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To the world from Fukushima, Dr. Noguchi Hideyo

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To print view 2016年3月7日更新

About Noguchi Hideyo(1876-1928) 


Devoted his life for mankind, and died for mankind.

Image: Hideyo Noguchi

Born in Yama County, Inawashiro Town, Fukushima Prefecture in 1876 (the 9th year of Meiji). (Seisaku for his childhood name)

Had surgery on his left hand which was burnt at a fireplace in his childhood, made up his mind to become a doctor.

Worked at the Institute of Infectious Disease with Kitazato Shibasaburo as director, went to America at the age of 24 and started to research snake toxin.

In 1911 (the 44th year of Meiji), succeeded in producing a pure culture of ‘syphilis spirochete’ while working at the Rockefeller Institute of Medicine, and became a candidate of the Nobel Prize.

Transferred to the South American country of Ecuador, which is an epidemic area of yellow fever, to find its bacteria, in 1918 (the 7th year of Taisho). After arriving there, he was able to identify the bacteria for yellow fever, and developed “Noguchi Vaccine”, rapidly reducing the death rate of yellow fever in South America.

While researching yellow fever in Accra (the Republic of Ghana), West Africa, he was infected by yellow fever and passed away there, in 1928 (the 3rd year of Showa).

Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize was established for doctors and medical researchers in the world who achieved distinctive contribution to research activities for disease prevention, such as infectious diseases of Africa, and the 1st awarding ceremony was held in May, 2008 (the 20th year of Heisei).



Engraved his determination, “I will never return here until I achieve my goal” on the alcove pole of his birth house, and left for Tokyo with such firm determination. This alcove pole has been preserved as it was, and is open to the public at the Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall (birthhouse).

For his remarkable speed and accuracy in experiments, the American medical people called him “Experiment Machine”, “Sleepless Japanese ”.

Hideyo once said, “Make efforts and study hard, and you will become a genius. A genius is a person who works 3, 4 or 5 times as hard as others.”

Portrait on the 1,000 yen note

The portrait of Noguchi Hideyo appears on Japanese 1,000-yen note.

Image: Bank of Japan official websiteReference : Bank of Japan Notes and Coins Currently Issued (Bank of Japan Website)

Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize

Image: Hideyo Noguchi Africa PrizeReference : Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize

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