Carcinological Society of Japan


Akira Asakura 


In April 1961, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito celebrated his 60th birthday. Hirohito was a renowned marine biologist, and in honor of his birthday, Dr. Isabella Gordon of the British Museum of Natural History (now The Natural History Museum, London) was invited to Japan for a face-to- face talk with Hirohito. Dr. Gordon and Hirohito held a long conversation at the Biological Laboratory (Imperial Palace, Tokyo). This meeting was also attended by several Japanese carcinologists, including Prof. Tsune Sakai (Yokohama National University), Prof. Itsuwo Kubo (Tokyo University of Fisheries), and Dr. Yo K. Okada (Director of the National Science Museum, Tokyo). 


The above meeting led to the formation of the Carcinological Society of Japan to promote the study of crustacean biology and to encourage collaboration among carcinologists. The business office was established at the Odawara Carcinological Museum, Tokyo. Prof. T. Sakai was elected President, Dr. Gordon was the first honorary member, and Drs. Y. Okada and T. Fukui were scientific advisers. 


Since then, many carcinologists from around the world have visited the society to collect material in Japan and to discuss future collaboration, including: J. Forest (France), J. Crane (U.S.A), J. Harding (U.K.), H. S. Kim (Korea), R. Serene (Singapore), L.B. Holthuis (Netherlands), J. Garth (U.S.A.), F.M. Bayer (U.S.A.), M. Turkay (Germany) and T. Wolff (Denmark). 


The first annual meeting of the society was held at the marine laboratory of Yokohama National University in December 1961, and was attended by 40 members. The first volume of the official journal “Researches on Crustacea” was issued in 1963, and included original articles, short notes and reviews written in English or Japanese. The journal was irregularly published during the first 14 years and annually since 1979. In 1993, the journal was renewed, the name was changed to “Crustacean Research”, and Prof. Keiji Baba, Kumamoto University, was appointed as the new Editor. In 1993’s Volume No. 22, 10 papers were published, with contributors from Japan (11 people), Singapore (1), U.S.A. (2), and Australia (1). The current editor is Prof. Hiroshi Suzuki (Kagoshima University). 


A special number of this journal has also been published irregularly since 1982, with the most recent volume (Vol. 6) being “Biology of Anomura II” edited by Dr. Akira Asakura, which is a Proceedings volume of the symposium organized by Rafael Lemaitre and Christopher Tudge, Sixth International Crustacean Congress, Glasgow, Scotland. Other back issues include “William Stimpson's Journal from the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, 1853-1856” by Raymond B. Manning, Rafael Lemaitre, and Ronald S. Vasile, and “Crabs of the Subfamily Dorippinae MacLeay, 1838, from the Indo-West Pacific Region” by L. B. Holthuis and Raymond Manning.


The society’s newsletter, “Nihon Koukakurui Gakkai News” was first published in December 1972. The name was subsequently changed to “CANCER” in 1991. The current editors are Dr. Kensaku Muraoka (formerly Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History) and Katsuyuki Hamasaki (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology). 


After the passing away of Prof. T. Sakai, Dr. Sadayoshi Miyake, Professor Emeritus of Kyushu University, was elected the second president of the society in 1987. The business office was transferred to Tokyo University of Fisheries (currently, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology) in 1991, and Prof. Seiichi Watanabe was appointed as the Secretary. After the passing away of Prof. Miyake, Hiroshi Suzuki, Professor Emeritus of Yokohama National University, was elected the third President of the Society in 1998. Suzuki appointed Prof. Keiji Baba as Vice President, who later elected to the fourth President. 


During the tenure of President Keiji Baba, the CSJ accepted the offer from The Crustacean Society (USA) to hold a joint meeting of the two societies in Japan, and this plan reached the stage of realization in 2009 during the tenure of the fifth President, Prof. Seiichi Watanabe, under the leadership by Dr. Akira Asakura, President-Elect of The Crustacean Society at that time. This meeting was truly the world's premier event on crustacean biology and attended by over 350 people from all over the world. A proceedings volume of this meeting was edited by Asakura and published as Crustaceana Monographs 15, entitled “New Frontiers in Crustacean Biology” from Brill, The Netherlands. In addition, the proceedings volume of the symposium “Biology of Anomura III” held in the same meeting was published as a special issue of Nauplius, the official journal of Brazilian Crustacean Society (eds. Fernando L. Mantelatto & Christopher C. Tudge), and the proceedings volume of the symposium from the same meeting, “Phylogeography and Population Genetics in Crustacea” was edited by Christoph Held, Stefan Koenemann, and Christoph D. Schubart and published as one of a series of Crustacean Issues from CRC Press.


The business office was transferred to Hokkaido University and Drs. Seiji Goshima and Satoshi Wada were appointed secretaries. In 2012, Akira Asakura, Professor of Kyoto University and President of The Crustacean Society 2010-2011, was elected the sixth President of CSJ. The membership was about 200 in 1981 and increased to 300 in 2011. 


In 2014, the society again hold an international conference with International Association of Astacology as "IAA&CSJ Joint International Conference on Crustacea" at Sapporo under the leadership by Dr. Tadashi Kawai.  IAA was founded in Hinterthal, Austria in 1972, which is dedicated to the study, conservation, and wise utilization of freshwater crayfish.  The CSJ invited the world's leading scientists in the field of crustacean biology, including Prof. Amir Sagi (Negev Ben Gurion University; Past President of International Society for Invertebrate Reproduction and Development), Prof. Sérgio Bueno (University of São Paulo, Brazil; Past President of Brazilian Crustacean Society), Prof. Neil Cumberlidge (Northern Michigan University, USA; Chair of Freshwater Crustacean Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature). The Conference was a great success.  Some 100 participants were treated to a high level of expertise with regards to crustacean biology.

In 2015, Akira Asakura, Professor of Kyoto University, was elected President of CSJ.  The business office was transferred to Okayama University and Dr. Kazuyoshi Nakata (Okayama University) and Dr. Tadashi Kawai(Wakkanai Fisheries Research Institute) were appointed secretaries.

In 2018, Akira Asakura, Professor of Kyoto University, was elected President of CSJ.  Dr. Kazuyoshi Nakata (Okayama University) and Dr. Wataru Doi (Tokai University) were appointed secretaries.