List of Japanese Nobel laureates

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The Japanese Nobel Prize Laureate (2010) Akira Suzuki and Ei-ichi Negishi Nobel Prize 2010-Press Conference KVA-DSC 8021.jpg
The Japanese Nobel Prize Laureate (2010) Akira Suzuki and Ei-ichi Negishi

Since 1949, there have been twenty-seven Japanese winners of the Nobel Prize . The Nobel Prize is a Sweden-based international monetary prize. The award was established by the 1895 will and estate of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel. It was first awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Nobel Prize Set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

Alfred Nobel Swedish chemist, innovator, and armaments manufacturer

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist.

Contents

The Nobel Prizes in the above specific sciences disciplines and the Prize in Economics, which is commonly identified with them, are widely regarded as the most prestigious award one can receive in those fields. [1] [2] Of Japanese winners, eleven have been physicists, seven chemists, three for literature, five for physiology or medicine and one for efforts towards peace. [2]

In the 21st century, in the field of natural science, the number of Japanese winners of the Nobel Prize has been second behind the U.S.

Summary

Number of Nobel laureates by category
CategoryJapanese citizensOthers born as JapaneseTotalRemarks
Physics9211Yoichiro Nambu became an American citizen in 1970.
Shuji Nakamura became an American citizen in the 2000s.
Chemistry7-7Ei-ichi Negishi was born in Manchuria
Physiology or Medicine5-5
Literature213Kazuo Ishiguro became a British citizen in 1983. [3] [4]
Peace1-1
Total24327

Laureates

Japanese citizens

The following are the Nobel laureates who were Japanese citizens at the time they were awarded the Nobel Prize.

YearLaureateCategoryLifeRationale
1949 Yukawa.jpg Hideki Yukawa Physics1907–1981"for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces". [5]
1965 Tomonaga.jpg Sin-Itiro Tomonaga Physics1906–1979"for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles" – shared with Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman. [6]
1968 Yasunari Kawabata 1938.jpg Yasunari Kawabata Literature1899–1972"for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind". [7]
1973 Leo Esaki 1959.jpg Leo Esaki Physics1925–"for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively" – shared with Ivar Giaever and Brian David Josephson. [8]
1974 Sato Eisaku.jpg Eisaku Satō Peace1901–1975"Prime Minister of Japan," "for his renunciation of the nuclear option for Japan and his efforts to further regional reconciliation" – Shared with Seán MacBride. [9]
1981 Kenichi Fukui.jpg Kenichi Fukui Chemistry1918–1998"for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions" – shared with Roald Hoffmann. [10]
1987 Susumu Tonegawa Photo.jpg Susumu Tonegawa Physiology or Medicine1939–"for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity." [11]
1994 Oe Kenzaburo 1-2.jpg Kenzaburō Ōe Literature1935–"who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today." [12]
2000 Hideki Shirakawa 20011212.jpg Hideki Shirakawa Chemistry1936–"for the discovery and development of conductive polymers" – shared with Alan MacDiarmid and Alan Heeger. [13]
2001 Rioji Noyori.jpg Ryōji Noyori Chemistry1938–"for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions" – shared with William Knowles and Barry Sharpless. [14]
2002 Masatoshi Koshiba 2002.jpg Masatoshi Koshiba Physics1926–"for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos" – shared with Raymond Davis, Jr. and Riccardo Giacconi. [15]
Koichi Tanaka 2003.jpg Koichi Tanaka Chemistry1959–"for the development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules" and "for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules" – shared with John Fenn and Kurt Wüthrich. [16]
2008 Makoto Kobayashi-press conference Dec 07th, 2008-2b.jpg Makoto Kobayashi Physics1944–"for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature" – shared with Yoichiro Nambu and Toshihide Maskawa. [17]
Toshihide Masukawa-press conference Dec 07th, 2008-4.jpg Toshihide Maskawa Physics1940–"for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature" – shared with Yoichiro Nambu and Makoto Kobayashi. [17]
Osamu Shimomura-press conference Dec 06th, 2008-2.jpg Osamu Shimomura Chemistry1928–2018"for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP" – shared with Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien. [18]
2010 Nobel Prize 2010-Press Conference KVA-DSC 7398.jpg Ei-ichi Negishi Chemistry1935–"for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis" – shared with Richard F. Heck and Akira Suzuki. [19]
Nobel Prize 2010-Press Conference KVA-DSC 7383.jpg Akira Suzuki Chemistry1930–"for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis" – shared with Richard F. Heck and Ei-ichi Negishi. [19]
2012 Shinya yamanaka10.jpg Shinya Yamanaka Physiology or Medicine1962–"for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent" – shared with John B. Gurdon. [20]
2014 Isamu Akasaki 20141211.jpg Isamu Akasaki Physics1929–"for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources" – shared with Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura. [21]
Hiroshi Amano 20141211.jpg Hiroshi Amano Physics1960–"for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources" – shared with Isamu Akasaki and Shuji Nakamura. [21]
2015 Satoshi Omura 5086-1-2015.jpg Satoshi Ōmura Physiology or Medicine1935–"for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" – shared with William C. Campbell and Tu Youyou. [22]
Takaaki Kajita 5171-2015.jpg Takaaki Kajita Physics1959–"for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass" – shared with Arthur B. McDonald. [23]
2016 Nobel Laureates 1042 (30647248184).jpg Yoshinori Ohsumi Physiology or Medicine1945-"for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy" [24]
2018 Tasuku Honjo 201311.jpg Tasuku Honjo Physiology or Medicine1942-"for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation." [25]
Laureates of Japanese birth and origin who were erstwhile Japanese citizens

