Special Contributions Jpn. J. Vasc. Surg., 12:563-569, 2003 
Mikito Takayasu and Jokichi Takamine, Two Famous Japanese Doctors Who Were from Kanazawa, Japan
Junichi Matsubara
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Kanazawa Medical University


Mikito Takayasu (1860-1938)
He was a discoverer of the peculiar eye-ground of patients with Takayasu's disease or the pulseless disease. At the 12th Congress of the Japanese Society for Ophthalmology in Fukuoka on April 1, 1908, he reported the peculiar eye-ground with arterio-venous anastomosis and aneurysmal changes. The patient was a 22-year-old woman. She suffered from visual disturbance and about one year later she completely lost her visual acuity in both eyes. Later, this disease was summarized and has been called Takayasu's disease or pulseless disease, distinguished by no radial pulse, flower-ring like vascular anastomosis in the eye ground and hypersensitivity of the carotid body.
Dr. Takayasu graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1887, and from 1888 he worked as a teacher of ophthalmology at The 4th High School, Faculty of Medicine, in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, which was the predecessor of the present Kanazawa University School of Medicine. He lived for 46 years in Kanazawa and moved to Beppu, Kyushu and died in November 1938.

Jokichi Takamine (1854-1922)
He was a discoverer of Taka-Diastase (a strong diastase), an inventor of the crystallization of adrenalin (adrenal gland hormone) and a private ambassador between Japan and USA.
He lived in Kanazawa from 1855 and studied English and chemistry in Nagasaki, Osaka and Tokyo. From 1880 to 1883 he studied chemistry in England. In 1887 he married Miss Caroline Hitch, a daughter of a rich American cotton-enterpriser.
From 1890 they lived in the USA and Takamine made whiskey using malted rice and wheat bran. In 1892 he discovered a strong diastase (Taka-Diastase) and sold it through Parke-Davis Company. In 1900 he and his assistant Keizou Uenaka succeeded in crystallizing the adrenal gland hormone, which was named as adrenalin. Through selling Taka-Diastase and adrenalin he became very rich. He strived also to make a good relationship between Japan and USA using his money.
In 1922 he died of heart disease in New York.

Key words:
Mikito Takayasu, Peculiar eye-ground, Jokichi Takamine, Taka-Diastase, Adrenalin