Departmental Bulletin Paper 巻頭言

奥宮, 清人  ,  松林, 公蔵

16pp.1 - 1 , 2015-03-28 , 京都大学ヒマラヤ研究会; 京都大学ブータン友好プログラム; 京都大学霊長類学・ワイルドライフサイエンス・リーディング大学院
This article aims to introduce the new endeavor of Japan Monkey Centre that was reformed in April 1st 2014. The discipline of Primatology started in Japan on December 5th, 1948. The late Kinji Imanishi (1902-1992) and his two students, from Kyoto University, went to Koshima Island to observe wild Japanese monkeys. By studying the social behavior of this monkey they aimed to understand the evolutionary origins of human society. Most people may not realize that there are no species of monkeys or apes native to North America or Europe. Among G7 member state countries, Japan is unique. Japan has an indigenous species of monkey, called the Japanese or snow monkey, benefiting the study of nonhuman primates here. Primatology is the scientific study of all primates, including humans. In order to understand ourselves as humans, it is essential to study our closest living relatives; people are keen to discover more about apes, monkeys, and prosimians such as lemurs. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Kyoto University scholars, primatology in Japan began uniquely through fieldwork on the native wild monkeys. Japanese primatologists worked together to help create the Japan Monkey Centre (JMC). It was founded on October 17th, 1956. The JMC aims to promote research, education, conservation, welfare, and communication to the public regarding nonhuman primates. JMC became a 'Public Interest Incorporated Foundation' from April 2014. The JMC is also a registered museum. Since 1957 JMC has produced the journal", Primates", now the oldest Primatology journal written in English". Primates" is a leading journal in the discipline, published by Springer in collaboration with Primate Society Japan (PSJ). The JMC also runs a unique zoo, specializing in nonhuman primates, with over 1000 individuals representing 67 different species. Through observing nonhuman primates we can develop a better appreciation of our place within nature, a keener desire to understand the evolutionary origins of human society and behavior. Kyoto University has 5 leading graduate programs supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). One of them is the only-one type program called "Primatology and Wildlife Science", PWS in short. The JMC and PWS have the shared goal of promoting scientific research and education on wild animals, and contribute to the peaceful coexistence of living organisms on planet earth. The JMC is a place for the social outreach for the leading graduate program PWS.

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