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A Scientists Plea

Navy Squadron Found This Notice on the Lab Door

In the final days of World War II, the U.S. Navy submarine squadron that occupied Moroiso Bay and the Japanese submarine base there came upon a handwritten notice tacked to the door of a nearby building.

Until the U.S. occupation of the area, the building had been used by scientists at the Misaki Marine Biological Station. The sign was a plea from one of those scientists to the occupying forces: please do not destroy our laboratory or equipment.

(After the War?) the Commander of the squadron sent the notice to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where it remains today, hung in the lobby of the Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library in the MBL's Lillie Building.

The author of the note was Katsuma Dan, an American-trained biologist who spent many summers working at the Marine Biological Laboratory with his wife Jean Clark Dan. He taught at the University of Tokyo and conducted his studies of cell division at the Misaki Station overlooking Moroiso Bay. MBL Distinguished Scientist Shinya Inoue was a graduate student with Katsuma Dan.

Thanks in part to Dr. Dan's notice, the Misaki Station survived the War. Both Drs. Dan and Inoue were on hand to celebrate the Misaki Station's 100th anniversary in 1984.