Takamanga: Episode 1
Dr. Takamine and Adrenalin,
more than just a discovery...




Home  Who is Doctor Takamine ?  Long biography  key dates

His Life - Key Dates

The years before his birth: Family legacy

From his birth to 1879 : Early life, Education and scholarship

1879 to 1885 : Travels and love 

1885 to 1890 : Widening horizons

1890 to 1900 : Birth of a genius

1900 to 1920 : His legacy, his gifts to society

1920 to 1922: The declining years and his death 


A few historical landmarks:

During the 16th century, traders, essentially Dutch and Portuguese missionaries, flocked to Japan to establish trade and cultural exchanges but in the early 17th century, internal wars resulted in the emergence of the Takugawa Shogunate. This ruling body immediately set about controlling the vying feudal lords, the daimyo, and in doing so, imposed strict regulations on outside relations. In 1630, concerned about the threat of the increasing religious influence of the missionaries, the decision was made to implement a “closed” policy or “sakoku”. This seclusion was however, relative, as trading continued, albeit through restricted ports. The Japanese were not allowed to leave the country until 1868. Without this opening of Japan to the outside world, students like Jokichi Takamine would never have had the opportunity to travel and study abroad. It was into this new, emerging Japan that Jokichi was born.

1827 June 18– Seiichi Takamine, his father, was born in Takaoka city, Kaga-han, meaning feudal domain, Etchū province, Japan, into a family of samurai physicians (Kanazawa Furusato Ijinkan).

1835 March 25 – Yukiko Tsuda, his mother, was born in Takaoka, Kaga-han, Etchū province, Japan. Her family owned and ran a sake factory. Sake is a rice wine made from rice koji.

 - Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Edo Bay



1853 July 8 – Commodore Matthew C. Perry first arrived in Japan, in Edo (present day Tokyo) harbor, with his heavily armed and threatening fleet of tall black ships. Japan had been cut off from virtually all European contact since 1639, a period of 214 years. The Japanese asked him politely to sail on to Nagasaki. He refused and forced them to accept a letter from the American president Willard Fillmore in which he demanded that Japanese ports be opened to American trade, that prisoners receive proper treatment and be returned, etc. The Japanese rejected his demands and Perry withdrew from Japan in the knowledge that he would return. 

1854 - A treaty was signed between Japan and the U.S.A.



1854 March 31 – Commodore Perry returned to Edo Harbor, Japan, in Feb. 1854, more heavily armed than before. After long and tense negotiations, on 31 March 1854, the Japanese signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, which “opened” Japan to the West and brought to an end over 200 years of Japanese isolation policy, heralding a new era.




1854 Nov 3 – Birth of Jōkichi Takamine in Takaoka, a small town on the west coast of Japan, Kaga-han, Fuchū province, Japan. The eldest child of a family of 13 siblings, 6 brothers and 7 sisters, he was soon to play an important role in this new emerging Japan (Kanazawa Furusato Ijinkan).

1855 – When Jokichi was one year old, his mother took  him to the castle town of Kanazawa. where his father, a samurai, was working. In order to keep up to date with Western technology many Japanese doctors referred to documents  in  Dutch  known as the “Dutch Papers”. Seiichi Takamine was no exception.

 1859 - Charles Darwin - Origin of Species



“Through his mastery of the Dutch language, Seiichi Takamine acquired knowledge of European modern medicine and chemistry, and was one of the few medical doctors in Japan at the time who knew both Western and traditional Japanese medical practices” (Yamashima 2003, p. 95).

1861 - US Civil War and Slavery abolished in USA



1862 – Jokichi entered the Merindo school of the Kaga domain. He was also introduced to the art of calligraphy by Shundai Nakamura (Iinuma 1993, Chronological record of Dr. Jokichi Takamine).  

 1865 - Gregor Mendel formulates laws of heredity



1865 – Aware of mounting pressure from the West, the samurai lord of the Kaga domain decided to send promising boys from his province to Nagasaki. Nagasaki was at that time, the only place in Japan where fleeting glimpses of the West could still be seen. This was essentially due to the fact that, even during Japan’s period of isolation, trade had continued to flourish through this port. Jokichi, aged 12, was one of those sent to Nagasaki, 600 miles away. He was welcomed into the home of Portuguese Consul Lorero to learn basic English. When, in 1866, it was discovered that the Consul was more or less versed in Japanese, Jokichi was sent to Missionary Fulbenchy’s English School in Nagasaki (Kawakami 1928, p. 6; Iinuma 1993)

 1867 - Mutsushito becomes emperor



1866 Aug. 5 – Caroline Field Hitch, Jokichi’s wife to be, was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, to Ebenezer Vose Hitch and Mary Beatrice Field.

