top of page

Entrepreneur Episode Takamine Jokichi <daiichi sankyo>

A bottle of Takadiastase successfully extracted by Takamine Jokichi

Takamine Jokichi's early life

Dr. Takamine, who studied in Nagasaki, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. from his childhood, initially wanted to study medicine, but when he was 15 years old, he decided to pursue the path of chemistry after studying chemical analysis.

In 1879 (Meiji 12), after graduating from the Ministry of Engineering College of Engineering (currently the Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo), after studying in England for three years, in 1884 (Meiji 17), he worked as a secretary for the New Orleans World Exposition in the United States. As a government official, I was strongly aware of the usefulness of chemistry, which is used in fertilizers, etc.

After returning to Japan, he began research on artificial fertilizers and sake improvement, which produced steady results, which later led to the establishment of the Tokyo Artificial Fertilizer Company and the acquisition of a patent for the Takamine brewing method.

In 1894, Dr. Takamine Jokichi succeeded in extracting the enzyme diastase by conducting research on koji mold during the production process of the Takamine brewing method, and obtained a patent for this production method. The powerful digestive enzyme named "Takadiastase" has been commercialized in various countries, being praised as a groundbreaking achievement in the medical and pharmaceutical worlds of the world.

In 1900 (Meiji 33), he succeeded in isolating and crystallizing hormones from bovine adrenal glands. The world's first crystallized hormone "adrenaline" was born. Adrenaline was the first in the world to be perfected as a hemostatic agent for surgical operations, and greatly improved the survival rate of patients.

Hoping for a closer relationship between Japan and the United States, Dr. Takamine Jokichi took over the main pavilion of the Japan Pavilion, "Hououden," which was exhibited at the World Exposition held in St. Louis. It was used as a stage for exchanges where the top members of the academic society gathered.

Furthermore, in 1905 (Meiji 38), he established the Nippon Club (currently Nippon Club) in New York, and in 1907 (Meiji 40), he established the Japan Society (currently Japan Association) in New York to promote goodwill between Japan and the United States. . In addition, he acted as an ambassador for the cherry blossoms by acting as an intermediary when Japan donated beautiful cherry blossoms, which can be said to be a symbol of the Japanese spirit, to Washington, D.C., and by donating cherry blossoms to New York himself.

Suggestion for hometown

The far-sighted Dr. Takamine Jokichi also makes the following proposal to his native Takaoka.

“Toyama Prefecture, with its many rapid-flowing rivers, is an ideal location for power development. How about building a power plant and sending this electricity to Takaoka and Fushiki to produce aluminum? The technique of traditional casting (ware made by melting metal such as bronze and aluminum and pouring it into a mold) should also be useful.” (Summary from “Takaoka Shimpo”, May 1918)

His proposal was later put to use, and Takaoka CityJapanbecame a major center of the aluminum industry in

Dr. Takamine Jokichi was not only a great chemist, but also an entrepreneur who used his linguistic ability and energy to move companies and turn his inventions and discoveries into products. He also loved Japan, loved America, and used much of the profits he earned from his business to promote goodwill between Japan and the United States.

The rows of cherry blossom trees, a testament to his Japan-U.S. friendship activities, are still blooming in the distant United States, and are a place of peace for the local people.

1922 (Taisho 11), 68 years olddied inHe is resting peacefully in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City, wishing for the friendship between Japan and the United States.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page