Professor Yasuo Masai was born in 1929 in Tokyo. He studied geography at Tokyo Bunrika University (presently University of Tsukuba) and there he was awarded a master’s degree (1953) and a doctor’s degree (1962) in science. Before receiving his doctor’s degree, he had studied abroad at Michigan State University, where he was awarded a PhD in geography (1960). He is an Emeritus professor of Rissho University, where he has taught geography for 16 years after teaching at Ochanomizu University for 10 years, and at the University of Tsukuba for 9 years.
He was the chair of the ICA Commission on Urban Cartography from l980 to 1987 and he organized meetings in Düsseldorf, Sofia, Tokyo, Perth, and other cities. He was also a member of the ICA Awards Committee from 1994 to 1997. He was also a national delegate of Japan at many ICA conferences. He was president of the Japan Cartographers’ Association from 1993 to 2000, and he became an honorary member in 2007.
He has published many books as an author or editor, including the Atlas of Tokyo (Heibonsha), Travels with Urban Maps (Hara-shobo), the Atlas of the World (D. Kindersley, Japanese edition), and others. One of his major academic contributions is a 1:20,000 Restored Urban Land Use Map of Edo (the old name of Tokyo as the feudal capital of Tokugawa Japan). This is a multicolor-printed map, scientifically converted from an old, geometrically imprecise map to a modern, accurate map to show land use coverage.
Because of these outstanding works, Professor Yasuo Masai is awarded with an Honorary Fellowship of the ICA.