Just forgetting to go home──Tadao Kano, a naturalist who stayed in the southern lands forever
Motivated by his passion for insects since childhood, Tadao Kano (1906-1945?), after graduating from junior high school, chose to enroll at the Taiwan Governor-General Office High School that launched student recruitment for the first time. Taiwan, the southern island full of unknown species for him, thus became a spectacular stage for his life. 
In his leisure time during school years, Kano set foot in various mountains in northern Taiwan, dedicating himself to the study on the diversity of insects. In addition to collecting insects, he also began to interact with the aboriginal people of Taiwan, and developed an interest in Taiwan’s geography and geology. Each trip to the mountains would take him around ten to fifteen days, so Kano gradually began to skip classes, eventually failing to meet the attendance requirement as determined by the school. But, owing to his continuous publication of papers in various academic journals and the guarantee of the school principal, Tadasu Misawa, he managed to graduate in the end.   
After completing his study of geography at the College of Science, Imperial University of Tokyo, Kano returned to Taiwan, and decided to extend his adventure into the outlying islands. In the summer of 1933, he met Totai Buten (Chen Didai) at the Taitung ferry port connecting to Hongtouyu (called Lanyu today), a young Amis man who was once sent to the Hanazono Junior High School in Kyoto for study. His fluent Japanese impressed Kano very much and they became good friends immediately. Kano invited him to be his interpreter, guide and assistant, and even nicknamed him Amijan. Thereafter, Totai started to accompany Kano as he went from mountain to mountain.
In 1944, during World War II, Kano was enlisted by the Japanese army for his expertise in ethnology and was assigned to conduct field work in the North Borneo. In the next year, Kano and his assistant both went missing under the Southern Cross. Were they caught in trouble and killed by the guerilla, or shot by the Japanese military police by accident? Their whereabouts remain a mystery today. Kano’s wife had always believed that he was just too obsessed with his research in the Austronesia to remember to go home. The geographer, naturalist and ethnologist, who spent half his life exploring the mountains of Taiwan, had never returned to his homeland again.
The paper presented by Tadao Kano in The Journal of the Natural History Society of Taiwan after his field observation at Laonong river, which shows his liking for insects.
(Image Source, Archiving Institute: National Taiwan University Digital Taiwan-Related Archives Project)
Yang, Nanjun (trans.) (1998). Tadao Kano (original author: Tsukane Yamasaki). Taichung City: Morning Star Publishing Inc..