General,  Laxmann Society

Guardians of Erik Laxman’s legacy join forces globally

Launch of Erik Laxman website and establishment of the International Erik Laxman Society

On Friday, February 16th, two significant milestones were achieved for the guardians of Erik Laxman’s (1737-1796) memory with the establishment of the International Erik Laxman Society and the launch of the Laxman-themed website ( The society serves as a nexus for scholars and enthusiasts interested in Erik and Adam Laxman primarily by maintaining a website dedicated to Laxman-related content.

The Laxman website provides comprehensive information about Erik Laxman’s life, his scientific contributions in Russia, and his connections to Japan. Additionally, the website serves as a platform for materials related to Laxman. It is hoped that schools will discover the site and utilize it as a teaching aid. The driving forces behind the website include long-time researcher of Erik Laxman, Psychologist Juhani Heiska, MA Chikage Konishi-Räsänen who researched Laxman from the Japanese perspective, and Ph.D. Pellervo Kokkonen who is an historian of geography and cartography. In addition to the team involved in creating the website, a group of experts from Finland, Japan, and Russia has provided assistance.

The newly established International Erik Laxman Society, based in Savonlinna, operates globally. Collaboratively, the society aims to expand knowledge about Laxman’s research and his impact on contemporary scholarship. The society maintains and develops the Laxman website while promoting research and publication activities related to Laxman. In its initial phase, the driving force behind the society has been opera singer Chieko Okabe-Silvasti, who tirelessly forged connections between Savonlinna, Finland, and Japan, enriching Finland’s understanding of the relationships between the Laxman father and son with Japan.

The Laxman Society begins its activities as a sub-division of the St. Olaf Guild. The society’s activities are overseen by a board comprised of Hideki Aihara and Koichi Toyokawa from Japan, and Juhani Heiska, Chikage Konishi-Räsänen, and Chieko Okabe-Silvasti from Finland.

Erik Laxman (1737-1796) was a naturalist born in Savonlinna, who worked as a professor at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Russia and as a state mineralogical explorer in Siberia. Laxman corresponded with the Swedish Carl von Linné and was a pioneer in various scientific fields during the Enlightenment era. He also gathered information about Japan and maintained connections with the then-closed country.

For more information, contact:
Pellervo Kokkonen
International Erik Laxman Society
Phone: +358 50 499 9452