The Emperor of Japan, Akihito, wrote his own chapter in a new three-volume fish encyclopedia, along with other eighteen authors. The book, called “Fishes of Japan with Pictorial Keys to the Species”, includes Emperor Akihito’s 350 pages on Gobioidei, a suborder of Japanese goby fish that includes 518 types.
The Emperor is specialized in studying goby fish, a family that includes the mudskipper, and he has published numerous scientific papers on them, as well as on the history of science in Japan.
“We are convinced that the book will present the precise status of fish species that inhabit Japan and the rest of East Asia and provide basic and valuable insight into biogeography, fisheries science and environmental protection studies,” Kyoto University’s Tetsuji Nakabo, the editor of the encyclopedia, said Monday, according to the international press.
His Majesty used the biological laboratory from the Imperial Palace to make research for his contribution to the third edition of the encyclopedia.
“Whenever a small ambiguity arose, His Majesty would say, ‘Why not take a look at the specimens?’ and scrutinize the real fish,” Nakabo said. “And he would say, ‘OK, that was it,’ after making careful confirmations.”
Akihito is interested in marine biology, especially in studying primitive sea creatures called marine hydrozoans. Akihito’s brother, Prince Hitachi, has also a passion for science, studying the role of cellular division in cancer.