Chapter 8. A Turbulent Life
Yatabe, who had been suspended from the University of Tokyo, moved on to the Higher Normal School four years later as an instructor in charge of English. From then until his unexpected drowning during his tenure as principal of the school, he was never again publicly involved in botanical research. That is to say, he had been shut out of the field by the university.
In the background, there had been friction between Yatabe and his superiors and colleagues at the university. According to his good friend Masakazu Toyama, one of the causes of that friction was Yatabe’s own “vehement disposition”, as he would directly and indiscriminately criticize others. It could be said that the many messages of condolence received at Yatabe’s funeral are a reflection of his turbulent history.
Kano, known as a practitioner of judo, was the principal of the Higher Normal School when Yatabe became a professor there. It seems the two had been acquainted beforehand.
Jordan was an ichthyologist (a scholar of fish) and the founding president of Stanford University. Yatabe is requesting that he introduce a suitable person to serve as an English instructor at the Higher Normal School.
The diary from the year he died. Yatabe, who had become the principal of the Higher Normal School, had been visited by students and graduates, prospective students, job seekers, and school principals from every part of the country.
高等師範学校英語専修科生徒代表による弔辞/Condolence letter from a Student of the Special English Course, Higher Normal School
One of the condolence letters received at Yatabe’s funeral, from a student who had received education in English.
Draft of the epitaph engraved on Yatabe’s gravestone. It was written by Kotaro Saida, Yatabe’s protégé in the field of botany.