Mr. Wakana

A Message From
Mr. Isamu Wakana

Member of the Akan-cho
Board of Education

Unless further research is performed and results gathered to help solidify a foundation for further investigation into marimo, the fact is that protection efforts and other such enterprises will all end in vain. In the past, sufficient research was not conducted on the effects of a transplant experiment. This experiment unfortunately served only to reduce the number of marimo.

Additionally, there has been a large amount of other unsuitable research undertaken regarding the condition of marimo which only served to further contribute to people's misunderstanding of them. People want to know more about the process involved in marimo becoming spherical however details of this process remain cloaked in mystery. While it's thought that Lake Akan provides a suitable and hospitable environment for marimo to flourish in, it is the very complexity of this environment that makes undertaking further investigation and research difficult.

Marimo in the early stages of spherical development have yet to be discovered in Lake Akan. To learn more about the early developmental stages of spherical marimo we must undertake investigations in other lakes such as those on the island of Sakhalin.

The point which I wish to make understood is that marimo are headed down the road to extinction. To reverse this trend and protect them we must consider the furtherance of our knowledge about marimo to be of profound importance. Not only is knowledge about the marimo's current environment important, knowledge about how the environment has changed to become what it is today and how such changes have affected both marimo and their history should also be emodied in our revised understanding.

Today the Marimo Festival and other similar preservation activities, such as creation of The Society for the Observation of the Marimo Environment, have been undertaken with the goal of deepening our knowledge about marimo. Unfortunately participation in these activities by local residents has been regrettably modest. The marimo's way of living has made it undoubtedly clear that they are an unusual and precious living plant. I believe wholeheartedly that we are on the brink of an era, an era in which we will think it incredibly wonderful that a plant as precious as the marimo thrives in the lakes of our district of Akan.

The Marimo Observation Center was opened last spring after being remodeled. I trust that the district of Akan will grasp the great opportunity that this center offers and rise to the occasion by leading not only Japan but the world in the protection of marimo.

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