chapter  10
20 Pages

Contributions of Edward S. Morse to Developing Young Japan

WithIsono Naohide

In June 1877, an American zoologist, Edward Sylvester Morse visited Japan to collect and study various species of brachiopods. Unexpectedly, he was offered the Professorship of Zoology at the recently established University of Tokyo which he accepted, and taught at until August 1879. The modern school of zoology in Japan dates from the appointment of Morse to the professorship at the University of Tokyo. Although F. M. Hilgendorf, a German zoologist, had been teaching natural history at the Tokyo Medical School from 1873 to 1876, he had no great influence on biology in Japan, for he worked only in its preparatory course, and therefore had no special students of zoology. In 1877, Morse's first scientific investigation of kitchen-middens in Japan resulted in his discovery and excavation of the famous Omari shell mounds. In addition, he unearthed a number of ancient pottery, bone tools and stone implements.