1867 – The Imperial Court and the new Meiji government moved from the ancient city of Kyoto to Tokyo, formerly Edo, the new capital of Japan.

1868 – Jokichi, aged 15, moved to Kyoto where he studied military science at Yukinosuke Ando’s private school. Soon he moved to Osaka, where he entered the Ogata private school (Iinuma 1993).

1869 - Suez Canal opened, US transcontinental railroad completed 



1869 – In Osaka, he entered the Osaka Medical School. There, he also received analytical chemistry lessons under Prof. Litter of Osaka Chemistry School, and was taught English by Prof. Osborne at Nanao Language Institute, on a Kaga domain scholarship. Soon, however, he found chemistry more fascinating
than medicine, causing him to change his original intention of succeeding his father as a practicing physician. (Kawakami 1928, p. 6; Iinuma 1993).

 1873 - Samurai class abolished


1876 - Alexander Graham Bell
patents the telephone

1879 - Thomas Edison tests
first light bulb



1872  Autumn – At the age of 19, Jokichi moved to Tokyo, the new seat of the government. He was one of 23 students on a government scholarship. He decided to major in applied chemistry at the Imperial College of Engineering / Kobu Technical School, present-day Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo University. (Kawakami 1928, p. 7; Iinuma 1993).

1879 He graduated at the age of 25 in the first class to graduate from Kobu University, thus becoming one of the first Japanese university graduates of his era. At the graduation ceremony, Henry Dyer, first head of the college, gave some parting words of advice. “Never forget that you live not only for yourself but also for society.”At that time, young people like Jokichi were filled with a sense of mission – to serve their country. He was soon one of eleven students to be selected by the Ministry of Engineering to study abroad in Great Britain on a full scholarship. (Kawakami 1928, p. 7; Daiichi-Sankyo 2012, Part 1)


1882 - Rockefeller founds Standard Oil, US Passes Chinese Exclusion Act

1883 - Brooklyn Bridge opens in New York City



1880 – When aged 27, Jokichi was sent on a government scholarship to do a three-year postgraduate course in Britain. This was the first time he had travelled outside his native Japan. He was admitted to Glasgow University and the Andersonian Institute, now Strathclyde University in Scotland, where he studied industrial chemistry. During vacations he visited various chemical plants in Liverpool and Manchester and learned about actual manufacturing processes for chemical fertilizers and soda products (Kawakami 1928, p.7-9; Iinuma 1993).     

1883 – Jokichi returned to Japan and joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. His job there was to study some of Japan’s traditional industries, such as the manufacture of sake (Japanese rice wine made with koji), washi (Japanese rice paper), and indigo, with the aim of improving them. Takamine undertook this investigative work on his own initiative. He firmly believed such industries could be improved by the application of modern science and technology (Kawakami 1928, p. 11-12).

1885 - Louis Pasteur saves a child with rabies vaccine 



1884 – He visited the United States as one of two Japanese commissioners to the New Orleans World Fair and Cotton Centennial. Intrigued by phosphatic fertilizer on display, he took back a sample of superphosphate of lime for his research in Japan. He also met Caroline Hitch, now aged 18, during this visit.

1884 Dec. 14The earliest recorded U.S. article in which Jokichi Takamine is mentioned appeared in the New Orleans’ newspaper, the Daily Picayune, under the heading “Society,” It reads: “A very enjoyable affair was given last Thursday evening at the residence of Capt. E.V. Hitch by a number of young gentlemen in compliment of charming young ladies who had a week previously acted as hosts.” Among the “pretty young ladies” at the soirée was Carrie Hitch. The many gentlemen hosts included “J. Takamini” (sic). “A party of young ladies and gentlemen, chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralston, of California, witnessed the performance at the St. Charles Theatre last Friday evening.” Included in the party were “Mr. J. Takamine, a distinguished Japanese nobleman now on a mission to the Exposition;” and “Miss Carrie Hitch.”

