Chika Kuroda

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Chika Kuroda
Kuroda Chika.JPG
Chika Kuroda in 1948
Born24 March 1884
Died8 November 1968(1968-11-08) (aged 84)
Other names黒田チカ
AwardsMajima Prize
Academic background
Alma mater Kenkyuka Women's Higher Normal School
Tohoku Imperial University
InfluencesRiko Majima
William Henry Perkin
Academic work
InstitutionsTokyo Women's Higher Normal School,
Tohoku Imperial University
Ochanomizu University
Main interests Organic chemistry
Notable ideas Natural dye

Chika Kuroda (黒田チカ; 24 March 1884 – 8 November 1968) was a Japanese chemist whose research focused on natural pigments. She was the first woman in Japan to receive a Bachelor of Science.

Chemist Scientist trained in the study of chemistry

A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms. Chemists carefully measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties. The word 'chemist' is also used to address Pharmacists in Commonwealth English.

Natural dye dye extracted from plant or animal sources

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources—roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other biological sources such as fungi and lichens.

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.



Kuroda was born in 1884 in Saga Prefecture. She attended the Women's Department of Saga Normal School, graduating in 1901, and worked as a teacher for a year afterward. She entered the Division of Science at Rika Women's Higher Normal School in 1902 and graduated in 1906. She then taught at Fukui Normal School for a year before enrolling in the graduate program at Kenkyuka Women's Higher Normal School in 1907. She finished the course in 1909 and became an assistant professor at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School. In 1913, when Tohoku Imperial University became the first of Japan's Imperial Universities to accept women students, she was admitted to the Chemistry Department of the College of Science among the first cohort of women. She was mentored by Professor Riko Majima, who inspired Kuroda's interest in organic chemistry, particularly natural pigments; he supervised her research into the purple pigment of Lithospermum erythrorhizon . [1] She completed her Bachelor of Science in 1916, becoming the first woman in Japan to do so. [2]

Saga Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Saga Prefecture is a prefecture in the northwest part of the island of Kyushu, Japan. It touches both the Sea of Japan and the Ariake Sea. The western part of the prefecture is a region famous for producing ceramics and porcelain, particularly the towns of Karatsu, Imari, and Arita. The capital is the city of Saga.

Organic chemistry subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives

Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline of chemistry that studies the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds, which contain carbon in covalent bonding. Study of structure determines their chemical composition and formula. Study of properties includes physical and chemical properties, and evaluation of chemical reactivity to understand their behavior. The study of organic reactions includes the chemical synthesis of natural products, drugs, and polymers, and study of individual organic molecules in the laboratory and via theoretical study.

<i>Lithospermum erythrorhizon</i> species of plant

Lithospermum erythrorhizon, commonly called purple gromwell, red gromwell, red-root gromwell and redroot lithospermum, is a plant species in the genus Lithospermum. It is called zǐcǎo (紫草) in Chinese, jichi (지치) in Korean, and murasaki in Japanese.

Kuroda was appointed an assistant professor at Tohoku Imperial University upon graduating in 1916 and became a professor at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in 1918. The same year, she became the first woman to give a presentation to the Chemical Society of Japan when she presented her research on the pigment of L. erythrorhizon. [2] She travelled to the University of Oxford in 1921, where she researched phthalonic acid derivatives under William Henry Perkin. She returned to Japan in 1923 and resumed her role as professor at Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School. In 1924, she was commissioned by the RIKEN institute to research the structure of carthamin, the pigment of safflower plants. Her thesis on the subject, "The Constitution of Carthamin", earned her a doctorate in science in 1929. [1] She was the second woman in Japan to receive such a degree, after Kono Yasui. [3]

The Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ) is a learned society and professional association founded in 1878 in order to advance research in chemistry. The mission of the CSJ is to promote chemistry for science and industry in collaboration with other domestic and global societies.

University of Oxford university in Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation after the University of Bologna. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

William Henry Perkin English chemist

Sir William Henry Perkin, FRS was a British chemist and entrepreneur best known for his serendipitous discovery of the first synthetic organic dye, mauveine, made from aniline. Though he failed in trying to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, he became successful in the field of dyes after his first discovery at the age of 18.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Kuroda's research examined the pigments of the Asiatic dayflower, eggplant skin, black soybeans, red shiso leaves and sea urchin spines, as well as derivatives of naphthoquinone. [1] She was awarded the Majima Prize by the Chemical Society of Japan in 1936. She was appointed professor at Ochanomizu University in 1949, and at the same time began researching the pigmentation of onion skin. Her extraction of quercetin crystals from onion skin led to the creation of Kerutin C, an antihypertensive drug. [1] [2] She retired in 1952, but continued to lecture at Ochanomizu University as a professor emeritus. She was awarded a Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1959 and was conferred the Order of the Precious Crown of the Third Class in 1965. She developed heart disease in 1967 and died on 8 November 1968 in Fukuoka, aged 84. [1]

<i>Commelina communis</i> species of plant

Commelina communis, commonly known as the Asiatic dayflower, is an herbaceous annual plant in the dayflower family. It gets its name because the blooms last for only one day. It is native throughout much of East Asia and northern parts of Southeast Asia. In China, the plant is known as yazhicao, roughly translating to "duckfoot herb", while in Japan it is known as tsuyukusa, meaning "dew herb". It has also been introduced to parts of central and southeastern Europe and much of eastern North America, where it has spread to become a noxious weed. It is common in disturbed sites and in moist soil. The flowers emerge from summer through fall and are distinctive with two relatively large blue petals and one very reduced white petal.

Eggplant plant species Solanum melongena

Eggplant, aubergine (UK), or brinjal is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Solanum melongena is grown worldwide for its edible fruit.

Soybean legume grown for its edible bean with many uses

The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Chika Kuroda (1884~1968)". Ochanomizu University . Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Haines, Catharine M. C. (2001). International Women in Science: A Biographical Dictionary to 1950. ABC-CLIO. p. 164. ISBN   978-1-57607-090-1.
  3. Kodate, Naonori; Kodate, Kashiko (2015). Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN   978-1-317-59505-2.