, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 139-155

Development of ecology in Japan, with special reference to the role of Kinji Imanishi

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The development of ecology in Japan, especially after the Meiji Restoration (1868), is briefly reviewed. Pioneering studies of Hiratsuka, on the calorimetric budget of a silkworm population, and Motomura, on the relation between numbers of species and individuals in biotic communities, are noteworthy. A critical examination of his role in ecology in Japan reveals Kinji Imanishi to have played pivotal roles in leading Japanese population ecologists to realize the importance of dispersal in population regulation, and leading to the worldwide revival of field primatology. Although Imanishi's later (popular) writings, in which he completely negated the role of competion and natural selection, have justifiably drawn much criticism, his earlier critique of the competition-Almighty paradigms may be re-evaluated in the light of recent discussions on interspecific competition and community equilibrium.