Chapter 3. Starting a School of Botany

Having returned home, Yatabe was appointed as professor at the Tokyo Kaisei School, and when the school merged with the Tokyo Medical School, establishing the University of Tokyo in 1877, he became a professor of the College of Science. He sought to import knowledge by lecturing on the structure, classification, and physiology of plants in his university classes and translating and publishing an exemplary primary textbook from the West.

Alongside that, or rather, what he worked on with greater enthusiasm, was the collection of specimens which served as the basis for his botanical research. According to Jinzo Matsumura, who would later become his successor, Yatabe would take dozens of trips throughout the country to collect such specimens, and would collect plants in and around Tokyo every Sunday as well. Unlike traditional Japanese herbalism (honzogaku), herbariums were necessary for Western-style botany.

「植物分類学 第1巻」/“Systematic Botany. Vol. I”


Thought to be Yatabe’s notes for a lecture at Tokyo University. This series on taxonomy includes eight volumes in total, with detailed explanations for each family of plants.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

フーカー『植物学初歩』訳稿/Translation Manuscript of J.D. Hooker’s Botany

明治24年頃/ca. 1891

A translated manuscript for English botanist J.D. Hooker’s elementary textbook. The Japanese translation was published in 1891.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

「東京大学で研究された植物の目録 1878A」/“LIST OF PLANTS; Studied at Tokio Daigaku 1878 A”


A notebook with records of collected plants. Describes plants collected at Koishikawa Botanical Garden and other locations.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

北海道旅行日誌/Diary of the Trip to Hokkaido


Diary from a trip to Hokkaido to collect specimens. The trip was planned by a foreign colleague employed by the university, Edward Sylvester Morse.

Owning Repository : 国立科学博物館/National Museum of Nature and Science

『帝国大学理科大学植物標品目録』/Catalogue of Plants in the Herbarium of the College of Science, Imperial University


A catalog of plant specimens gathered by the Botany Department at Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo). Jinzo Matsumura served as the primary editor, with Yatabe providing an introduction as his supervisor.

Owning Repository : 国立国会図書館/National Diet Library