Hideyo Noguchi’s birthday

9 Nov

野口英世 (Hideo Noguchi) was born 135 years ago today…on 1876 November 9th.

Hideyo Noguchi, 1876 Nov 9 - 1928 May 21. RIP

He was a doctor who died in Ghana when he contracted Yellow Fever, which he was doing research on.

In 2004, the Japan government changed the design of the ¥1000 and the ¥5000 bills. For the twenty years until then, the face on the ¥1000 note was of famous author 夏目漱石 (Natsume Soseki), but ¥1000 bills issued since 2004 have the face of 野口英世 (Hideyo Noguchi).

When I first came to Japan, ¥1000 notes had the face of 夏目漱石 (Soseki Natsume) on them. (The bill in this image has 「見本」 ("sample") print across the center).

But since 2004, 「野口英世」 (Hideyo Noguchi)'s face has been on the bills.

I learned that today was the birthday of 野口英世 (Hideyo Noguchi) when I checked Google today and saw the logo:

"Google" logo for the birthday of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi.

Other facts about Hideyo Noguchi:
-He was born in Fukushima (where the nuclear plant that was hit by the 2011 March 11 tsunami is).
-There is a statue of him in 上野公園 (Ueno Park) in Tokyo.
-His lived and worked in America for many years and married an American woman.
-His grave is in America.

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8 Responses to “Hideyo Noguchi’s birthday”

  1. musings November 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    When I saw the name Noguchi I thought of Isamu Noguchi. I don’t think I know very much about Hideyo Noguchi. I’ll have to ask my mother if she has heard of him.

    By the way, I’ll have a post about senryu on Sunday.

    Like

    • tokyo5 November 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      >Isamu Noguchi

      I don’t think I know who that is.

      >ask my mother if she has heard of him.

      I’m sure she has. He’s quite well-known in Japan.

      >I’ll have a post about senryu on Sunday.

      The type of Japanese poetry? I look forward to reading your post.

      Like

      • musings November 14, 2011 at 2:25 am #

        Yes, it’s about Japanese poetry.

        I asked my mom about Noguchi and she was a teeny bit insulted saying, “Of course I know about Hideo Noguchi! Every living Japanese person knows about Noguchi, Hideo.” And then she proceeded to give me his life story.

        Like

      • tokyo5 November 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

        >…my mom (said)…“Of course I know about Hideo Noguchi!

        Yeah. I would’ve been surprised if she hadn’t!

        >she proceeded to give me his life story.

        Everyone in Japan knows his life story (and also that of Soseki Natsume (the man on the older ¥1,000 bills)).

        Like

  2. gigihawaii November 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    He seems to be more revered in Japan than in the US. First time seeing his name.

    Like

    • tokyo5 November 11, 2011 at 2:06 am #

      Yes, Dr. Noguchi is very well-known and respected in Japan. I think most Americans in the science field know his name…but more “common people” in the U.S. should know about him.

      Like

  3. Metal Odyssey November 10, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Very informative, good stuff. Hey, what is $1000 in U.S. funds worth in Japan today? LOL… I don’t want to know!

    I don’t think I’ve ever held a thousand dollar bill from any country.

    Like

    • tokyo5 November 11, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      >Very informative, good stuff.

      Thanks.

      >what is $1000 in U.S. funds worth in Japan today?

      The U.S. dollar is very weak now. So, US$1000 = about ¥77,598
      At today’s rate, US$1 equals about ¥78 because the ¥en is strong and the dollar isn’t…when I first came to Japan in 1990 the exchange rate was about US$1 = ¥130.

      If you meant to ask me how much ¥1000 equals in U.S. dollars, then that would be about U.S. $12.89.

      >I don’t think I’ve ever held a thousand dollar bill from any country.

      A Japanese 1000 yen note is similar to a U.S. $10 bill in value. (Actually closer to $13 nowadays, but close enough…)

      Like

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