Vladimir Arsenyev devoted 30 years to research of the Far East and Usuriysk Taiga. His name became world-famous due to the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa who shot a film based on one of the Arsenyev`s books – a story of the writer’s long-standing friendship with a taiga trapper named Dersu Uzala.
Vladimir Arsenyev was born in St. Petersburg in 1872 in a family of a railway officer. When it was high time to think about the future of the son, Vladimir’s parents decided to arrange his entrance to the military college. At first he got interested in the unusual surrounding and new disciplines, and he even started thinking about devoting his life to military service, but later his interest gradually wasted away due to the cadet workday regimentation and intensive studies. The only lectures Vladimir attended with pleasure were geographic given by the famous traveller to Asia M.E. Grum-Grzhimailo, who let Vladimir get acquainted with the exciting world of travel. In private talks, which usually took place after the classes, the geography lecturer often advised young Arsenyev to draw attention to the Far East almost unknown to the researches of that epoch.
After graduation in 1895 Vladimir Arsenyev was directed to the infantry regiment in Novocherkassk, and later – to a regiment in a Polish town; after a year Vladimir got his first leave. He returned home and got involved in a relationship with Anna Kadashevich, a girl he had known since childhood. Vladimir’s parents approved their son’s choice and soon the couple got married and left for Poland. On May 1 1900 Vladimir, according to his request, was sent to the fortress infantry regiment in Vladivostok, a city in the Far East of Russia.
His way to Vladivostok turned to be long and full of adventures. As soon as he reached Blagoveschensk, he was stopped by the events linked with a boxers` revolt in China. All military men staying in Blagoveschensk at that moment were mobilized for participation in the battle operations. When Vladimir with the family arrived to Vladivostok they were allotted a small private house in the Rotten Corner (Gniloy Ugolok) – a place locally famous for its fogs and dampness.
During the first year of serving in Vladivostok Vladimir joined a community of hunters and became its active member. Getting acquainted with the local dwellers and the desire to know the region better were an impact for Vladimir’s research practice. The lack of knowledge in natural and historical sciences was filled in the Society of the Amur Region research, where he later was accepted as an actual member. He also suggested enrichment of the museum’s zoological and botanical collections with new materials.
In his spare time Arsenyev committed walks around the region researching its flora and fauna; he even spent his vacation in an expedition to the seaboard and gathered valuable archaeological materials. After the authorities had known about it they published an order to register Arsenyev`s leave as a work mission. Vladimir Arsenyev devoted 30 years to research of the Far East and Usuriysk Taiga. His name became world-famous due to the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa who shot a film based on one of the Arsenyev`s books – a story of the writer’s long-standing friendship with a taiga trapper named Dersu Uzala.