two-storied wooden building on a lot of only 230 m2), it was greatly exciting for the young marine biologists of the time, who were really pioneers.
 In the establishment of the Station, Professor MITSUKURI had asked advice from Professor Anthon DOHRN of Naples; his ideas seem to have been reflected in the design of the building.

Prof. Kakichi MITSUKURI
Prof. Kakichi MITSUKURI
The 1st Director (1898-1904)
MMBS at Misaki-machi
The first MMBS building built at Miasaki-machi

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 The confident expectations of Professor MITSUKURI were fortunately fulfilled, and many research projects were started on various marine forms, taking advantage of the unique fauna of the Misaki area. Many kinds of new or rare species were reported from the Station in rapid succession, and the name of Misaki became famous in a short time.
 For the patient exploration of the fauna in the surrounding seas, a great contribution was made by Mr. Kumakichi AOKI, a veteran collector, who was affectionately called "Kuma-San." Having been brought up as a skillful fisherman, he had exact and useful information about the Bay of Sagami; he was also endowed with a remarkable talent for collecting deep-sea animals through “Haenawa,” a traditional fishing method using a long line.
 Kind aid was also given by Mr. Alan OWSTON, an English merchant and amateur naturalist. He often sailed about the Bay of Sagami in his beloved yacht, the “Golden Hind,” and collected marine animals by dredging. The specimens he thus obtained were frequently presented to the Station. Sometimes he sailed together with the staff of the Station; this was a great help to them, because they had no fully-equipped boat at that time.

Mr. Kumakichi AOKI
Mr. Kumakichi AOKI
A veteran collector
Mr. Alan OWSTON
Mr. Alan OWSTON

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 In 1897, the Station moved from its original location right in the town of Misaki to its present site, Koajiro (about 2 km north of the center of the town). This was because the surrounding seaside had been devastated by the expansion of the town, on the one hand, and by the fact that the Station building had come to be felt to be too small to accommodate the growing number of visiting researchers, on the other.
 The new location was the ancient site of the Arai castle of the famous Miura clan, warriors in this district. After the fall of the castle in 1516 in a battle against the Ho^jo^ clan, other powerful warriors, the ruins had been left for centuries.
 The new Station was faced Aburatsubo Bay; it was equipped with two research buildings at the seaside and one dormitory on the hilltop, set in a large campus (9,200m2). The organization of the Station was also consolidated at this time, with Professor MITSUKURI being formally nominated as the first Director in 1898.

MMBS in Aburatsubo 1
MMBS in Aburatsubo
(from Araihama beach)
MMBS in Aburatsubo 2
MMBS in Aburatsubo
(from Nakozaki peninsula)

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