The following are Nobel laureates of Japanese birth and origin but subsequently acquired foreign citizenship; however, they are still often included in lists of Japanese Nobel laureates.

YearLaureateCategoryLifeRationale
2008 YoichiroNambu.jpg Yoichiro Nambu Physics1921–2015"for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics" – shared with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa. [17]
2014 Shiju.jpg Shuji Nakamura Physics1954–"for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources" – shared with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano. [21]
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro in Stockholm 2017 02.jpg Kazuo Ishiguro Literature1954-"who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world" [26]

Notes

The 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Yuan T. Lee is a Taiwanese-born American scientist. He can speak fluently in Japanese, English, Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese. He graduated from National Taiwan University - one of the former Japanese Imperial universities. In addition, Lee is also the Honorary Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Nagoya University in Japan.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

Yuan T. Lee Taiwanese chemist

Yuan Tseh Lee is a Taiwanese chemist and a Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first Taiwanese Nobel Prize laureate who, along with the Hungarian-Canadian John C. Polanyi and American Dudley R. Herschbach, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 "for their contributions to the dynamics of chemical elementary processes".

Taiwanese people are people from Taiwan who share a common Taiwanese culture and speak Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Hakka, or Aboriginal languages as a mother tongue. Taiwanese people may also refer to individuals who either claim or are imputed cultural identity focused on Taiwan or areas under the control of the Government of the Republic of China since 1945, including Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu islands. At least three competing paradigms are used to identify someone as a Taiwanese person: nationalist criteria, self-identification criteria, and socio-cultural criteria. These standards are fluid, and result from evolving social and political issues. The complexity resulting from competing and evolving standards is compounded by a larger dispute regarding Taiwan's identity, the political status of Taiwan, and its potential de jure Taiwan independence or Cross-Strait Unification.

The 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Charles J. Pedersen has a Japanese mother and his Japanese first name was Yoshio(良男). Born in Busan, Korea under Japanese rule, he moved to Japan with his family at the age of 8 years to attend a convent school in Nagasaki. When he was 10 years old, he moved to Yokohama and entered an international school, called Saint Joseph College in Yamate, Naka-ku.

Charles J. Pedersen American organic chemist

Charles John Pedersen was an American organic chemist best known for describing methods of synthesizing crown ethers. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 with Donald J. Cram and Jean-Marie Lehn. He is the only Nobel Prize laureate born in Korea other than Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung.