1885 Feb. 8 – A second U.S. article mentioning Jokichi Takamine appeared in the Daily Picayune in which we can read that, at the “World’s Exposition” the “event of the day was the opening of the exhibit of the Kingdom of Belgium to public investigation.” Invited guests in attendance were “Hon. J. Takamine and K. Tamari, Commissioners, of Japan 


1886 - Coca Cola invented 



1885 – Back in Japan, he became temporary Chief of the Patent Office for one year. He helped to lay the foundations of patent administration in Japan.

1887-89 – Takamine was given leave from his official duties in Japan to establish the Tokyo Artificial Fertilizer Company. This factory was created for the manufacture of superphosphates, the first of its kind in East Asia. His partners in the venture were Shibusawa Eiichi, Kiyonari Yoshida, and Masuda Takashi; Takamine became technical director of the company. He began by importing large amounts of phosphate rock from Charleston, South Carolina. According to the Daily Picayune published on August 30 1887, his first order, from the Farmer’s Phosphate Company through Major Willis, was for more than 2,100 tons. Previously most of Japan’s fertilizer had been produced from Manchuria sourced soybean cake from which the fat had been partially removed. Considering himself now financially established, he was ready to go to the U.S. to marry Caroline Hitch (26 Feb. 1889; Japan and America, Jan. 1903, p. 69-73; Miles 1976, p. 468; Mainichi Shimbun 1994 March 25, History of Takamine).

1887 Aug. 10 – He and Caroline married in New Orleans in a French Quarter wedding. He was 32 years and 9 months old and she was  just 21. The next day the Daily Picayune ran a long article headlined “A Brilliant Wedding… The sequel to a happy love affair.” “It was an unconventional match for the era but one that would eventually cement Takamine’s ties to the USA. On their honeymoon the young couple visited fertilizer manufacturing plants in the Carolinas and then they went on to Washington DC, where Takamine studied U.S. patent law. Finally they travelled west to California and then sailed to Japan, where they established their home near the Tokyo Artificial Fertilizer Company. 

 1888 - Thomas Edison builds prototype phonograph and motion pictures camera



1888 Aug. 28 – Jokichi Takamine Jr. was born in Tokyo, Japan, the first child of Caroline and Jokichi.

1889 Aug. 31 – Ebenezer Takashi Takamine was born in Tokyo, Japan. Note that he was born almost exactly one year after his elder brother.

1890 – For a complex and as yet unclear combination of reasons, J. Takamine decided to move to the U.S. with his wife and children. According to an entry in the 2003 Yamashima: “After putting his fertilizer company on a sound financial basis, Takamine “received a telegram from his mother-in-law informing him that a large Chicago distillery was interested in applying his diastase to the manufacture of whiskey”. She had already been instrumental in marketing his scientific discoveries to the American business community and in founding a new company to hold the patents.

” Three days after the Takamine family had sailed from Yokohama to the United States, Jokichi became seriously ill from liver trouble. At one point he prepared for the worst by writing his will. Fortunately, by the time the ship reached Seattle, Takamine’s condition had visibly improved, and he was able to go ashore, though not without difficulty. A good rest in Seattle and in San Francisco refreshed him, and when he arrived in Chicago he was able to proceed with the demonstration of his distilling process (Kawakami 1928, p. 28).

From this period onwards Jokichi Takamine’s knowledge of the patent filing system in the USA, which he had gained just after his honeymoon, will stand him in excellent stead. It enabled him to outrun his competitors and establish and market his discoveries with great efficiency and to his profit

In Dec. 1890 he arrived in Chicago, Illinois, and working closely with both his wife’s parents. He established the Takamine Ferment Company and became involved in a project with the “whisky trust” to replace malt with koji in the manufacture of whisky in order to increase the yield of whisky per bushel of corn and lower the production costs.          

1891 Feb. 18  – “Joseph Greenhut, president of the massive whisky trust whose headquarters were in Peoria, Illinois, hired Jokichi Takamine to apply his new koji process to making whisky” (Klein 1985, p. 89).

1891 Feb. 20 – The first article about Jokichi Takamine’s work with koji appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, under the headline, “Whiskey to be cheaper. Discovery of a new and better process of manufacture. From 12 to 15 per cent can be saved over the old method – Takamine, a Japanese, the inventor – He sells his secret to the trust – It will be immediately implemented. Prospect of a reduction of the retail price.” The article went on to explain that he wanted to replace malt with koji in the process of whisky making  in Peoria. He had tested his new process at the Phoenix and other distilleries in Peoria. The Takamine Ferment Company was also mentioned.

