The Academy Lecture


"Histochemical studies on Wood"

Qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis of wood microscopic specimen allow for a wide consideration on wood research such as wood formation, wood deterioration, chemical constituents, wood identification and others. Wood has a big variation in its structure and chemical components among tree species. Basically such diversity originates from plant evolution and differentiation for their survival. Therefore, wide knowledge on structural and chemical diversity of wood is useful for efficient wood utilization and research on the dynamic change of cells will be related to genetic improvement in future toward sustainable society.
Histochemistry or cytochemistry had been proceeding rapidly from their original qualitative analysis through the use of chemical specifie stain reagents toward quantitative analysis. Therefore, the special microscopes are developing step by step with the technical change of times. Progress in microspectrophotometry concerning with the author's research will be reviewed, showing many photographs. Studies on the mechanism of heartwood formation, wood development such as deposition of cell wall components, cell wall deteriorations by fungi, diversity of lignin distribution and others will be introduced in this lecture. Though full course of study was not half run in my times, mysterious photographs of wood structure will lead us to the world of technical thrill, which might be performing by young scientists.

The Lecturer

Dr. Kazumi Fukazawa, Emeritus Professor of Hokkaido University, graduated from the Department of Forest Products, Hokkaido University in 1953 and then started his long career in wood anatomy at Gifu University. He received his Doctorate, based on studies in variation of wood quality in Cryptomeria japonica, from Hokkaido University in 1967. He later visited McGill University, Montreal, to work for one year with Dr. D.A.I. Goring in 1980-1981. After various positions at Gifu University and Hokkaido University, he was appointed full Professor at Hokkaido University in 1984. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Academy (IAWS) and served it as Academy Lecture Committee Member from 1987-1990, and as Board Member from 1992-1995. He was elected also IAWA (International Association of Wood Anatomists) Council Member four times for the periods from 1985-1991 and 1994-2000, and elected an Honorary Member of IAWA in 2002. He educated many students and young scientists in Japan and other countries, was a Visiting professor at Yunnan Agricultural University and Southwestern Forest College in China, and lectured on wood anatomy in Korea. Many of his students are now in important positions in the field of wood science.
In 1995 he retired from Hokkaido University. The last two years he was very busy as Dean of the Bureau of Student Affairs. He is still active after his retirement and has always participated in the International Conferences in Wood Anatomy. Professor Kazumi Fukazawa has published numerous papers on a wide range of topics in wood anatomy and wood science. His main research focus has been on juvenile wood, heartwood formation, cell wall structure, formation of reaction wood, water distribution in trees, and tree-ring analysis. He has been particularly interested in the histochemistry of lignin, and the heterogeneity of qualitative or quantitative distribution of lignin in the cell wall. He is one of the pioneers who introduced modem methods of microscopy, such as micro-spectrophotometry, into wood anatomy.
Professor Fukazawa belongs to the first generation of Japanese wood anatomists who introduced Japanese research ail over the world. When the first attended the International Conference in Wood Anatomy in Amsterdam in 1979, he was the only participant from Japan. Since then, he has greatly contributed to increase the numbers of IAWA members from Asian countries including Japan. (Mainly from the description by Ryo Funada; IAWA Journal, Vol. 23(4), 2002).

Academy Lecturer K. Fukazawa (photo)

His Presentation

Lecture is scheduled for October 25th 2007, Shiran Kaikan Annex, Kyoto University.