Title and Description Page
Childhood, Family, and Early Education 1
World War II. Father's occupation. Siblings. British Boys School in Alexandria, Egypt. Return to Japan. Keeping up with English. Garioa Fellowship. High school in Osaka during the war. Decision to go into chemistry. Entry into Nagoya University. Work in explosives research.
Nagoya University 5
The Japanese university system. Fujio Egami. Y. Hirata (research mentor). Feelings about the war. Conditions after the war. Natural product tradition in Japan. Three pioneers of Japanese chemistry. Marriage. Influence of wife. Daughter (Keiko) and son (Jun). Research problems—actinomycin, xanthopterin. Garioa Fellowship. Decision to go to Harvard. Preparation for America. The Garioa Fellows.
Harvard University 12
First exposure to infrared spectroscopy. Articles and book on infrared spectroscopy. Translation of book into English. First research problem with Fieser. Paper chromatography. Paul Bartlett's lectures. Introduction to electronic theory of organic chemistry. Fieser's stuffed bat. Students and faculty at Harvard.
Return to Japan 16
Nagoya University. Assistant Professor to Hirata. The Fieser group at Harvard. The use of spectroscopy. Move to Kyoiku University (Tokyo University of Education). Conversion of Kyoiku University to Tsukuba University. First introduction to NMR. Consulting meeting with Carl Djerassi. Natural product research coupled with applications of spectroscopy. Interest in bioactive compounds.
Tohoku University in Sendai 21
Offer to go to Tohoku in 1963. Work on the ginkgolides. Support of research by the Takeda Company. The search for biologically active plant constituents. The ecdysones.
Columbia University 28
The decision to move. The decision to go to Columbia. Director of Research for International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (Nairobi). Consulting for Syntex. Circular dichroism.
Structure of fluorescent Y base of t-RNA. Insect antifeedants. The neem tree. Isao Kubo. Chemistry of vision. Brevotoxin. Use of x-ray and other advanced spectroscopic methods in structure determination. Interdisciplinary approaches to structure determination and mode of action. Tunichrome, vanadium sequestering agent. Crustacean molting inhibitor. Meiosis-inducing substance in starfish. Changes in organic chemistry. Dynamic natural products. Cardiotonic hormones.
Suntory Institute (SUNBOR) 45
Origins. How Nakanishi became Director. Postdoc system. Critique of the Japanese university system. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Personnel structure of the Suntory Institute. Difficulty in accepting foreign postdocs. Comparison of American and Japanese postdoc system. Research structure at SUNBOR.
Magic and Other Diversions 55
Challenges for Organic Chemistry 56
Chemistry of cell differentiation. Phytolexins.
Advice for Aspiring Young Scientists 57