Kyoto Residence Of First Japanese Nobelist Renovated; Home Of Hideki Yukawa Will Be Public Multi-Purpose Facility

Courtesy of Kyoto University
Left: The garden of Dr. Yukawa’s old residence in Kyoto. Right: A lounge inside the house.

KYOTO— Renovations have now been completed on the residence in which Dr. Hideki Yukawa (1907-81) — the first Japanese Nobel Prize winner — spent his later years. Kyoto University, to which the residence was donated, plans to use the renovated house as a multi-purpose facility and make it open to the general public as early as this fall.

The two-story wooden house was built in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto in 1933. Dr. Yukawa spent more than 20 years there, from around the time when he was appointed as the first director of the Research Institute for Fundamental Physics at Kyoto University until his death.

As it became difficult for his relatives to maintain the house, Haseko Corp., a construction firm purchased it from his relatives and donated it to Kyoto University as an act of corporate social responsibility in August 2021.

Architect Tadao Ando planned the renovation, with the aim of preserving as much as possible of the building and garden where Dr. Yukawa used to interact with researchers he had invited over. Haseko Corp. carried out the renovations free of charge.

The renovations included adding a reading room and an atrium lobby near the entranceway. An adjoining lounge was turned into an exhibition space which informs visitors about Dr. Yukawa’s achievements.

Courtesy of Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University
Dr. Hideki Yukawa