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     Most of the specimens had been originally accommodated in glass jars with glass stoppers, before they were transferred to new plastic jars with 75% ethanol. In transferring, I.G. Gleadall and/or Alejandro Salcedo-Vargas (a Mexican student) transcribed the data on old labels to the new ones with notes of their own taxonomic comments or observations of the condition of specimens. The original field labels were mostly written in vertical in Japanese script describing precise locality, date, collector’s name, and occasionally some ecological notes. Some specimens have added another cloth label in English with scientific name by subsequent identification.

     Among these labels, the handwriting of M. Sasaki and other scholars are sometimes recognized (Okutani, 2002). It is axiomatic that the majority of specimens were collected near Misaki in Sagami Bay, mostly by K. Aoki whose collecting skill was as famous as that of Lobianco in Napoli (Isono, 1988). Others were purchased in Tokyo Fish Market. Several specimens only were from Kagoshima Prefecture (from a collecting trip by K. Mitsukuri & J. Hara in 1896), Suruga Bay, the Boso Peninsula and other localities. A few specimens from exotic localities were also found.

     The collection also contains the voucher specimens of non-taxonomic studies. A good example is a series of Watasenia scintillans collected by Shozaburo Watase from Namerikawa, Toyama Bay. The photophores on the tip of the ventral arms of all specimens were cut off, as they were all used for the study on bioluminescence by Watase. These specimens were dated 1905, although Watasenia scintillans (as Abraliopsis) was not described until 1911by Berry.   

     Many cephalopod species had been collected before they were described as new. Some examples are: Chiroteuthis imperator Chun, 1910, was collected in 1882 by K. Aoki 28 years before the original description; Sepia lorigera Wulker, 1910 was purchased in 1883; and Sepia appelloefi Wulker, 1910, was collected from Kagoshima by K. Mitsukuri and J. Hara in 1896. The earliest description by Japanese authors may be that by Iijima and Ikeda on Opisthoteuthis depressa in 1895. Sasaki started to describe new taxa in the1910’s.     

     These observations tell us the early history of the zoologists’ activities associated with Department of Zoology and/or Misaki Marine Biological Laboratory, Tokyo (Imperial) University. 

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