Jokichi Takamine was born in Takaoka, Toyama. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1879, and did postgraduate work at University of Glasgow and Anderson College in Scotland. He returned to Japan in 1883 and joined the chemistry division at the newly established Department of Agriculture and Commerce. In 1890, Takamine was invited to come to the U.S. to develop a practical application of Taka-diastase (a starch-digesting enzyme named after Takamine) for the distilling industry. Takamine established a research laboratory in Clifton, New Jersey, where in 1901 he isolated and purified the hormone adrenaline from animal glands, the first pure hormone to be isolated from natural sources. Takamine lived in the United States for the rest of his life, but maintained close ties with Japan, aiding in the country’s development of industrial dyes, nitrogen fixation, and the manufacture of Bakelite.