Recent advances in the field of peptide chemistry and gene technology have resulted in an explosive accumulation of information on biologically active pep tides and functional proteins. Because of the importance of such peptides and proteins in the role of cellular or extracellular regulatory mechanisms and their potential therapeutic value, an understanding of their detailed interactions with the specific receptor should provide useful information for structure-activity studies. These problems have been approached in many ways. However, despite our efforts, many gaps in our knowledge of peptide chemistry remain to be filled, and some answers will no doubt be forthcoming in the next few years. This volume, the Proceedings of the 2nd Japan Symposium on Peptide Chemistry held in Shizuoka, covers all presentations. Speakers and discussants, numbering approximately 550, came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, India, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Japan. One very sad note was the sudden death, shortly before the conference, of Professor Emeritus Shiro Akabori, an outstanding organic chemist and a pioneer in peptide research. The news shocked his many friends and colleagues, who miss him deeply. Finally, it is a pleasure to acknowledge the help of those individuals and organizations who made the conference possible: the contributing scientists; the advisory committee and the staff of the conference; the Japanese Peptide Society, and other institutions; and the corporations which gave their financial support.