Beginning in 1993, I have investigated the taxonomy of small mammals in East Asia, particularly those in the orders Soricomorpha and Rodentia (Family Muridae). In this paper, I introduced my research history. In the Soricomorpha, I focused especially on the shrew and mole genera Crocidura, Soriculus, Anourosorex, Chimarrogale, and Mogera, using morphological, karyological and cytochrome-b gene sequence datasets to resolve problem groups. This has resulted in the revision of the taxonomic status of several species. My interest also extends to wider patterns of mammal distribution, and I have discussed the biogeography of mammals in the Ryukyu Islands and other areas of East Asia. In addition, I have a particular interest in the taxonomy of commensal species, especially Mus mouse and Rattus rat, which may have a history of dispersal related to early movement of humans.
"Shitei-kanrisha System", the designated manager system peculiar to Japan is a kind of New Public Management aining to simplify local public bodies. This system leads public facilities under the management of non-official organizations such as foundation, enterprise or NPO which is selected through competition. Not a small number of museums in Japan have been confronted with this system since the year of 2003. The case of Osaka Museum of Natural History is reported. It is considered that this system is not suitable for museums to which long-term management is essential. As an alternative, the possibility of application of the law of District Independent Administrative Agency to local museums is discussed.
Phylogenetic relationships of eight species of Neonesidea from Japan and southeastern Asia were estimated for the first time. Carapaces of the eight species were categorized into a bean-shaped group and a teardrop-shaped group by the general shape in lateral view. These two groups respectively correspond to the Neonesidea pateriformis group and the N. schuizi group defined by Maddocks (1969) based on the carapace shape and muscle scars for the African and European Neonesidea species. Each of the Neonesidea pateriformis group (4 species) and N. schuizi group (4 species) from Asia generally had their own characteristic features in the pore distribution pattern and the male copulatory organ, and the grouping was considered to reflect phylogeny. However, N. oligodentata, included in the N. pateriformis group by the carapace shape, had a different type of copulatory organ and pore distribution pattern from other species of the group, and was therefore estimated to be phylogenetically distant from the others. Neonesidea oligodentata is exclusively distributed around Japan, up to cool-temperate Hokkaido as the northern limit which is the northernmost world record for the distribution of intertidal Neonesidea species. This would lead us to a scenario where an ancestor of N. oligodentata speciated from the N. paterformis group at or to the south of Japan, and has adapted to the cool environ ment around the Japanese Islands.