Japanese names in modern times usually consist of a family name (surname), followed by a given name. More than one given name is not generally used. Japanese names are usually written in kanji, which are characters usually Chinese in origin but Japanese in pronunciation. The kanji for a name may have a variety of possible Japanese pronunciations, hence parents might use hiragana or katakana when giving a birth name to their newborn child. Names written in hiragana or katakana are phonetic renderings, and so lack the visual meaning of names expressed in the logographic kanji.

Busan Metropolitan City in Yeongnam, South Korea

Busan, formerly known as Pusan and now officially Busan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's second most-populous city after Seoul, with a population of over 3.5 million inhabitants. It is the economic, cultural and educational center of southeastern Korea, with its port—Korea's busiest and the 9th-busiest in the world—only about 120 miles (190 km) from the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. The surrounding "Southeast Economic Zone" is now South Korea's largest industrial area.

The 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics winner Anthony James Leggett spent a year in the group of Professor Takeo Matsubara at Kyoto University in the 1960s, he can speak fluently in Japanese and English. His wife is a Japanese researcher Haruko Kinase.

Nobel Prize in Physics One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for humankind in the field of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Anthony James Leggett British physicist

Sir Anthony James Leggett, has been a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1983. Leggett is widely recognised as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics, and his pioneering work on superfluidity was recognised by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics. He has shaped the theoretical understanding of normal and superfluid helium liquids and strongly coupled superfluids. He set directions for research in the quantum physics of macroscopic dissipative systems and use of condensed systems to test the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Takeo Matsubara was a Japanese physicist. Matsubara proposed a method of statistical mechanics related to Green's function, by applying quantum field theory techniques to statistical physics. He graduated from Osaka Imperial University, and worked as full professor in Hokkaido University, Kyoto University, and Okayama University of Science. He was the winner of the Nishina Memorial Prize in 1961, and took the directorship of the Physical Society of Japan.

After the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Atomic bombings of Hiroshima, attended the Nobel Prize award ceremony, received the Nobel Medal, Nobel Diploma and delivered speeches (Nobel Lecture) on December 2017. [27] [28] [29] [30]

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a global civil society coalition working to promote adherence to and full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The campaign helped bring about this treaty. ICAN was launched in 2007 and counts 468 partner organizations in 101 countries as of 2017.

2017 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition on such weapons," according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee announcement on October 6, 2017. The award announcement acknowledged the fact that "the world's nine nuclear-armed powers and their allies" neither signed nor supported the treaty-based prohibition known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or nuclear ban treaty, yet in an interview Committee Chair Berit Reiss-Andersen told reporters that the award was intended to give "encouragement to all players in the field" to disarm. The award was hailed by civil society as well as governmental and intergovernmental representatives who support the nuclear ban treaty, but drew criticism from those opposed. At the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony held in Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2017, Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn jointly received a medal and diploma of the award on behalf of ICAN and delivered the Nobel lecture.

Setsuko Thurlow Japanese anti–nuclear weapons activist

Setsuko Thurlow, born Setsuko Nakamura, is a Japanese–Canadian nuclear disarmament campaigner and Hibakusha who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6 1945. She is mostly known throughout the world for being a leading figure of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) and to have given the acceptance speech for its reception of the 2017 Nobel peace prize.

