Journal rchive Stories

"Kono Yasui" --- Japan's First Female Doctor of Science

2006/03/27: "Kono Yasui" --- Japan's First Female Doctor of Science ---

Kono Yasui
(Provided by the Institute for Gender Studies of Ochanomizu University)
Kono Yasui, who was born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1880, came to Tokyo immediately after graduation from Kagawa Prefecture Teacher's School at the age of 18 and entered the Science Faculty of Women's Higher Normal School. After graduation, she worked as a teacher for 3 years at a middle school for girls. In 1905, at the age of 25 she joined the graduate course first established at the Women's Higher Normal School as its only science student. She specialized in zoological and botanical sciences under Professor Tomotaro Iwakawa, who was known as a researcher of common fresh water clams. During the first year of the graduate course she presented a paper entitled "Weber's Organ of Carp", which became the first paper written by a female scientist that was printed in the "Doubutsugaku Zasshi (Zoological Magazine)." Although it was suggested that she study leeches, she declined the recommendation due to her phobia of leeches. Instead she studied the prothallium of salvinia by herself, and presented a paper to the "Shokubutsugaku Zasshi (Botanical Magazine, Tokyo)" (Vol.23 (1909), No.264, pp.20-24). This report attracted the attention of Professor Kiichi Miyake at the Agriculture Faculty of Tokyo Imperial University. She was able to advance her research through the guidance on cytology that she received from the professor and the preparation of cellular sections that she conducted by borrowing a microtome from him. In 1911, following the advice of Professor Miyake, she presented the research results in the "Annals of Botany".
and more... ]