Hideyo Noguchi was born on November 9, 1876, and his lifelong career in the field of science saw major developments in the discovery of diseases such as syphilis and leishmaniasis. He was born into a traditional farming family in Inawashiro, in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan. He trained at Saisei Gakusha (later known as Nippon Medical School) and after graduating, he traveled to the United States where he got a job as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania.
Noguchi’s early scientific research involved him studying the effect of snake venom on humans. It was in 1913 that he discovered the presence of Treponema pallidum (the bacterium that causes the disease syphilis) in the brain of a patient with progressive paralysis. This landmark discovery was proof of the cause of the disease.
The scientist’s name is well known across Japan and his portrait can be found on Japanese 1000-yen banknotes, which have been printed since 2004. This statue allows visitors to pay tribute to his career and the advancement of scientific knowledge that he was responsible for.
Know Before You Go
The Hideyo Noguchi Statue sits within Ueno Park. This area is well worth visiting with a large green space and many museums and things to see here.