History

= History of MMBS (Before WW2) =

 Before the earthquake, the Station had received many brilliant researchers and guests from abroad. The names of the prominent David Starr JORDAN, Hans MOLISCH, D. H. TENNENT, and Hans DRIESCH appear in the old autograph book kept in the Laboratory. However, the Station had to endure desolate days after the sad disaster of the earthquake. The staff made every effort to reconstruct the laboratory, though, and its function had been restored, though barely, with newly supplemented equipment, by 1926. In that year, the Station received many guests who visited the laboratory on an excursion from the 3rd Pan-Pacific Science Congress held in Tokyo.
 An old picture postcard shows the atmosphere of the laboratory after the restoration. Postcards of this kind were issued as a set by the "Rinkai Club", an informal union of students and visitors; first organized in 1910, it still continues. As mentioned on the card (in Japanese), it was distributed under the censorship, and with the permission, of the military authorities, since the Station lay in the midst of a strategic naval zone.

an autograph book
a postcard

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 The practical managing of the Station in these days was taken over in 1927 by Dr. Masamitsu OSHIMA, followed by Dr. Megumi ERI in 1930. The above photographs show them together with their students and visitors.
 In the collector section, Mr. Jujiro DEGUCHI joined in 1927 as a new member; he received very strict training under the direction of the senior collector, "Kuma-San". He later became a distinguished collector in his own right; affectionately called “Ju-San” by visiting researchers, he was really a most valuable asset of the Station. He died in 1982.


Mr. Jujiro DEGUCHI
Mr. Jujiro DEGUCHI
A collector

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 The vision of the modernization of the Station, which had been carried for many years in the mind of Professor YATSU, was realized at last by the completion of the aquarium building in 1932 and then by that of the main research building in 1936. Both buildings were built of reinforced concrete.
 The aquarium building (370 m2) contained an aquarium space on the lower floor and a specimen room above. It was opened to the public and attracted many visitors.
 The elegant main research building had a floor space of 1,016 m2 (12 rooms on the lower floor, 13 rooms on the upper floor, and 3 rooms in the basement). It was provided with many devices for experiments in modern biology. This building is still in use and has never needed any great modification, as is shown by the photograph on the front cover.

The aquarium & the old research building
The aquarium (left) & the old research buildings
The main research building
The main research building

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 Professor YATSU retired in 1938, soon after the completion of the new buildings. He was succeeded as Director by Professor Shigeho TANAKA (4th Director) and then by Professor Yo K. OKADA (5th Director) in 1939.
 At that time, however, war clouds had already begun to hang over the country. After Japan began to war against the United States and other countries in 1941, it became hard to continue research work at the Station, for additional experimental materials, including glassware, chemicals, and photographic film, could scarcely be obtained once stocks were exhausted.
 What was even worse, all the buildings were requisitioned by the Japanese Navy in February of 1945 for use as a base of the so-called “Kamikaze” submarine boats. A poor cottage was given by the Navy as substitute quarters, but it was fit only for the scrap heap. In this forced evacuation of the Station, Assistant Professor Kenzo KIKUCHI and other staff members met with all kinds of troubles. It was unavoidable to break off all research work in such hard circumstances. "Ju-San" remained alone on the campus, making occasional tours of inspection around the Station.


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 After the end of the War in 1945, the Station was occupied by the American forces as a Japanese military installation. On the day they arrived, Professor Katsuma DAN (a Lecturer at that time) rushed to the Station from his house in Nagai (near Misaki) on receiving an urgent message from "Ju-San"; on the porch of the Station, Professor DAN left his famous message, asking that the Station be treated carefully as a center of academic research and signed “The last one to go.” This message prevented the complete destruction of the Station by the military forces; indeed, it made possible a relatively early restitution of the buildings to the University. However, the Station was terribly devastated by the combination of war and occupation.
 The next year, 1946, the Station was again in the hands of the University. Long, hard labor was needed for its restoration. Sad to say, many of the staff and students never came back from the battlefield. Professor Kikuchi died in 1949, just after his promotion to Professor, due to exhaustion from his efforts to reconstruct the Station. The task was taken up by Assistant Professor Itiro TOMIYAMA (Professor after 1960), who became the 6th Director in 1952.

The last one to go
“The last one to go”

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