The Japan Mendel Society

The Japan Mendel Society (JMS) is a nonprofit organization founded on October 22, 1985, under the jurisdiction of the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education. The founder of the JMS, Dr. Yosito Sinoto, passed away in September 1989, and was a genetics scientist and the former President of the International Christian University. The founding promoters of the JMS were Emeritus Professor Nobunori Tanaka (cytology) of the University of Tokyo, Emeritus Professor Singo Nakazawa (genetics) of the Yamagata University, and 15 others. The JMS headquarters are located in Shimo-suwa-machi in Suwa-Gun, Nagano Prefecture, but the Tokyo Branch is in Bunkyoku, Tokyo. The current membership structure consists of an 18 member board of trustees, including the president, Professor Nobunori Tanaka. In addition to the board of trustees, there are 3 vice presidents, 5 executive trustees, 1 executive secretary, 2 supervisors, and 30 councilors.

The JMS was established “in honor of the scientific achievements of genetics pioneer, Gregor Johann Mendel (1822–1884). Overlooking the international research community, the JMS promotes reciprocal, cooperative, and friendly relations between those in Japan and overseas who seek to further understand genetics, as well as admirers of Mendel’s work. The aims of the Society are to develop and promote research on genetics and related sciences, to further educate personnel involved in collecting and preserving genetics-related data, and to make the resulting data publicly available as general information to a wide audience. By contributing to the diffusion and development of genetics and to educational provision in this field, the Society aims to promote peace and prosperity for the world.” All of this will be accomplished through the activities of the JMS.

The focus of the society’s work is to establish the Japan Mendel Museum (provisional name), which will exhibit Mendel’s data and materials, overseas genetics materials, and domestic genetics data. To explain genetics in a way that is comprehensible to the average person, flora and fauna will also be exhibited. In addition to the museum, we are considering a center for genetics counseling, marriage counseling, and other services for regional citizens.

With enthusiastic support from the Shimo-suwa-machi Municipal Assembly, a scenic site on Suwa Lake has been promised for the construction of the new museum. However, because fundraising activities for construction are still in the planning stage, a concrete schedule has yet to be established.

Other current JMS projects include, “Research into the systemization of information on chromosome-related literature” and “Collection of lists of Mendel-related materials and data.”

In June 1990, the publishing rights for “Cytologia,” the international journal of cytology, which began publication over 60 years ago, were transferred to the JMS from the International Society of Cytology (ISC), Cytologia, Tokyo. Beginning with Vol. 55 (No. 2), the JMS has taken over the editing and publishing of the journal. In addition, the JMS produces its own publication, “Mendel-JMS” News: (July 1, 1992).