1891 Feb. 28 –  The first article on the work of Jokichi Takamine that mentions “diastase” a starch-digesting enzyme now called amylase or “koji”, the source of enzymes used to make Japanese sake, soy sauce, miso, and amazake, was published in the Peoria Times. These enzymes “convert starch into sugar,” which, in the absence of salt, can then be fermented to produce alcohol. It also stated that “Mr. Takamine has patented his new process in Europe and the United States” and that he has just entered into a contract with the Distillers’ and Cattle Feeders’ Company,  the Peoria whisky trust. Mr. Takamine now lived in Peoria at 2111 N. Jefferson St. Adjacent to this house he built his first laboratory in the USA in an old carriage house, which he called “The White House”. He would work late into the night, for he “was a hard, self-imposed taskmaster, who scarcely knew the meaning of rest”
After leaving the house on North Jefferson Ave., the Takamine family lived for some years in the old National Hotel at Jefferson and Hamilton in Peoria. (Henry George III, 1937. Coronet, p. 168-70; East 1952, p. 111-15; Eslinger 1992).

1891 March 7 – A major front-page article, by the Associated Press, appeared in the Los Angeles Times entitled “’Microbe straight.’ The new drink that barkeepers will serve,” it read: “Chicago, March 6. The Takamine Ferment Company, organized by the Whiskey Trust to exploit a new process of whisky-making invented by the Japanese chemist Takamine, has increased its capital stock to $10,000,000.”
At this time the family home was in Chicago at 255 Ontario

1891 June 17 – Jokichi Takamine, applied for his first U.S. koji patent. However he had already secured patents in Canada, Belgium, France, and Austria-Hungary.

1891 Sept. 24 – Another major article on Jokichi Takamine appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, Peoria – “For several months the Distillers and Cattle Feeders’ company, a whisky trust, has been experimenting with the Takamine process of making whiskey.” Takamine “has been here personally conducting the experiment. The distillers are so well pleased that they have decided to fit up the Manhattan distillery with new machinery. The new plan greatly reduces the cost of manufacture. A queer feature is that a species of bugs found on the rice is used instead of yeast for the fermenting process.”
No, it was a species of mold that was used instead of malt. Takamine’s work faced strong opposition from the maltsters, who made malt from sprouting barley as a source of enzymes in the manufacture of whisky. If Takamine’s work succeeded, they stood to lose their jobs - and their companies.

1891 Oct. 8 – A fire of unknown origin, which started shortly after midnight, burned down one building at the Manhattan Distillery, a 3-storey brick building at South Water St., Peoria, which “was being fitted for experiments in the manufacture of Takamine whiskey.” There is no reference to a major fire in 1893 in the Peoria fire department records – as was often subsequently reported in literature about Takamine. The building that was burned down was soon rebuilt (Peoria Transcript, p. 8, col. 3; Kawakami 1928, p. 30).

1891 Oct. 12 – Takamine applied for a key British koji patent, No. 17374 and this is the earliest document available where Dr. Takamine mentions the name Aspergillus, or the terms “Tané-Koji” or “ashes of trees” in connection with koji. “A fungus of the genus Aspergillus was grown on steamed rice to make Taka-Moyashi and pure Taka-Moyashi. “Tané-Koji, or seed koji or Moyashi, are all terms that have been heretofore applied to a yellowish green mouldy mass, consisting of steamed rice covered by a Mycelial fungus, bearing yellowish green spherical cells, and has the property of producing both diastase and ferment cells. It has not heretofore been designated by any specific name and I call it ‘Aspergillus Koji.’” This patent was issued on 12 Oct. 1892.

1891 – In Chicago, the Takamine family resided at 255 Ontario. The Takamine Ferment Company had an office in the Chamber of Commerce Building, room 907. J. Takamine was president of the company, Edward Moore the secretary, and E.W. Hitch the treasurer (Chicago City Directory, p. 2241).

 1893 - Chicago World’s Fair Columbian Exhibition



1892 April 17 – Yet another major article about Jokichi Takamine is featured on page 6 of The Chicago Daily Tribune. He had survived the fire and now, for the first time, we learn that his koji is made from “wheat bran” which is much less expensive than other substrates for producing koji.

1894 Feb. 23 – Jokichi Takamine applied for his earliest patent, U.S. Patent No. 525823, containing the word “enzyme” or “enzymes” or the terms “diastatic enzyme” or “taka-koji” or “tane-koji” in reference to koji. This was the first patent on a microbial enzyme in the United States. This enzyme “possesses the power of transforming starch into sugar.” This patent, issued on 11 Sept. 1894, was the key patent in the production of Taka-diastase, a digestive enzyme. “Takamine, in 1894, was probably the first to realize the technical possibilities of enzymes from molds and to introduce such enzymes to industry” (Underkofl er 1954,  p.98).

