Kinji Imanishi and Japanese Primatology for 60 years

Matsuzawa, T. and McGrew, W.

On December 3rd, 1948, only three years after the Second World War, Kinji Imanishi (1902-1992) went to Koshima island to study the wild Japanese monkeys. Imanishi was flanked by two young students, Jun'ichiro Itani (1926-2002) and Shunzo Kawamura (1924-2003). This year, 2008, is thus the 60th anniversary of the founding of primatology in Japan. Why did they start a new discipline? What should we learn from them? The article tries to understand Japanese primatology in the historical context.

Current Biology, 18(14) R587-R591(PDF:764KB)


Jun'ichiro Itani (left) and Kinji Imanishi (center) in Africa on March 6th 1958