Modern primatology began in 1952-3 through artificial feeding of Japanese macaques at Koshima and Takasakiyama. Artificial feeding allowed short-distance observation, individual recognition and long-term observation. These new methods applied to wild monkeys made possible new findings, such as life-time kinship bonds, social organization, cultural behaviors, etc., which changed anthropology, biology, psychology and also other social sciences.
During the 1st stage of the studies led by K Imanishi and J Itani, researchers focused their efforts not on biology but on sociology. Itani declared that Japanese primate studies do not reflect natural science. On the other hand, some other researchers carried out ecological studies of monkeys and proceeded on to socioecology. Itani attributed the dominance relations among individuals to the social order or hierarchy, whereas other researchers did so to competition over resources to increase reproductive success.
In 1956 and in 1962, respectively, the Japan Monkey Centre and the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute were established. JMC contributed as the first organization of primatology in Japan, and KUPRI added to a confluence of field and experimental primatology. DNA fingerprinting to analyze the relatedness of individuals accelerated the unification of field and laboratory studies.
After 1970, agricultural damage caused by wild monkeys exploded due to deforestation and the presence of unguarded crops. Researchers had to work to prevent such monkey activity in the field. They were also forced to cull this endemic primate species. As a result, the field of primatology had to expand in cognitive science, physiology, brain science and genetics as well as conservation activity.