In Memoriam: Dr. Hitoshi Sakai

Dr. Hitoshi Sakai 1930-2008
The InterRidge office has just received the sad news that Dr. Hitoshi Sakai, Professor Emeritus and world-renowned researcher in stable isotope geochemistry at Okayama University, passed away on Tuesday, September 30 after a protracted illness. He was 78 years old.

Prof. Sakai started his career in Okayama University at Misasa, Japan, and made great contributions in understanding the fractionation of stable isotopes and behavior of thermal fluids in various geological/geochemical environments. As one of such achievements, he revealed sulfur isotopes of sulfates/sulfides collected from Kuroko-type ores in NE Japan, which was decisive evidence for submarine mineralization. After he moved to the Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo in 1983, he conducted several research cruises and dive programs to blaze a trail for Japanese scientists in the study of active submarine hydrothermal systems, especially in the western Pacific region. In 1986, he served as a co-chief scientist of ODP Leg 111, which deepened Hole 504B to provide the opportunity for sampling the sheeted dike/underlying gabbros transition. Later in his career, he taught at Yamagata University from 1991-1996.

If you wish to contact any of his family members, you can use the e-mail address for Ken Sakai, his son (

The InterRidge office thanks Prof. Toshitaka Gamo (Ocean Res. Inst., Univ. Tokyo), Prof. Harue Masuda (Osaka City Univ.) and Dr. Jun-ichiro Ishibashi (Kyushu University) from InterRidge-Japan for contributing this tribute to Dr. Sakai.