After three years stay and a total of 21 months research on plants in the Kumano region, Kumagusu left Katsu’ura in October 1904 and walked to Tanabe while collecting specimens on his way. On arrival he immediately fell in love with Tanabe he thought was “a quiet place with nice people, cheap commodities and beautiful weather and the scenery.” He decided to settle, rent a house and started an easy life. He often invited friends and had parties at nearby luxury restaurants and teahouses; hired Geisha girls, drank, sang Dodoitsu and Otsue, his favorite party pieces, and played strange performances.
In the fall of 1905 Kumagusu donated 46 specimens of slime molds to the British Museum. Arthur Lister, president of the British Mycological Society, had them introduced in the Journal of Botany, vol. 49, as ‘The Second Report of Japanese Fungi,’ following the first report on the specimens sent by Prof. Miyoshi of Tokyo Imperial University. This article, which led Kumagusu to a new world of friendship with Lister and his daughter Gulielma, was a milestone in his career towards a world-class slime molds researcher who gave a lecture to Emperor Hirohito in June 1929.
In July 1906 at 40 Kumagusu married to Matsue, 28, the fourth daughter of Munezo Tamura, chief priest of the Tokei Shrine. Tamura, a former samurai of the Kishu-Tokugawa clan, was also a Sinologist whose knowledge of the Chinese wisdom had influenced Matsue’s upbringing. Her late marriage, for a woman in those days, was due to her devotion to father and the destitute family she had supported by teaching sewing and flower arrangement. In July 1907 the couple had Kumaya. At first sight of his baby boy Kumagusu wrote: “Stayed awake till dawn watching my baby” and expressed the joy of becoming father.
After the birth of Kumaya the marriage was rocky. After Matsue turned to parents few times, he gradually reduced alcohol. He kept in his diary every detail of Kumaya, how he moved and talked, which shows his deepest love and expectations for son. Kumagusu usually woke up at 11 am and worked at home from sometime in the afternoon till 5 o’clock next morning sorting specimens, drawing pictures, conducting research, reading and writing. While weaving, Matsue, together with a housemaid, was very nervous about the care of weepy Kumaya. Their daughter Fumie was born in October 1911.
Kumagusu resumed copying books around in 1909. The extract of Daizokyo, scriptures owned by the Horinji Temple, which took full three years, was a particularly demanding job. “To read is to copy. You’ll forget when you just read it, but you’ll never forget when you copy it.” He propagated this belief and put it into practice by himself. The extracts from this period called ‘Tanabe Extracts’ consist of 61 volumes
On top of the contributions he had made to British journals and magazines since homecoming, Kumagusu started writing for journals and newspapers in Japan. Using a lot of citations was his signature style of research papars but first-hand folklore evidence and antiquities were also included. His extraordinary memory and archives accumulated through interviews with people meant there.
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