Sakurai, Kunitomo (1933–)

Kunitomo Sakurai was a physics professor at Kanagawa University, Yokohama, and one of the first scientists in Japan to consider seriously the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence. He obtained a PhD at Kyoto University (1961), where he remained until 1968, becoming an associate professor. From 1968–1974, he was a senior research associate and then visiting scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, before moving to the University of Maryland's Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Applied Physics (1975–1977). Subsequently, he joined the Institute of Physics at Kanagawa. His interest in SETI was stimulated in the 1960s by reading several seminal texts including Walter Sullivan's We Are Not Alone, Cameron's Interstellar Communication, and Sagan and Shklovskii's Intelligent Life in the Universe. Sakurai's own book on the subject, Search for Life in the Universe, was published in 1975.