When I heard the news that Akira Yoshino had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this year, I shed tears as if I was awarded the prize. He is five years younger than me and we were impressed with his smile and tender character.

I grew up under the U.S. Occupation and I believed that everything Japanese was inferior to that country: America was richer, bigger in area and, especially, Americans were more intelligent than us Japanese because they won more Nobel Prizes.

According to media accounts, Yoshino was impressed with the French scientist Michael Faraday’s “The Chemical History of a Candle” (“Rousoku no Kagaku” in Japanese) when he was still an elementary school pupil. I read the booklet in college, but it didn’t have the same impact on me! I am afraid that I am not science-minded.

Just as when Hideki Yukawa was awarded the Nobel in physics back in 1949, we are again very happy and proud of our country!


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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