History of Chemistry at Nagoya: 1945-1988

– Turning Point for the Chemistry Department: Providing [Education] and [Research] –

While peace was in the process of being restored after the war, the Chemistry Department saw a transition period. Yuuji Shibata, who had been the first Sciences Department President and the central founder of the chemistry classroom resigned in December of 1948 and moved to a Tokyo Metropolitan University. In 1949, Yonezo Morino, the professor for the second physical chemistry course moved to Tokyo University, and Shouji Kubo, who had been a professor at the old Keijo University *1 and moved to be a professor at the First Senior High School *2, took his place.

Additionally, in April of 1954 a biochemistry course was established as the sixth course. The field of chemistry in which Fujio Egami – the professor who oversaw the organic chemistry course up to that point – specialized was actually biochemistry. The assistant professor Yoshimasa Hirata, who was a specialist in organic chemistry, took over for him there, and the same course was actually run as two laboratories on the research side. The wish, held for many years, for this to be divided into two courses was at last realized with the understanding and support of University President Katsunuma *3. Professor Hirata moved up to be a professor of the organic chemistry course, and Professor Egami oversaw the biochemistry course.

In March of 1953 a portion of Science Department Building A, refurbished with concrete reinforcing bars, was completed, and the first course to move class there was the analytical chemistry course. The building was completed thereafter little-by-little, and courses were moved there one-by-one. In December of 1957, biochemistry was the last course to move, and finally all courses had been moved to the new building.

Starting in the 1950’s research conditions began to slowly improve, and all types of electronic analysis devices using electronics technology were purchased with various research funds. The introduction of these machines brought about a revolution in all fields of chemistry. By measuring the physical chemistry properties of a molecule, the identification of compounds and of the structure of molecules became possible to a level of detail and accuracy never before possible. In this way, in the 10 years after the war the dual pillars of the university organization [Education] and [Research] were established.

In 1958, Professor Egami, who had overseen the biochemistry course, moved to Tokyo University, but he continued to oversee the course as a joint instructor until September of 1960. One year after that, Sakaru Suzuki, who had been an assistant professor in the college of liberal arts took his position and moved to the Science Department and oversaw the biochemistry course. Also, Ikuzo Uketani, from the Agriculture Department, acted as a joint professor for the biochemistry course for one year starting in October of 1960.

Second Chemistry Department – From Six to Nine Courses –

In March of 1963, Ken Sugahara, who had been the first professor after establishment, retired at the determined age. Genji Tanaka, who had been an assistant professor succeeded him. From around that time a second chemistry department was planned in order to respond to the increased number of research fields and the greater number of students. In 1964 a reorganization and expansion of the Chemistry Department was carried out wherein three courses were added and the number of students increased to 50. *4

In March of 1965, Jiro Tanaka, who had been a research assistant at the Tokyo University Physical Properties Research Center became the overseeing assistant professor over the seventh course (solid chemistry course). In April of the next year he was awarded the title of professor. Then, in January of 1967, Hideo Yamatera, who had been a professor at Rikkyo University came to be the professor of the eighth course (isotope chemistry course). Additionally, in February of 1968, Ryouji Noyori came from Kyoto University to be the overseeing assistant professor of the ninth course (reaction organic chemistry course), and in August of 1972 he was promoted to a full professor. The number of courses increased in this way, but having only nine courses still made the Chemistry Department small among the other departments in the university at large. Another, second expansion was hoped for.

The new courses each filled up with students and began their activities, and in March of 1972 Tamotsu Sano, who had been a professor at the time of founding, and in March of 1974 Hajime Yamazaki and Shouji Kubo retired due to reaching the retirement age. Shoichi Ikeda took the place of Professor Sano. Jun-nosuke Fujita, who was an assistant professor at Tohoku University, took the place of Professor Yamazaki. Assistant Professor Takao Nakamura took the place of Professor Kubo.

New Construction of Building A2 – Maturing of the Chemistry Department –

The A2 building was newly constructed and the student experiment room, inorganic chemistry course, organic chemistry course, and reactive organic chemistry course were moved there. Up to this point there were two student experiment rooms, but these rooms were gathered into one room after the move in order to better match the curriculum.

In March of 1979 Yoshimasa Hirata retired because he reached the retirement age, and Yamada Kiyoyuki, an assistant professor, was raised into his place. Also, in 1978the Graduate Science Research Department Space Sciences Specialization Course was newly established, a space molecular chemistry field of study was newly created. The specialization and the chemistry specialization decided that this field would be administered as a chemistry specialization, and in 1985 Osamu Saito, an assistant professor from the molecular sciences research location moved up to take over the guiding professorship.

In 1983 a molecular properties course was started taught by instructors from the education department in a large lectureship format. This became one part of the Chemistry Major. In March of 1987, Professor Hideo Yamatera retired because he reached the retirement age and Osamu Sannai, a professor at the pharmaceutical department of Kanazawa University replaced him.

It was in 1964 that the number of students in the Chemistry Department reached 50. It was precisely at this time that pollution became a serious social problem. Due to the fact that Chemistry was seen as the science that caused this problem, the number of students wishing to enter chemistry related departments sharply declined. Our Chemistry Department also felt the ill effects of this phenomenon, and for a time even after the pollution problem subsided the problem of low student enrollment numbers continued. However, in 1981 there was a reform of the government approved high school curriculum, and in 1984, the year in which the students who took the new courses went on to university, the number of students desiring to study chemistry rose sharply. Furthermore, because the number of school aged children increased, in 1987 a temporary increase in the number of students was executed according to a request of the Ministry of Education. In this year the fixed number of students for the Chemistry Department was raised to 55, and in 1988 it was raised to 60. *5

*1 Keijo University: : Established in 1924 as the sixth Imperial University, the only old style university in Korea established under Japanese control in what is presently Seoul Special City.

*2 First High School: : The old-style high school that became the predecessor for the current Tokyo University College of General Education, the Chiba University Medical Faculty and Pharmaceutical Department.

*3 Seizou Katsunuma: : Third President of Nagoya University

*4 The actual implementation of the new courses was carried out starting the next year.

*5 In 1998, this returned to 50 people.

Tweet this!Tweet this!