Yesterday I came back from a trip to Joetsu in Niigata Prefecture on the eastern, or Japan Sea, side of Japan. The purpose of this trip was to talk to Dr. Kazutaka Amano at Joetsu University, look at his collection of fossil buccinids, and see if I could sample some Japan Sea buccinids from the Joetsu fishmarket. Success!Dr. Amano at the fishmarket.Buccinids at the fishmarket.Me by the Japan Sea. I could almost see Korea! (well no, but I was as close as I have ever been).To get to Joetsu I took the Japanese railroad through the Japan Alps and cities including Nagano, home of the 1998 Winter Olympics. The evidence of the very active tectonics of Japan was all around.Dr. Amano took Seji and I to some of the famous spots in the city including castles, shrines, and temples.There were two distinct environments that dominated Joetsu. One was the rice paddies,and the other was the lotus from the moat the surrounded Takada Castle and much of the city.The life in these environments was spectacular! Here are some pictures:
- I am a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying the diversity and evolution of whelks. This summer I was sponsored by the NSF (USA) and JSPS (Japan) to work with Dr. Seiji Hayashi at Nagoya University in Japan to collect buccinid gastropod (whelk) tissue samples and examine whelk shell collections at musems throughout Japan. Sugoi! Some of the snails that I study are pictured to the right.