1894 May 25 – The directors of the Distillers and Cattle Feeders’ Company, a whisky trust, decided to apply the Takamine process to whisky making and signed a contract with the Takamine Company. The trust, which now owned over 20 distilleries, expected to save $1,500,000 a year using the Takamine process (Chicago Daily Tribune , p. 2; Wall Street Journal , p. 1; Washington Post , May 26, p. 5).

1894 Aug. 16 – The International Takamine Company was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, with a capital stock of $5,000,000 for the purpose of controlling the use of Taka-Diastase. The incorporators were Jokichi Takamine, who was president, Mary B. Hitch and E.V. Hitch (The North American, Aug. 18, p. 5).

1894 Dec. – heralds the start of a troubled few months and the recurrence of his previous health problems. “Takamine’s process was put into production in December, 1894 at the Manhattan distillery in Peoria, which was equipped with new machinery for that purpose. The scientist’s triumph was short lived. Within two months the Distilling and Cattle Feeding Company was in the hands of receivers appointed by the United States Circuit Court in Chicago. The receivers changed the distillery back to the old process and at Takamine’s request his contracts with the trust were cancelled without remuneration to him”

Ultimately, the whisky trust collapsed because of legislation enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 1891 to undermine the trust system and also because of the depression of 1893. The trust, for all practical purposes, ended in 1895. This, rather than a fire, is probably a more likely if less glamorous reason for the demise of Takamine’s experiments in Peoria. Yet another key reason may have been that he had to be rushed to Chicago by train for an emergency liver operation. Unfortunately the actual date of this emergency remains unknown but it was probably after he sued the whisky trust in March 1895. After the operation, with great help from his wife, he slowly recovered and although his future did not look bright, he refused to give up (East 1952, p.111-15). (Klein 1987, Journal Star {Peoria}, 10 May 1987, p. C12). 

1895 - Roentgen discovers X-rays



1895 Feb. 16 – By this time the whisky trust was in receivership and the receiver was now in charge. The receivership was to be transferred from the United States court at Peoria to the office in Chicago.

1895 March 6 – The Chicago Daily Tribune ran the headline: “Takamine sues whisky trust. Declares it has not kept a contract and wants a remedy” He “filed a petition yesterday in the United States Court against the receivers of the whisky trust. He alleges that in 1891 he entered into a contract with the officers of the trust…” which they have not honored”.

1895 July – Parke, Davis & Company, a pharmaceutical company in Detroit, Michigan, was now aggressively marketing and perhaps making, Taka-Diastase in powder form as a medicine to aid digestion, under license from Dr. Takamine. According to an entry in the 1928 Kawakami, “At first Taka-Diastase was made by the Takamine Ferment Company on a comparatively small scale. Later, when its efficacy became more widely known, Parke, Davis & Company of Detroit undertook, as it still does, to manufacture it and market it more widely.” The royalties from this product, based on koji, soon made him a wealthy man. Taka-Diastase was probably the first microbial enzyme to be made commercially in the United States, although several plant enzymes had already been sold commercially before the advent of microbial enzymes (Dr. J.W. Bennett Sept. 2012, personal communication) (Therapeutic Notes, ad on unnumbered page; Mahoney 1959, p. 73). Kawakami (1928, p. 26) (Dr. J.W. Bennett Sept. 2012, personal communication).

1895 – Takamine and his family resided at 6641 Woodlawn Ave. in Chicago, the Takamine Ferment Company had an office in the Chamber of Commerce Building, room 511. J. Takamine was president of the company, John White was secretary (Chicago City Directory, p. 1701).

1896 May 23 – J. Takamine, still residing in Chicago, applied for a U.S. patent on a process for removing glycerin from used printers’ rollers.

1897 Dec.  – With Parke, Davis & Co. as his patron, Takamine moved his family to New York and established an independent laboratory on East 103rd Street in Manhattan, New York (Bennett 1988, p. xi).

1897 John Jacob Abel, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, announced the discovery and isolation of crystalline “epinephrine.” A year later Otto von Furth in Europe announced the discovery of “suprarenin” Yet neither of these close relatives of adrenaline was isolated in its pure form (Kawakami 1928, p. 41-42; Bowden et al. 2003, p. 49).

