Ever hear of a hydrozoa? Unless you’re a marine biology major or the Emperor of Japan between the years 1926 and 1989, then you probably haven’t. So what on earth is a hydro-whatsit, and what does it have to do with Japan? Turns out Emperor Hirohito was really into them.
If you have an interest in Japan (or at least watch the
Hitlery History Channel from time to time) then you’re probably familiar with Emperor Hirohito. He’s best known for presiding over Japan during WWII, helping out with all kinds of terrible war-related things. When Japan lost the war, Hirohito was kept on as a figurehead, getting a pass on any war crime trials so that he could stick around and keep Japan nice during the occupation years. Because he no longer had to focus so much on all that busy war stuff, he finally was able to focus on other things… like nature!
Even as a boy, Hirohito loved nature. Before he was emperor, you could catch him
prancing around picking flowers like a little pansy boy studying wild flowers from Shiobara. He then got his own herbarium, and eventually his own laboratory (which he’d work in even after becoming emperor). Apparently, he always felt a bit out of place as emperor, and wasn’t exactly comfortable being in a position of such power. After the war, he really put his work in, researching all kinds of things and became what’s referred to as a “gentleman scientist.”