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A leading animal behaviorist and honorary professor at Kyoto University, Toshitaka Hidaka, died Nov. 14 of lung cancer at his home in Kyoto, family members said Monday. He was 79.

Hidaka is known for contributions to the dissemination of ethology in Japan through his translations of animal behavior studies, and for the establishment of the Japan Ethological Society in 1982, for which he served as chairman.

Born in Tokyo, Hidaka graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1952 and became a professor at Kyoto University in 1975. After resigning from the university in 1993, he held such prominent positions as president of the University of Shiga Prefecture and head of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature.

He contributed to introducing knowledge of animal behavior to ordinary people through books written using easily understandable terms. His book “Haru no Kazoe Kata” (“How to Count the Number of Springs”) won the 2001 Nihon Essayist Club award.

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