Buntaro Adachi (1865–1945): Japanese master of human anatomic variation

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Abstract

Buntaro Adachi (1865–1945) was a Japanese physician, anatomist, and anthropologist and is most remembered for his study on human anatomic variation. At the end of 19th Century, one of the main focuses in anthropology was the comparison between the races. In Japan, anthropological studies of the origin of the modern Japanese race were carried out by Adachi and others. Adachi believed that differences went beyond the bones that were commonly studied in his day and, therefore, investigated soft tissues of the body. Two products of his intense study of variation of human anatomy were Das Arteriensystem der Japaner (The Arterial System of the Japanese) published in 1928 and Das Venensystem der Japaner (The Venous System of the Japanese) published in 1933 and 1940. These books received much attention and were praised by anatomists and anthropologists around the world. Even now, these books are invaluable as references for human anatomic variation. Herein, we provide an overview of the life and achievements of Buntaro Adachi and to our knowledge, this is the first such review in the English language. Clin. Anat. 25:957–960, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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