Vol. 7 No. 1 (2023)
Historical Articles

Kuroda Chika (1884-1968) – Pioneer Woman Chemist in Twentieth Century Japan

Yona Siderer
Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Kuroda Chika at age 40, at RIKEN, the Physical and Chemical Research Center, 1924.

Published 2022-11-04


  • Kuroda Chika,
  • organic chemistry,
  • chemistry in Japan,
  • women scientists in Japan,
  • Ochanomizu University,
  • Tohoku University,
  • RIKEN,
  • plants dyes
  • ...More

How to Cite

Siderer, Y. (2022). Kuroda Chika (1884-1968) – Pioneer Woman Chemist in Twentieth Century Japan. Substantia, 7(1), 93–112. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-1792


Kuroda Chika was the first Japanese woman to graduate in chemistry. This article describes her early education and subsequent career in chemical research in Japan from 1913, and includes two years in Oxford (1921-1923). Her career as a researcher in The Physical and Chemical Research Institute (RIKEN) and as a professor at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo is described. Kuroda’s organic chemistry studies, specifically the identification of the constitution of plant dyes is described. The status of female education and female employment in Japan during the first half of the twentieth century are also considered. Later in her career the achievements of Kuroda Chika were acknowledged with prestigious prizes and awards.


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