 1898 - Spanish American War



1898 Feb. 28  – Takamine’s most important and probably most brilliant scientific article to date, entitled “Diastatic substances from fungus growths,” was published in the Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry (London) (p. 118-20).

1899 – J. Takamine applied, in Japan, for the degree of Doctor of Chemical Engineering and was granted this doctoral degree the same year. From then on he could use the title of “Dr. Takamine.” (W.W. Scott 1922, p. 371).

1899 – the Sankyo Shoten company was founded in Japan to distribute Taka-Diastase, imported from the USA.

1900 The Takamine Ferment Company still had an office in Chicago at 138 Washington, room 1011. J. Takamine was still president and Edward Moore, secretary. The Takamine family now lived in New York City and no longer had a residence in Chicago (Chicago City Directory).

on the summer of 1900 Takamine embarked on his research on adrenalin which was to prove his most significant discovery (American J. of Pharmacy, 1901, p.525).

1900 June  – Keizo Uenaka, sometimes spelt Wooyenaka, succeeded in crystallizing adrenaline. Following a suggestion made by Parke, Davis and Co., Takamine had hired Uenaka,a young chemist from Japan to work in his private laboratory at East 103rd St., Manhattan, New York City, on a project to isolate the active principle of the adrenal glands of sheep. It is widely stated in academic works that John Jacob Abel of Johns Hopkins University and Jokichi Takamine discovered epinephrine (adrenaline) independently; some give credit to Abel for discovering it first, but to Takamine for isolating the pure substance (Bennett1988, p.xi; Yamashima 2003, p.98-99)(Bennett2001; Yamashima 2003).

1900 Nov. 5  –Takamine applied for a patent on his process for isolating adrenalin, the active principle of the suprarenal glands, for the first time, US Patent Nos. 730196 to 730198 (Yamashima 2003, p.98-99)

This was the first hormone to be isolated in pure form, and was thus a landmark in the history of medicine, biochemistry, and physiology. This patent process for adrenalin became very complex as it was in fact the first substance derived from nature ever to be patented. In one lawsuit in April 1911, Judge Learned Hand expressed his perplexity as a non-scientist in having to rule in such a precedent-setting case. He ruled in favor of Takamine. Yet the question raised by Hand regarding the fundamental question is still the subject of intense debate: Can an isolated or purified natural substance be patented? (Lehninger 1975, p. 1059).  (Harkness 2011, p. 363-99). (Mahoney 1959, p. 74).

1901 March 19 – Takamine applied for a trademark on “Adrenalin”.

1901 April 15  – Takamine’s first scientific paper on Adrenalin, entitled “The blood-pressure-raising principle of the suprarenal glands – A preliminary report,” was published in the Therapeutic Gazette, Detroit – a journal published by Parke, Davis & Co.

1901 June 6  – Dr. Takamine took the opportunity, during the reading of a scientific paper  before a convention of the American Medical Association in St. Paul, Minnesota, to formally announce the discovery of Adrenalin. The paper was entitled “The Active Principle of Suprarenal Glands.”

1901 November  – Takamine published his findings on adrenalin in an article called “Adrenalin the active principle of the suprarenal glands and its mode of Preparation,” in The American Journal of Pharmacy. Also in 1901 Parke, Davis & Co. introduced adrenalin to the medical profession. The combined royalties from Taka-Diastase and Adrenalin, plus the income from his growing businesses in Japan, would soon make Dr. Takamine an increasingly wealthy man. He began to look for creative ways to use his wealth to help others and to promote friendship and understanding between Japan and the United States. This was the start of his philanthropic activities (Bett 1954, p. 523).

1901 Nov. 29 – On his way to Japan, Dr. Takamine embarked upon a lecturing tour of the British Isles. He was lauded everywhere he went for his good humor, interesting talks, and scientific ability (Chemist and Druggist {London}, Dec. 7, p. 911).

1902 Jan. 18  – In an article on adrenaline entitled “The blood-pressure-raising principle of the suprarenal gland” published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, Takamine gave his title and address as: M.D., 475 Central Park West, New York City.

1902 May 17 – Dr. Takamine, accompanied by his wife and sons, left Japan for San Francisco on the Japanese steamer America Maru (Japan Weekly Mail , p. 550).

