The Global Energy Prize laureate 2015

Shuji Nakamura and his invention – blue LEDs


Shuji Nakamura was born in 1954 in the tiny village of Ikata, located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Its citizens occupied themselves with fishery and vegetable production, as they did not have any other opportunities to earn money. Nakamura’s father was the exception: he worked as a technician on a substation. There was only one school in the village, where in was possible to obtain a secondary education, which was compulsory in Japan. The village lacked high school, after which one could enter a university. Nakamura preferred games with his friends to school lessons, so Nakamura’s parents planned that after school he would start working. Then, Nakamura’s father was transferred to Tokusima, a capital of Shikoku prefecture. To catch up with his classmates in the new school, Shuji had to work hard. His father started practicing math with him, when he saw how hard his son tried. He got the desire to become a scientist quite early, at the age of 12, strangely, as it may seem, inspired by Manga comics. Shuji was fascinated by the Astro Boy comics by Osamu Tezuka. The main character is the Astroboy robot, created by a genius scientist who lost his son. Then, the robot meets a good scientist, Ochanomizu, who creates a family for him. Together they fight villains and evil robots. His father told him that robots are designed by humans, and Nakamura wanted to be a scientist in the robotic industry. Nakamura is sure that the recent technological breakthroughs are closely related to the fact that his generation grew up on these comics. 

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