2014 Volume 123 Issue 3 Pages 343-362
Yoshiaki Ozawa is a significant figure in the early history of Japanese geology and paleontology, and his scientific contributions during the 1920's still attract attention today. It is known that Ozawa was granted a precious opportunity of foreign study and travel under a fellowship program of the Ministry of Education, visiting the United States and European countries over a period of more than two years. Unfortunately, his sudden premature death at the age of 31, only five months after returning to Japan, left few clues about what Ozawa actually experienced and contemplated through his opportunity abroad, and how he interacted with foreign scientists. Reposited in the Cushman Collection of Foraminifera of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C., U.S.A.), are personal correspondence and other auxiliary material of Joseph A. Cushman, with whom Ozawa collaborated on the taxonomy of smaller foraminifera. Review of these secondary collections allows a detailed tracing, from the viewpoint of Ozawa himself, of his exact course of the foreign travel, his observations on major trends in U.S. petroleum geology, and his styles of initiating and implementing the collaboration with Cushman. Some details of those invaluable archives are introduced here to add color to the early history of modern geology in Japan. It seems that the productive experience of Ozawa overseas came about from the interplay of his talent and enthusiasm with fortunate circumstances he encountered during his travels.