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Home > About JPO > History of Industrial Property Rights > Ten Japanese Great Inventors > Jokichi Takamine Taka-Diastase, Adrenaline

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Jokichi Takamine Taka-Diastase, Adrenaline

(Prepared by Pubulic Relations Section Genneral Affairs Division)

Taka-Diastase is a digestive enzyme discovered by Dr. Jokichi Takamine in 1894. The enzyme name comes from the term "Diastase," which means "enzyme", rendered in easier to pronounce German pronunciation, and "Taka," which means "best" or "excellent" in Greek and is also the first half or Dr. Takamine's name.

Taka-Diastase is still used as an ingredient in medicines, and was in fact mentioned long ago in Soseki Natsume's novel "I am a Cat." "Since he (the protagonist) had a weak stomach, his skin was a light yellow and showed symptoms of losing its elasticity. And yet he kept on eating, after which he would drink Taka-Diastase and crack open a book."

In 1900 Dr. Takamine succeeded in crystallizing and isolating adrenaline, the hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Adrenaline is widely used in all medical fields as a hemostatic and cardiotonic agent.

Taka-Diastase sold under domestic sales license granted by Dr. Takamine Taka-Diastase sold under domestic sales license granted by Dr. Takamine

Taka-Diastase sold under domestic sales license granted by Dr. Takamine

(Photos: Mitsui & Co., Ltd.)

Linked from [Ten Japanese Great Inventors]

[Last updated 7 October 2002]