1902 Aug. 14 – Caroline Takamine purchased the Takamine family’s first piece of land at Merriewold Park in Sullivan County, New York. She bought many plots but the actual acreage is not shown on the land deed. The reason the family chose to purchase land in that area and were accepted  into the Park community was largely because Caroline’s younger sister, Marie Morelle Septima Hitch, had married Henry George, Jr. an early inhabitant of Merriewold. Note that this land was purchased a little more than 2 years before Jokichi Takamine was given Sho-Foo-Den (Shofu-Den).

1903 Jan. – The first significant biography of J. Takamine, from a Japanese viewpoint, was published (Japan and America, Supplement, p. 69-73).

1904 - St Louis World’s Fair



1904 April 30 – Japan had a major pavilion and Dr. Takamine was a member of the jury at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the “St. Louis World Fair”, which opened in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 30 and ran until Dec. 1.

1905 March 15 – Dr. Takamine founded The Nippon Club, a gentleman’s club for Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals in New York City. Initially it occupied a townhouse at 334 Riverside Drive but by 1908 it was at 44 W. 85th St, and in 1912 it moved into a Renaissance Revival building at 161 West 93rd St., which was designed for the Club by the architect John Vredenburgh Van Pelt and erected in 1912. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the building was seized by the federal government (Japan in New York , 1908; Wikipedia, at Nippon Club).

1904 Nov. 25 – Dr. Jokichi Takamine, who now resided at 45 Hamilton Terrace in New York City, was gifted three Japanese buildings which had been brought to the country to form part of the main Japanese pavilion at the previous year’s world fair in St. Louis, Missouri, as a reward from the Emperor for his service to the Imperial Japanese Commission. The buildings would be rebuilt in the grounds at Dr. Takamine’s summer home at Merriewold in Sullivan County, about 75 miles northwest of Manhattan. The foundations for the buildings had already been laid. He renamed the buildings Sho-Foo-Den, which means “Pine Maple Hall.” (Republican atchman {Monticello, New York}, p. 1; New-York Tribune, 27 April 1905, p. 11).

1906 Sept. – In Japan, J. Takamine submitted a thesis and his curriculum vitae in application for the degree of Doctor of Pharmacology He was awarded this doctoral degree the same year (Miles Laboratories 1988, p. 1). (W.W. Scott 1922, p. 371).

1907 May 19 – The Japan Society was created in New York at a gathering where General Kuroki, hero of the Russo-Japanese War, was a guest. Its goal was to “facilitate personal contact and mutual understanding between the Americans and the Japanese.” Dr. Takamine was the “moving spirit” and the Society’s first vice-president (Kawakami 1928, p. 55).

1908 – Dr. Takamine gave the address of his residence as 45 Hamilton Terrace, New York City. Telephone: 1309 Audubon; his office address as 521 W. 179 th St. Telephone: 95 Audubon (Japan in New York, Japanese Directory).

1909  – Jokichi Takamine and his family moved into an elegant six-storey (including basement) Art Nouveau townhouse at 334 Riverside Drive, between 105th  and 106th streets, on the upper west side of Manhattan, New York City. This townhouse was occupied until 1908 by the Nippon Club, which Dr. Takamine had founded in 1905. A photograph of this house, taken in 2001, is posted at www.fl ickriver.com.

1909 Sept. 19 - Prince and princess Kuni of the Japanese Imperial family visited Sho-Fu-Den  on their return journey from Europe to Japan. Princess Kuni was pregnant at the time with Princess Nagako Kuniyoshi, who later married Emperor Hirohito on 24 Jan. 1924 in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Caroline found the formal visit exhausting for although she spoke very little Japanese, she was expected to play the role of accomplished hostess to the royal couple The date of this visit is often given incorrectly as 1907 (New York Times , 20 Sept. 1909; de Mille 1978, p. 123-261910

1910  – The Takamine Ferment Company still had an office in Chicago at 138 Washington, room 703 (Chicago City Directory, p. 1659).

1910 Sept. 30  – Jokichi Takamine and a committee of Japanese residents donated 2,100 cherry trees and a memorial bronze tablet to the city of New York. They were to be planted around Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive to commemorate the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. But unfortunately the trees proved to be diseased and had to be destroyed. So the committee tried again, hoping the trees would arrive in the spring of 1912 (Fairchild 1938, p. 410-15; National Park Service 2006).

