HIROSHI TAMIYA

January 5, 1903–March 20, 1984

BY ANDREW A. BENSON

HIROSHI TAMIYA’S PILGRIMAGE IN BIOLOGY

HIROSHI TAMIYA WAS BORN in 1903 into a family of medical doctors, having been, since the sixteenth century, poets and physicians attending feudal lords in the Koochi (Tosa) Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. His father, Koreharu, a learned man, had received his western medical instruction from a Dutchman, Dr. C. Elmerence, one of the few knowledgeable sources at that time. Hiroshi’s brother Takeo, 14 years his senior, was a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo and president of the National Cancer Center. Their mother’s ancestors can be traced back to the twelfth century as feudal lords in Iyo (Ehime Prefecture), who were defeated by Toyotomi, builder of the Osaka castle. They escaped to Tosa to become a samurai family. The young Hiroshi received much stimulus from Takeo as well as impetus toward the life of a scientist. As it was, and still is, the families of medical doctors want their sons to become medical men. Hiroshi Tamiya began his pilgrimage in science to become a medical man. Daunted, however, by the shock of seeing anatomical dissection of human bodies in the Faculty of Medicine, he gave up the study of medicine against the wishes of his late father and selected the course of botany (although he had



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