Debunking a Widely Held Japanese Myth
Historical Aspects on the Early Discovery of the Pearl Cultivating Technique
Japanese scientists, Nishikawa and Mise are typically recognized for discovering the technology that led to cultivating spherical pearls. C. Denis George was an Australian enthusiast who challenged the credit given to the Japanese for this discovery. George argues that Nishikawa and Mise's step-father were first exposed to successful pearl cultivation at Thursday Island under the guidance of William Saville-Kent, a British expatriate living in Australia. In his article, "Debunking a Widely Held Japanese Myth: Historical Aspects on the Early Discovery of the Pearl Cultivating Technique," George campaigns for William Saville-Kent to receive proper respect for pioneering fundamental pearl culturing techniques. By using texts and personal experience as evidence, George places Nishikawa and Mise's step-father in Australia during Kent's pearl operations on Thursday Island. This trip to Australia predates Nishikawa and Mise's application for patent. Furthermore, George cites Japanese reluctance to acknowledge Saville-Kent's pearl research in text and conversation as evidence of deception.
The evidence C. Denis George presents convincingly argues that Saville-Kent shared his bead and tissue-piece technique with the two Japanese, they went back to Japan, repeated the technique in akoya mollusks and claimed it as their own. Several of George's key points are:
C. Denis George spent years encouraging others to give Saville-Kent the recognition and respect he deserves. George has written numerous reports, established "The William Saville-Kent Memorial Pearl Museum," and even named his pearling boat after him: "TSMV WILLIAM SAVILLE-KENT." George concludes his article by appealing for proper respect and honor to be bestowed upon William Saville-Kent and his groundbreaking pearl experiments.
To read the full story download this PDF, compliments of Pearl World: The International Pearling Journal.