1912 March 28 – Just before spring, the first of thousands of cherry blossom trees were planted in the West Potomac Park surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Dr. Takamine funded the trees but insisted that it was “as a private businessman, scientist, and goodwill ambassador” for he did not feel he should be ‘out front’ on this, so he and Japan’s Consul General in New York agreed that the gift should be made through “official channels.” Also in 1912, Dr. Takamine gave 50 cherry trees to Parke-Davis in Detroit “in token of his appreciation for the kindness and good-will the company had shown him during the past seventeen years” (Washington Post, p. 2; Bennett 2001; Malott 2012). (Mahoney 1959, p. 64-81).

1913 – Takamine travelled to Japan where Sankyo Shoten, which was now growing rapidly, was reorganized as a joint stock company and incorporated under the new name of Sankyo Co. Ltd. Dr. Jokichi Takamine, living in the United States, became the company’s first president. Also that year, he was awarded the Imperial Academy Prize in recognition of his discovery of Adrenaline and was elected a member of the Imperial Academy. Dr. Takamine listed the address of his office and laboratory as “550 W. 173rd St., N.Y.C.

1915 – In July the New York Times informed its readers that the Emperor of Japan had decorated Dr. Takamine with the Order of the Rising Sun, Fourth Class, for his scientific and entrepreneurial achievements.

1915 Sept. 29 – Ebenezer “Eben” Takashi Takamine married Ethel Johnson in New York City. By marrying a non-citizen, Ethel gave up her U.S. citizenship. Eben’s second marriage was to Odette Jean on 25 July 1928, and his third marriage, on 2 Oct. 1943, was to Catherine McMahon. Eben had no children.

1915 Nov. – Takamine Laboratory, Inc. was transferred to Clifton, New Jersey. It carried out both manufacturing and research (Scott 1922, p. 370-72).

1917 June 4 Jokichi “Joe” Takamine, Jr. married Hilda Petrie. The marriage venue was unknown. They had two children: Caroline Yuki Takamine, born 20 May 1923 in New Jersey, and Jokichi Takamine III, born on 6 Feb. 1924, in Passaic County, New Jersey.

1919 July – Caroline Takamine, residing at 334 Riverside Drive, sold what was her husband’s laboratory and office at 553 West 173rd  St. and which he apparently no longer required (Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide , July 26, p. 67).

1921 May 17 – Jokichi Takamine wrote his last will and testament. He requested that his body either be dissected for the advancement of science or cremated and the ashes buried, partly in the USA and partly in Japan (New York Times 1922 Aug. 4).

1921 June - Jokichi Takamine and his wife left their six-storey townhouse at 334 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York City, and moved to 93 Boulevard, Passaic, New Jersey (New York Times  1921 June 24; www.flickerriver.com).

1922 June 14  (approx.) – Jokichi Takamine converted to Catholicism, from Buddhism, the religion of his birth, while in hospital, only 6 weeks before his death. He told his wife, Caroline, who had converted to Catholicism before he had, that “the one thing missing in his life he felt could be supplied only in a belief in God” (New York Time 1922 July 26, p. 13).

1922 July 22 – On Saturday, Jokichi Takamine died in New York City at the age of 68, at Lenox Hill Hospital from a serious and complex kidney disease – chronic nephritis, according to his death certificate. His decease warranted a full-column obituary in the New York Times.  He was “perhaps the best known Japanese in this country.” He and Caroline had been married for nearly 35 years. His body was taken to his home at 93 Boulevard, Passaic, New Jersey, where it remained until the Monday afternoon

1922 July 24  (Monday) – That afternoon his body was taken to the Nippon Club, which he had founded and of which he had been for 18 years the president, at 161 West 93rd  St., where a memorial service was held at 6 o’clock in the evening. His coffin was “surrounded by more than 300 floral pieces from prominent Japanese and American friends… An American and a Japanese flag were crossed on his breast, symbolical of his efforts to cement the friendship between the two countries.” A moving tribute to Dr. Takamine was published that day in the New York Times. 

1922 July 25 (Tuesday) – His body was transferred to St. Patrick’s Cathedral where funeral services were held at 10:30. Rev. Father William B. Martin, acting rector of the Cathedral and Master of Ceremonies at the funeral, told of how six weeks earlier he had converted to Roman Catholicism from Buddhism (New York Times  July 26, p. 13).

1922  Afterwards, on August 3, when his will had been filed for probate in Paterson, New Jersey, he was buried in a stately Takamine family mausoleum that his wife had had erected at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in New York. The Catholic Church did not allow cremation at the time and there was no interest shown among physicians regarding dissection (New York Times  Aug. 4).