Journal of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology
Online ISSN : 1882-0999
Print ISSN : 1348-5032
ISSN-L : 1348-5032
Original Articles
The Natural History Artist, Shigekazu Kobayashi, who is Describedin the Diaries of Dr. Yoshimaro Yamashina and Others
Ko-ichiro Sonobe
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2022 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 141-164


Mr. Shigekazu Kobayashi (1887–1975) was one of Japan’s leading natural history artists, and at the request of many ornithologists and others, including Dr. Yoshimaro Yamashina (1900–1989), Dr. Nagamichi Kuroda (1889–1978) and Dr. Jean Delacour (1890–1985), he painted and drew an extremely large amount of natural history—mainly birds—art. In this paper, I aimed to clarify just when and what kind of work Kobayashi did in relation to Yamashina. I extracted the descriptions of Kobayashi and Yamashina from the diaries from 1921 to 1975 by Yamashina, Mrs. Sugako Yamashina (1905–1966), Mr. Minori Hiwa—research assistant—etc., owned by the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology (YIO), and investigated which books by Yamashina etc. the descriptions were for. As a result, the following became clear: the date of Kobayashi’s visit to YIO and the content of his sketches; Kobayashi painted many works using the specimens owned by YIO as the reference materials; the fees paid for Kobayashi’s original paintings was high, which indicates Yamashina’s high evaluation of Kobayashi; Kobayashi also drew many drawings in scientific journals, and by drawing the color drawings precisely and accurately, he contributed to the development of ornithology. In addition, this investigation discovered that Yamashina facilitated communications between Kobayashi and Dr. Masauji Hachisuka (1903–1953), who was staying in the United States, and that Hachisuka also asked Kobayashi to draw, and paid a large sum of painting fees.

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