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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

The Micronesian Expedition (1935-1936)

The Micronesian Expedition (1935-1936)

The attention of Bishop Museum had been directed toward Micronesia, because it formed a route of migration between Polynesia and the Asiatic mainland. In 1935, a cooperative agreement was made whereby an expedition was page 53possible. Through the recommendation of Dr. Joji Sakurai, President of the Research Council of Japan, the Japanese Government granted permission to conduct a collecting expedition in the mandated islands and provide facilities for work. The Museum's contribution to the cost of the expedition was made possible by substantial gifts from C. Montague Cooke, Jr., Henry G. Lapham, and the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association. The agreement provided that all collections and field records be sent to Bishop Museum and that, after they had been studied, representative sets of specimens be deposited in Japanese institutions.

Professor Shinkishi Hatai, Director of the Palau Tropical Biological Station, made the arrangements for the selection of personnel and the conduct of field work. He selected two botanists, two entomologists, an assistant conchologist, and an anthropologist from the staff of the Saito Foundation Museum, which continued the salaries of the members in the field. Yoshio Kondo, Assistant Malacologist at Bishop Museum, was admitted to the party, and he joined the expedition in Japan. He was accompanied by his wife, who rendered invaluable service in the field. The expedition left Japan on December 8, 1935 and returned to Japan on June 10, 1936, having visited Saipan, Truk, Kusaie, Ponape, Palau, and Yap. As many of them had not hitherto been worked systematically, the collection of natural history specimens, particularly in land-shells, was extremely valuable to science. No doubt Mr. Kondo's previous field experience on the Mangarevan Expedition had much to do with his fine collecting. The anthropologist, Y. Muranashi, collected artifacts and took photographs which were sent to Bishop Museum.