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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/203

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JAPANESE ZOOLOGICAL STATION AT MISAKI.

its very edge the defenders were beheaded after the sack of the castle. And just opposite is the 'Buried Treasure-Beach,' when the most valuable plunder of the castle is supposed to have been stored. And more interesting still are the monuments marking the spots where died by hara-kiri the lord of the castle, Dōsun Miura, and his son, after word had been brought them that all hope was lost. The local story is that Dōsun Miura retired to this point after witnessing the death of his son, and fearful lest his own head should be carried across the bay to Odawara by the conquerors, he would trust no one to act as his second in the death ceremony. Seizing his short cue with one hand, he is said to have cut off his own head with the other, and to have thrown it far out in the deep water before his body fell, a physiological possibility, by the way, which students of the laboratory do not question—in the presence of townspeople. So the greatness of the Miura is unimpaired, and every year memorial services are celebrated on the laboratory grounds. At this time portrait-images of Dōsun and his son are brought from a neighboring temple and placed on the altar in a prayer-tent near the beach, and wrestling bouts commemorate the siege and the fall of the castle. Perhaps I might end my digression with the note that the present property came into the hands of the imperial family and has remained unoccupied since the fifteenth century. The major reason for this is said to have been that the point was haunted and many curious stories are told of the reappearance of Dōsun Miura and his men on the hilltops among the ancient pines. One recognizes them readily, since, like all Japanese specters, they have no feet. Indeed, I learned through Mr. Alan Owston, of Yokohama, that even a few years ago, when his yacht anchored overnight at Aburatsubo, the point was still so ghost-ridden that the sailors were unwilling to go ashore!

As for the zoological station itself: The one-story building is used by the graduate students, and is divided off in alcoves in the usual way. Work places for eight investigators are provided on the north side of the main room. On the south side of the building is the office of the director, and forming the fourth corner of the building is a concreted room containing aquaria and giving ample space for the preparation of larger material. By a covered way one passes from the door of the advanced laboratory into the two-story building, the ground floor of which is used at the present time for general class work. The upper story contains two living rooms fitted in European style, which were generously placed at the writer's disposal by the authorities of the Zoological Institute.

The general class work consists of a summer course of about six weeks' duration, which gives its members an opportunity of becoming familiar with the structure of the prominent animal types. The students,