Nominations

Physics
Shoichi Sakata reported the "Sakata model" - a model of hadrons in 1956, that inspired Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig's quark model. Moreover, Kazuhiko Nishijima and Tadao Nakano originally given the Gell-Mann–Nishijima formula in 1953. [31] However, 1969 physics prize was only awarded to Murray Gell-Mann. Afterward, Ivar Waller, the member of Nobel Committee for Physics was sorry that Sakata had not received a physics prize. [32]
Yoji Totsuka was leading the experiment that the first definitive evidence for neutrino oscillations was measured, via a high-statistics, high-precision measurement of the atmospheric neutrino flux. His Super-K group also confirmed, along with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), the solution to the solar neutrino problem. The Nobel Prize winning physicist Masatoshi Koshiba was told that if Totsuka could extend his lifespan by eighteen months, he would receive the physics prize. [33]
Chemistry
Eiji Osawa prediction of the C60 molecule at Hokkaido University in 1970. [34] [35] He noticed that the structure of a corannulene molecule was a subset of an Association football shape, and he hypothesised that a full ball shape could also exist. Japanese scientific journals reported his idea, but it did not reach Europe or the Americas. [36] [37] Because of this, he was not awarded the 1996 chemistry prize.
Seiji Shinkai invented the first molecular machine in 1979, [38] but he was not awarded the 2016 chemistry prize. On the contrary, Ben Feringa, one of 2016 Nobel laureates, was made a special trip to Japan in the 1980s to ask Shinkai for advice in the research.
Physiology or Medicine
Kitasato Shibasaburō and Emil von Behring working together in Berlin in 1890 announce the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin serum, Von Behring was awarded the 1901 prize because of this work, but Kitasato was not. Meanwhile, Hideyo Noguchi [39] and Sahachiro Hata, [40] those who missed out on the early Nobel Prize for many times.
Katsusaburō Yamagiwa and his student Kōichi Ichikawa successfully induced squamous cell carcinoma by painting crude coal tar on the inner surface of rabbits' ears. Yamagiwa's work has become the primary basis for research of cause of cancer. [41] However, Johannes Fibiger was awarded the 1926 medicine prize because of his incorrect Spiroptera carcinoma theory, while the Yamagiwa group was snubbed by Nobel Committee. In 1966, the former committee member Folke Henschen claimed "I was strongly advocate Dr. Yamagiwa deserve the Nobel Prize, but unfortunate it did not realize". [42] In 2010, the Encyclopædia Britannica 's guide to Nobel Prizes in cancer research mentions Yamagiwa's work as a milestone without mentioning Fibiger. [43]
Umetaro Suzuki completed the first vitamin complex was isolated in 1910. [44] When the article was translated into German, the translation failed to state that it was a newly discovered nutrient, a claim made in the original Japanese article, and hence his discovery failed to gain publicity. Because of this, he was not awarded the 1929 medicine prize.
Satoshi Mizutani [45] and Howard Martin Temin jointly discovered that the Rous sarcoma virus particle contained the enzyme reverse transcriptase, and Mizutani was solely responsible for the original conception and design of the novel experiment that confirmed Temin's provirus hypothesis. [46] However, Mizutani was not awarded the 1975 medicine prize along with Temin.
As of 2015, there have been seven Japanese who have received the Lasker Award and twelve Japanese who have received the Canada Gairdner International Award, but only three Japanese who have received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Others
A number of important Japanese native scientists were not nominated for early Nobel Prizes, such as Yasuhiko Kojima and Yasuichi Nagano (jointly discovered Interferon), Jokichi Takamine (first isolated epinephrine), [47] Kiyoshi Shiga (discovered Shigella dysenteriae ), Tomisaku Kawasaki (Kawasaki disease is named after him), and Hakaru Hashimoto. After World War II, Reiji Okazaki and his wife Tsuneko were known for describing the role of Okazaki fragments, but he died of leukemia (sequelae of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima) in 1975 at the age of 44.

See also

Related Research Articles

Makoto Kobayashi (physicist) Japanese physicist

Makoto Kobayashi is a Japanese physicist known for his work on CP-violation who was awarded one fourth of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."

Ei-ichi Negishi Japanese chemist

Ei-ichi Negishi is a Manchurian-born Japanese chemist who has spent most of his career at Purdue University in the United States. He is the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor and Director of the Negishi-Brown Institute at Purdue. He is best known for his discovery of the Negishi coupling. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for palladium catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis" jointly with Richard F. Heck and Akira Suzuki.

Akira Suzuki (chemist) Japanese chemist

Akira Suzuki is a Japanese chemist and Nobel Prize Laureate (2010), who first published the Suzuki reaction, the organic reaction of an aryl- or vinyl-boronic acid with an aryl- or vinyl-halide catalyzed by a palladium(0) complex, in 1979.

Kazutoshi Mori is a Japanese molecular biologist known for research on unfolded protein response. He is a professor of Biophysics at the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, and shared the 2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award with Peter Walter for discoveries concerning the unfolded protein response — an intracellular quality control system that detects harmful misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and signals the nucleus to carry out corrective measures.

References

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