Japanese People Famous Scientists from Japan

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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. (55 items)

1
Akira Endo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 85
Akira Endo 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 ...more

2
Atsumu Ohmura is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 77
Atsumu Ohmura 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 ...more

3
Eizaburo Nishibori is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Eizaburo Nishibori Dec. at 86 (1903-1989)
Eizaburo Nishibori 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, ...more

4
Hideki Shirakawa is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 82
Hideki Shirakawa is a Japanese chemist and winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of conductive polymers together with physics professor Alan J. Heeger and chemistry ...more

5
Hidetsugu Yagi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Hidetsugu Yagi Dec. at 90 (1886-1976)
Hidetsugu Yagi was a Japanese electrical engineer from Osaka. When working at Tohoku University, he wrote several articles that introduced a new antenna design by his colleague Shintaro Uda to ...more

6
Hiraga Gennai is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 52 (1728-1780)
Hiraga Gennai was an Edo period Japanese pharmacologist, student of Rangaku, physician, author, painter and inventor who is well known for his Erekiteru, Kandankei and Kakanpu. He also wrote the ...more

7
Hiroaki Mitsuya is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Hiroaki Mitsuya age 69
Hiroaki Mitsuya is a Japanese virologist famous for his role in discovery of the anti-HIV drug zidovudine as well as other anti-AIDS drugs including didanosine and zalcitabine. Mitsuya was born ...more

8
Hiroshi Komiyama is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Hiroshi Komiyama age 75
Hiroshi Komiyama is a Japanese scientist. He was the president of University of Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2009. His major research fields are Chemical engineering, Environmental ...more

9
Isamu Akasaki is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 90
Isamu Akasaki is a Japanese scientist and Nobel Prize laureate, known for inventing the bright gallium nitride p-n junction blue LED in 1989 and subsequently the high-brightness GaN blue LED as ...more

10
Iwahashi Zenbei is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Iwahashi Zenbei Dec. at 55 (1756-1811)
Iwahashi Zenbei was a Japanese scientist and optician.

11
Jokichi Takamine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Jokichi Takamine Dec. at 68 (1854-1922)
Jōkichi Takamine was a Japanese chemist.

12
Junichiro Itani is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Junichiro Itani Dec. at 75 (1926-2001)
Junichiro Itani is considered a founder of the discipline of Japanese primatology. He was an internationally renowned anthropologist and served as a professor emeritus at Kyoto University. He ...more

13
Kakichi Mitsukuri is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Kakichi Mitsukuri Dec. at 52 (1857-1909)
Kakichi Mitsukuri was a Japanese zoölogist, born at Edo. In 1873 he came to the United States, where he received the Ph.D. degree from Yale in 1879 and from Johns Hopkins in 1883. He was ...more

14
Katsuko Saruhashi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 87 (1920-2007)
Katsuko Saruhashi was a geochemist who made some of the first measurements of carbon dioxide levels in seawater and subsequently showed the evidence in seawater and the atmosphere of the dangers ...more

15
Kikunae Ikeda is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 72 (1864-1936)
Kikunae Ikeda was a Japanese chemist and Tokyo Imperial University professor of Chemistry who, in 1908, uncovered the chemical basis of a taste he named umami. It is one of the five basic tastes ...more

16
Kimishige Ishizaka is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Kimishige Ishizaka age 94
Dr Kimishige "Kimi" Ishizaka is a Japanese scientist who discovered the antibody class IgE in 1966. His work has been regarded as a major breakthrough in the understanding of allergy. ...more

17
Kinji Imanishi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 90 (1902-1992)
Kinji Imanishi was a Japanese ecologist and anthropologist. He was the founder of Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute, and together with Junichiro Itani is considered one of the ...more

18
Koichi Tanaka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 59
Koichi Tanaka is a Japanese engineer who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for developing a novel method for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules with John Bennett ...more

19
Mikimoto Kōkichi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Mikimoto Kōkichi Dec. at 96 (1858-1954)
Mikimoto Kōkichi was a Japanese entrepreneur who is credited with creating the first cultured pearl and subsequently starting the pearl industry with the establishment of his luxury pearl ...more

20
Kotaro Honda is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Kotaro Honda Dec. at 84 (1870-1954)
Kotaro Honda was a Japanese scientist and inventor. He invented KS steel, which is a type of magnetic resistant steel that is three times more resistant than tungsten steel. He later improved ...more

21
Kotaro Shimomura is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Kotaro Shimomura Dec. at 76 (1861-1937)
Kotaro Shimomura was a Japanese chemical engineer known for many famous inventions.

22
Kunitomo Ikkansai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 62 (1778-1840)
Kunitomo Kosunaki was a Japanese gun manufacturer of the early 19th century, who, after having spent several months in Edo, where he could get accustomed with Dutch wares, built Japan's first ...more

23
Kyusaku Ogino is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Kyusaku Ogino Dec. at 93 (1882-1975)
Kyusaku Ogino was a Japanese doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. His natural father's family name was Nakamura, but Kyusaku was adopted by the Ogino family in 1901. Ogino studied ...more

24
Masanobu Fukuoka is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
Dec. at 95 (1913-2008)
Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation ...more

25
Masao Kawai is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Scientists from Japan
age 95
Masao Kawai is a Japanese primatologist, who forwarded the concept of kyokan as a means of studying primates in his book Life of Japanese Monkeys.