Famous Scientists from Japan

List of notable or famous scientists from Japan, with bios and photos, including the top scientists born in Japan and even some popular scientists who immigrated to Japan. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Japanese scientists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These scientists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known scientist from Japan is included when available.

List ranges from Kunitomo Ikkansai to Shinya Yamanaka, plus much more.

This historic scientists from Japan list can help answer the questions "Who are some Japanese scientists of note?" and "Who are the most famous scientists from Japan?" These prominent scientists of Japan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Japanese scientists.

Use this list of renowned Japanese scientists to discover some new scientists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
Ranked by
  • Akira Endo
    Age: 89
    • Birthplace: Japan
    Akira Endo (遠藤 章, Endō Akira, born 14 November 1933) is a Japanese biochemist whose research into the relationship between fungi and cholesterol biosynthesis led to the development of statin drugs, which are some of the best-selling pharmaceuticals in history. He received the Japan Prize in 2006, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2008, the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2017.
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    Atsumu Ohmura (大村 纂, Ōmura Atsumu, born 1942) is a Japanese climatologist, known for his discovery and contributions to the theory of global dimming.Ohmura was born in the Bunkyō ward of Tokyo in 1942. In 1965 he graduated with a B.Sc from the University of Tokyo and in 1969 received an M.Sc from McGill University. He later received a Dr.sc.nat from the ETH Zurich.Ohmura is a professor emeritus of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich, where he was the leader of the institute's climate research group. The group has strong interests in the planetary boundary layer and the cryosphere including its interaction with the atmosphere and ocean. The group maintains a general circulation model. Ohmura also initiated the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN).
  • Eizaburo Nishibori

    Eizaburo Nishibori

    Dec. at 86 (1903-1989)
    • Birthplace: Japan
    Eizaburo Nishibori (西堀 栄三郎, Nishibori Eizaburō, January 28, 1903 – April 13, 1989) was a Japanese scientist, alpinist and technologist. And he is also known as the captain of the primary Japanese Antarctica wintering party. Born in Kyoto. In May 1928, graduated the Faculty of Science, Kyoto Imperial University, and he stayed on as a lecturer. In 1936, received his degree. In October 1936, moved to private enterprise, Tokyo Shibaura Engineering. In time of the chief of engineering division, he was developed the vacuum tube named "Sora" in response to the naval request. Therefore, he won the AIST prize. After WWII, he served a company consultant independently, brought the technique of statistical quality control to the industrial world of Japan. Therefore, he won the Deming Prize and so forth. His results were set to one of the foundations of fast industrial development of Japan after the war. After returning to Kyoto University as a professor, He successively held the captain of the Japanese Antarctica wintering party, the chairman of the Japan Mountaineering Association and so forth. Kinji Imanishi and Takeo Kuwabara were in Nishibori's mountain-climbing friends of those days. Nishibori also played the role of negotiation with the Nepal government at the time of "Manaslu-climbing" which is the first 8000 meters-classed mountain climbing in Japan. He also backed the Japanese adventurer, Naomi Uemura, and taught how to use the observation equipment, sextant and so forth.
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    Hideki Shirakawa (白川 英樹 Shirakawa Hideki, born August 20, 1936) is a Japanese chemist, engineer, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tsukuba and Zhejiang University. He is best known for his discovery of conductive polymers. He was co-recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Alan MacDiarmid and Alan Heeger.
  • Hidetsugu Yagi

    Hidetsugu Yagi

    Dec. at 89 (1886-1976)
    • Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
    Hidetsugu Yagi (八木 秀次, Yagi Hidetsugu, January 28, 1886 – January 19, 1976) was a Japanese electrical engineer from Osaka, Japan. When working at Tohoku University, he wrote several articles that introduced a new antenna designed by his colleague Shintaro Uda to the English-speaking world. The Yagi antenna, patented in 1926, allows directional communication using electromagnetic waves, and is now installed on millions of houses throughout the world for radio and television reception. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce a wireless power transmission system. He participated in establishing the Chiba Institute of Technology.He was the fourth president of Osaka University from February 1946 to December 1946.In 1942, he became Director of the Industrial Sciences Faculty of the Tokyo University, in 1944 he became General Director of the Technology Institute, and in 1946 also General Director of the Osaka Imperial University. He was decorated with the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon Award in 1951, with the Order of Culture in 1956, and posthumously with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in 1976.
  • Hiraga Gennai
    Dec. at 52 (1728-1780)
    Hiraga Gennai (平賀 源内, 1728 – January 24, 1780) was an Edo period Japanese pharmacologist, student of Rangaku, physician, author, painter and inventor who is well known for his Erekiteru (electrostatic generator), Kandankei (thermometer) and Kakanpu (asbestos cloth). He composed several works on homosexual desire and gay life in Japan, such as the Nenashigusa (1763), the Kiku no en (1764), the San no asa (1768), and the Nenashigusa kohen (1768). He also wrote the satirical essay "On Farting".