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 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.
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 Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist.
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.Of Japanese winners, eleven have been physicists, seven chemists, three for literature, five for physiology or medicine and one for efforts towards peace.
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.
|Category||Japanese citizens||Others born as Japanese||Total||Remarks|
|Physics||9||2||11||Yoichiro Nambu became an American citizen in 1970.|
Shuji Nakamura became an American citizen in the 2000s.
|Chemistry||7||-||7||Ei-ichi Negishi was born in Manchuria|
|Physiology or Medicine||5||-||5|
|Literature||2||1||3||Kazuo Ishiguro became a British citizen in 1983.|
The following are the Nobel laureates who were Japanese citizens at the time they were awarded the Nobel Prize.
|1949||Hideki Yukawa||Physics||1907–1981||"for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces".|
|1965||Sin-Itiro Tomonaga||Physics||1906–1979||"for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles" – shared with Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman.|
|1968||Yasunari Kawabata||Literature||1899–1972||"for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind".|
|1973||Leo Esaki||Physics||1925–||"for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively" – shared with Ivar Giaever and Brian David Josephson.|
|1974||Eisaku Satō||Peace||1901–1975||"Prime Minister of Japan," "for his renunciation of the nuclear option for Japan and his efforts to further regional reconciliation" – Shared with Seán MacBride.|
|1981||Kenichi Fukui||Chemistry||1918–1998||"for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions" – shared with Roald Hoffmann.|
|1987||Susumu Tonegawa||Physiology or Medicine||1939–||"for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity."|
|1994||Kenzaburō Ōe||Literature||1935–||"who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today."|
|2000||Hideki Shirakawa||Chemistry||1936–||"for the discovery and development of conductive polymers" – shared with Alan MacDiarmid and Alan Heeger.|
|2001||Ryōji Noyori||Chemistry||1938–||"for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions" – shared with William Knowles and Barry Sharpless.|
|2002||Masatoshi Koshiba||Physics||1926–||"for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos" – shared with Raymond Davis, Jr. and Riccardo Giacconi.|
|Koichi Tanaka||Chemistry||1959–||"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.|
|2008||Makoto Kobayashi||Physics||1944–||"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.|
|Toshihide Maskawa||Physics||1940–||"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.|
|Osamu Shimomura||Chemistry||1928–2018||"for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP" – shared with Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien.|
|2010||Ei-ichi Negishi||Chemistry||1935–||"for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis" – shared with Richard F. Heck and Akira Suzuki.|
|Akira Suzuki||Chemistry||1930–||"for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis" – shared with Richard F. Heck and Ei-ichi Negishi.|
|2012||Shinya Yamanaka||Physiology or Medicine||1962–||"for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent" – shared with John B. Gurdon.|
|2014||Isamu Akasaki||Physics||1929–||"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.|
|Hiroshi Amano||Physics||1960–||"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.|
|2015||Satoshi Ōmura||Physiology or Medicine||1935–||"for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" – shared with William C. Campbell and Tu Youyou.|
|Takaaki Kajita||Physics||1959–||"for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass" – shared with Arthur B. McDonald.|
|2016||Yoshinori Ohsumi||Physiology or Medicine||1945-||"for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy"|
|2018||Tasuku Honjo||Physiology or Medicine||1942-||"for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation."|
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.
|2008||Yoichiro Nambu||Physics||1921–2015||"for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics" – shared with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa.|
|2014||Shuji Nakamura||Physics||1954–||"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.|
|2017||Kazuo Ishiguro||Literature||1954-||"who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world"|
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.
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 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 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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 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.
When Ishiguro was included as the youngest member of the 1983 best of young British writers, he wasn't a British citizen. He took citizenship later that year as a very practical decision.
He became a British citizen in 1983.
Yamagiwa, then Director of the Department of Pathology at Tokyo Imperial University Medical School, had theorized that repetition or continuation of chronic irritation caused precancerous alterations in previously normal epithelium. If the irritant continued its action, carcinoma could result. These data, publicly presented at a special meeting of the Tokyo Medical Society and reprinted below, focused attention on chemical carcinogenesis. Further more, his experimental method provided researchers with a means of producing cancer in the laboratory and anticipated investigation of specific carcinogenic agents and the precise way in which they acted. Within a decade, Keller and associates extracted a highly potent carcinogenic hydrocarbon from coal tar. Dr. Yamagiwa had begun a new era in cancer research.