Kashiwamochi and Chimaki are traditional types of rice dumpling that are offered to gods
during the Boys’Festival in Japan. The former is stuffed with azuki bean jam and wrapped
mostly in one or two leaves, and the latter is wrapped wholly in a few leaves without bean jam.
We investigated the species name of the leaves used for wrapping these dumplings, the local
n a m e s o f t h e d u m p l i n g s , a n d o t h e r r e l a t e d i s s u e s by r e f e r e n c e t o p u b l i c a t i o n s a n d a
questionnaire conducted in 424 localities ranging from Okinawa Prefecture to Aomori Prefecture.
We then checked the species whose leaves were used for wrapping the dumplings in relation to
their geographical distributions, habitats, and plant communities (phytosociological rank), on the
basis of published papers.
It was found that 17 and 21 species were used for wrapping Kashiwamochi and Chimaki,
respectively. Representative species used for wrapping Kashiwamochi were Smilax china (128
localities), Quercus dentata (57 localities), Magnolia obovata (7 localities), and Zingiber mioga (7
localities). Smilax china was used mainly in Western Japan and to a small extent in the Kanto
district and on Sado Island. Quercus dentata was used throughout the Kanto district.
Representative species used for wrapping Chimaki were Sasa spp. (108 localities), Phragmites
communis (28 localities), Miscanthus sinensis (22 localities), Phyllostachys spp. (14 localities),
Zizania latifolia (8 localities), and Alpinia speciosa (7 localities). Sasa spp. were mostly used in
the districts along the Sea of Japan coast. Miscanthus sinensis , Phragmites communis , and
Zizania latifolia were used in the districts along the Pacific coast. Phyllostachys spp. and Alpinia
speciosa were used mainly in southern Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture, respectively.
Except for Quercus dentata , the species used for wrapping dumplings were distributed in the
neighborhood of the villages and grew in the common communities ranked Rosetea multiflorae,
Carpino-Quercion serratae, Pinion densiflorae, Miscanthetea sinensis, and Phragmitetea, which
composed the rural landscape.
The reproductive cycle of Abbottina rivularis was investigated at Katada Naiko on the shore
of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. By casting net sampling, specimens were collected
every season from August 2001 through June 2005. Of the 37 female specimens collected from
November through May, 34 were mature. The females collected between late February and mid-
April exhibited a large body size and high gonadosomatic index （GSI）. Of the 31 male specimens
collected from October through May, 30 were mature. All the males collected between February
and May had pearl organs on their pectoral fins, and some males collected between March and
May exhibited a large body size and high GSI. These results suggest that at Katada Naiko, the
reproductive cycle of A. rivalaris occurs over 1.5 months from late February through mid-April.
The Middle Pleistocene Fukuchiyama Formation is extensively distributed along the Yura River and its tributaries in the Fukuchiyama Basin, in northern Kinki District, western Japan. The Upper Member of the Fukuchiyama Formation intercalates a volcanic ash bed mainly originated from the Aso-1 tephra layer that erupted between 0.25 and 0.27 Ma. A pollen analytical study was conducted about clayey and peat beds immediately below the ash, with the identification of insect fossils from the peat as Plateumaris constricticollis (Jacoby), to reconstruct the paleoenvironment during the deposition of the member. Paleoenvironment at the studied site changed with the upward decrease in fluvial influence, from riverside and lowland Cryptomeria japonica and Alnus forest into a mosaic landscape of the Alnus and Picea lowland forest, wet grassland, and marshy vegetation. This vegetation change also indicates the upward cooling before the deposition of the volcanic ash (Aso-1) corresponding to the cold age in the Marine Isotope Stage 8 (MIS8) and suggests the occurrence of the warm period correlative to the MIS 9
within the Upper Member of the Fukuchiyama Formation.
We made a map of the roadside trees in Sanda city, Hyogo prefecture, through one year investigation in 2003 under a seminar program ”Plants Research Club” in the Museum of Nature
and Human Activities, Hyogo. 23 kinds of deciduous trees and 6 kinds of evergreens were used as the roadside trees in Sanda city. At the planting rate, the deciduous trees occupied about 81%, and of all the tree species Japanese Zelkova was the most at about 29%. Furthermore, we investigated a vigor diagnosis on 1349 roadside trees planted along the ring road in Woody-town area. As a result, the remarkable decline of tree vigor or the collapse of tree shape was found at about 13% of the trees. Such trees spoil the beauties of scene of the roadside trees. The appropriate management such as an exact pruning based on the characteristic of trees is required to maintain the tree shape and vigor for the roadside trees.
Nature restoration project by the Kamigori Junior High School Science Club（KSC）was planned
and performed to conserved the endangered species of a freshwater red alga ‘Chisujinori’
（Thorea okadae ） in the Yasumuro River(Chigusa River System) through the town of Kamigori，
Hyogo Prefecture. In field survey，measurements of environmental factors showed that water
temperature and depth relatively increased at the site of Thorea occurrence. In field experiment,
we performed two way disturbance manupilations by artificially rolling stones on river bed and
brushing up the substrates, to examine the disturbance effect on abundance of gametophytes of
Thorea . Our results suggested that the both manupilations caused the sporophytes（Chantransia
stage） of Thorea quickly recoverd from September to October and decreased from October to
January, whereas no gametophytes occured.
To comprehend Japanese coastal flora and their endangerment status, we investigated the habitats, the life forms, the distributions and the Red Data Book (RDB) categories of Japanese oastal plants by referring to local flora lists and the other literature. In this study, we defined coastal plants as native vascular plants which are found only at coastal areas but are seldom found inland. We listed 280 species (64 families) of coastal plants from Japan. 82 species of them were endemic to Japan. 3 species were parasites. 83 species were ranked in the Japanese national RDB. The distributions and prefectural RDB categories of coastal plants at 45 localities in Japan were shown in an appendix table.
Of the 1,497 specimens collected at Awaji area, Hyogo Prefecture, in 2005, 152 species of 84
genera in 34 families of Bryopsida, 66 species of 35 genera in 23 families of Hepaticopsida, and
three species in three genera in one family of Anthocerotopsida were enumerated. Among them,
two RDB species of Japan and eight RDB species of Hyogo Prefecture were recognized.