Childhood to Adolescence

Minakata Kumagusu was born in 1867, as the second son of Minakata Yahei, a hardware dealer, in a castle town of Wakayama. From a young age he demonstrated an outstanding capability of memory. It is legendarily said that he would memorize books he read at a friend’s house, return home, and then write down the entire text of those books by memory. After having graduated from Wakayama Junior High School, he entered what is now part of the University of Tokyo in 1884. Rather than studying, however, Kumagusu immersed himself in reading books at the library and collecting excavated pottery or animals. As a result, he failed school examinations and ended up returning to Wakayama.

A Young Boy Obsessed with Reading and Transcribing
(Ono Elementary School days)

Kumagusu Encounters Natural History
(Wakayama Junior High School days)

Hated School, Loved the Library
(Kyoritsu School – Tokyo University Preparatory School days)