News Release

Toshihiko Satake Memorial Palm Museum Opens

January 28, 2005

January 28, 2005

Toshihiko Satake Memorial Palm Museum Opens

Museum in Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, opens to the public

A ceremony was held at 554 Fukai Ishigaki City, Okinawa, by the Satake Technical Foundation on January 27th to commemorate the completion of the Toshihiko Satake Memorial Palm Museum.

The museum commemorates the discoveries of Toshihiko Satake (1910-1998), who was internationally respected as an authority in palm research and for whom the species of palm “Satakentia liukiuensis” was named. The museum was built to contribute to the advancement of botany and to promote Ishigaki City as the origin of a unique species of palm. The reinforced concrete building is 2 stories tall and has a total floor area of 189 .48m2.

The exhibition space has 8 sections: (1) Introduction of Toshihiko Satake, (2) World Distribution Map of Palms and more than 100 variety of coconuts, (3) Exhibition of “Satakentia liukiuensis”, (4) Worldwide housewares and artifacts using palms (5) Panel of “Palmera Imperial”, date palms with up to 7 stocks, (6) Similar facilities in Japan (7) Video Corner introducing Toshihiko Satake, his lecture about palm trees, the story of the museum’s construction, the nature of Ishigaki Island, and others, and (8) Treasures gathered by Toshihiko, such as a Palm Encyclopedia written by an Italian artist in the 19th century, coconut pearls, palm fossils, and old stamps featuring palms and coconuts.

From the roof terrace of the museum, you can see a beautiful landscape; the East China Sea and the Bay of Kabira to the South and a panorama of the natural habitat of “Satakentia liukiuensis” behind you.

The museum will open to the public on February 5th. Its regular hours are 9:00 to 17:00. The admission fee is JPY300 (children younger than 6 are free). The museum is closed every Tuesday. 30,000 visitors are expected per year.

Toshihiko Satake, the 2nd President of Satake Corporation, was internationally-respected expert in palm research. In 1933, when he was 23 years old, he was attracted by a Livistona chinensis palm presented by his friend. This palm was the spark that lit his fire for palms. He was surprised to learn that no one in Japan had seriously studied palms and that there were few scholarly works to refer to in Japan at that time. This only motivated Toshihiko more to study the palm.

In 1962, when Toshihiko was 52 years old, he delivered a new taxonomy of palms that included 11 subfamilies, 29 tribes, 253 genus and 3333 species. This taxonomy elevated him to the status of one of five internationally respected authorities on palms. He developed a relationship with Dr. H.E.Moore, Jr. of Cornell University in the United States, who was regarded as the highest authority on palms in the world at the time.

Toshihiko discovered a species of palm that grows only on the Ishigaki and Iriomote Islands. and Dr. H.E. Moore Jr. named it “Satakentia Liuiuensis,” taking the genus name from Toshihiko’s last name, Satake. Toshihiko’s achievements in palm research were highly regarded, and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Hiroshima University conferred honorary doctorate degree on Toshihiko.

The samples and literature that Toshihiko collected over his many years of study are recognized as valuable academic materials which include information on 500 varieties of coconuts and 78 species of palms and cycads.

Exterior of Toshihiko Satake Memorial Palm Museum

Ribbon Cutting at the Completion Ceremony

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