Masataka Taketsuru Japan

Biography of Masataka Taketsuru

Masataka Taketsuru
Masataka Taketsuru

Masataka Taketsuru studied Organic Chemistry at the University of Glasgow in the summer of 1919. He became the founder of Japanese Whisky, and Nikka Whisky Distilling Company. Taketsuru was born in Takehara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, son of Keiziro, a chemical engineer and brewer of sake.

Taketsuru entered his summer course at the University, which consisted of 12 lectures focusing on the results of recent research in Organic Chemistry, and which required a sound understanding of the subject. In July, his lecturer, Thomas Stewart Patterson was awarded the newly created Gardiner Chair of Chemistry.

While in Scotland, Taketsuru lodged at Middlecroft House in Kirkintillich where he met his, Scottish, future wife Rita Cowan. After a spell working in distilleries, he returned with her to Japan in 1920 where he would establish the Japanese whisky industry.

The Taketsuru Prize was founded in 2002 by Takeshi Taketsuru in memory of his father.


University of Glasgow Story

Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • R8/1/14 Matriculation Album (with index) 1913-1918
  • SEN10/60 University Calendar


Masataka Taketsuru
Born 1895.
Died 1979.
GU Degree: Science and Engineering, 1919;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: organic chemists
English snippet: Founder of Japanese Whisky
Record last updated: 31st Oct 2014

Country Associations

Japan Japan, Hiroshima Prefecture
Place of Birth

Japan Japan, Hokkaido, Yoichi
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student