In April 1916 Kumagusu obtained a property, now the Minakata residence, under the ownership of Tsunegusu. The large garden turned to be an open-air laboratory to observe plants, frogs and turtles. The study was a place for writing and microscopic research on plants. The godown was organized into the stacks containing a number of books and materials. He published research papers about folklore one after another based on the previous research papers of natural science already published in newspapers and journals and the articles about the shrine consolidation.
The more scholars and celebrities he received and the busier he became with his writing, the more often he had to stay home and conduct his botanical research in the backyard. This change enabled him to discover the famous Minakatella longifila Lister, a new genus of slime mold named by Gulielma Lister, president of the British Mycological Society, from a persimmon tree in his garden in 1917.
It was around this time that the governor of Wakayama Prefecture and his friends finished the planning of the Minakata Botanical Institute. The prospectus was drafted by Chozaburo Tanaka and promoted by 30 big names including those from the political and literary worlds, for example, Takashi Hara, Shigenobu Okuma, Yorimichi Tokugawa and Rohan Koda. Kumagusu came to Tokyo for the first time in 36 years and spent five months to raise money. Day after day he visited notable figures in politics and academia including Prime Minister Korekiyo Takahashi asking for support. He finally collected a considerable but less than the prospect amount of money.
He continued his fund-raising campaign at home. The famous ‘Resume’ was written then responding to a request from Yoshio Yabuki, deputy branch manager, Nippon Yusen, Osaka, whom he had asked for donation. The resume, written on a 7.7m long paper using fine strokes, is one of the autographs of extreme importance to understand the real Kumagusu and perhaps the longest resume in Japan and the first resume ever known in light of the volume and quality of information it contains.
In March 1925 Kumaya became ill and went into a hospital in Wakayama city. After taking son home to recuperate, Kumagusu shut the gate against all visitors. It lasted for three years until Kumaya was moved to a hospital in Kyoto in May 1928.
Fair success of the fundraising in Tokyo was offset in a way by an unfulfilled promise of Tsunegusu, one of the major promoters of the project. He didn’t provide 20,000 yen, his part of donation, which caused a rift between the two brothers. Kumagusu also got trouble making a living because of expensive medical bills. In order to lessen the financial burden Kumagusu published three books in 1926. The books, compilations of theses previously published in various journals, gave the reader an insight into his arguments consistent throughout the years and revealed again his erudition, which aroused the admiration of the public.
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