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Ichthyological Research Cover Series

 The Ichthyological Research is an official journal of the Ichthyological Society of Japan, founded in 1968.

This project is to renew the cover of the journal to celebrate over 50 years of society proposed by Dr. Kai, the member of the society from the Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University. 

(ISJ Website)

(Ichthyological Research) doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.9b00343

"Gungyo-zu" by Jakuchu Ito, 1765-1766 (public domain)


  The key concepts for the cover requested by Dr. Kai and the Ichthyological Society of Japan were "Diversity" and "Japan-oriented". My first inspiration is a homage to "Gungyo-zu" by Jakuchu Ito, a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period (1716-1727.) Jakuchu's work is famous for depicting a number of animal subjects in monumental scale and with an according degree of detail. Although he sometimes arranged animals in scientifically inaccurate way (for example, fishes facing lower left while swimming is not natural in "Gungyo-zu"), I would say he was one of the prestigious science illustrators (there was no such name at that time, though) 300 years ago.





  Since the journal is published four times in a year, we agreed to renew 4 series of the cover. After discussion with Dr. Kai, we decided to include fresh water fish, salt water fish, cartilaginous fish, and fry in each cover. The selection was made by Dr. Kai and the Society. They also lent us many reference books and papers of fishes, which were hugely helpful to draw scientifically accurate fishes. The scientifically accurate fish needs to have accurate number of scales and spikes of fins, needless to say the right proportion of the body, head, and eyes.

Each fish was checked by Dr. Kai and Society and many modifications were done. It took about a half year to finish 18 fishes. The scales fell from my eyes from this project by learning amazing anatomy of fishes.



18 fishes were drawn originally by colored pencil on paper then modified by colored pencil or digital.

Backgrounds were painted by water colored then digitally processed.

The cover for The Ichthyological Research Volume 67, Issue 1 (January 2020)

Cyprinus carpio (fresh water fish), Hozukius emblemarius (salt water fish), 

Okamejei kenojei (cartilaginous fish), Elopomorpha (fry)

The cover for The Ichthyological Research Volume 67, Issue 2 (April 2020)

Opsariichthys uncirostris (fresh water fish), Plecoglossus altivelis (fresh water fish),

Stonogobiops yasha (salt water fish), Heterodontus japonicus (cartilaginous fish), Pleuronectiformes (fry)

The cover for The Ichthyological Research Volume 67, Issue 3 (planned to publish on July 2020)

Silurus biwaensis (fresh water fish), Takifugu chrysops (salt water fish), 

Etmopterus pusillus (cartilaginous fish), Lophiiformes​ (fry)

The cover for The Ichthyological Research Volume 67, Issue 4 (planned to publish on November 2020)

Platichthys stellatus (fresh water fish), Niphon spinosus (salt water fish), 

Gymnothorax kidako (salt water fish),

Chimaera phantasma (cartilaginous fish), Beryciformes (fry)

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