Dr. Syo Kurokawa was born in Toyama, Japan in 1926. He studied botany at the Tokyo University of Literature and Science, which granted him a PhD degree in 1961. In 1954, he became a researcher at the Research Institute of Natural Resources, of which the late Dr. Yasuhiko Asahina was director at that time. From 1962, he was a curator at the Division of Cryptogams, National Science Museum, Tokyo. In 1969, he was appointed as senior curator of the same division, and in 1974, as Director of the Botany Department. From 1983 to 1991, he was director of the Tsukuba Botanical Garden, a part of the National Science Museum. After his retirement from the National Science Museum he has served as director of the Botanical Garden of Toyama.
Dr. Kurokawa has been interested in lichens worldwide, and over the past 40 years has published many papers and monographs. The first paper was published together with Dr. Y. Asahina in 1952. Dr. Kurokawa is a particularly outstanding person among the many excellent lichenologists who have rendered contributions to the taxonomy of Anaptychia and Parmelia. He published a world monograph of the genus Anaptychia in 1962, proposed a new taxonomic system of Parmelia sens. lat. with the late Dr. Mason E. Hale in 1964. and described many new species of Parmelia.
Dr. Kurokawa has built up a lichen herbarium at the National Science Museum, Tokyo, which is now among the largest and best preserved herbaria in the world. He has made many lichenological field trips not only in Japan but also in many places over the world, e.g. North America, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Thailand, Formosa, etc. He published an excellent exsiccata series from the National Science Museum, which contains 700 numbers. Dr. Kurokawa has encouraged many students in Japan. In 1972, he established the Lichenological Society of Japan for the promotion of lichen research and the distribution of valuable lichenological publications. On behalf of the Japanese lichenologists and as a colleague, I would like to offer Dr. Kurokawa words of admiration for an Acharius medalist. It is sincerely hoped that Dr. Kurokawa will continue to play an active role in lichenology in the coming years.
– H. Kashiwadani (19 August 1994)