2023 年 49 巻 2 号 p. 81-95
Information on specimens of the giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, dating from the Meiji era in Japan, is reviewed based on a literature survey. The first giraffe specimen was a mounted skin imported by Yoshio Tanaka, obtained at the Centennial World Exposition in Philadelphia, USA. This specimen was exhibited at the Imperial Museum in Tokyo until 1910. It was subsequently moved to the Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School (presently Ochanomizu University), and then lost. We found several photographs and drawings estimated to be of this specimen in popular magazines and digital archives of the museums. The first live giraffes in Japan were a pair provided by German animal dealer, Carl Hagenbeck, to Ueno Zoo in 1907. This female and male pair of giraffes died the following year, and their skins and skeletons were preserved and mounted. Our survey also found several reports about these two individuals after their deaths in several popular magazines, books, and newspapers. This paper presents a summary of the events clarified to date, including these specimens’ condition, and discusses them in the context of the history of Japanese museums.