List of Asian Nobel laureates

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The Nobel Prize is an annual, international prize first awarded in 1901 for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. An associated prize in Economics has been awarded since 1969.[1] Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 800 individuals.[2]

Asians have been the recipients of all six award categories: Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economics. The first Asian recipient, Rabindranath Tagore, was awarded the Literature Prize in 1913. The most Nobel Prizes awarded to Asian in a single year was in 2014, when five Asians became laureates. The most recent, a Japanese scientist Tasuku Honjo and Nadia Murad Nadia Murad were awarded his prizes in 2018.

To date, there have been seventy-one Asian winners of the Nobel Prize, including twenty-seven Japanese, twelve Israeli, and ten Chinese (not including non-Chinese Laureates born in China). The following are not including Russian.


Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1930 Sir CV Raman.JPG Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman  British India Physics First Asian and Indian Nobel laureate in science
1949 Yukawa.jpg Hideki Yukawa  Japan Physics First Japanese Nobel laureate
1957 CNYang.jpg Chen Ning Yang Republic of China (1912–1949) China Physics First Chinese Nobel laureate
1957 TD Lee.jpg Tsung-Dao Lee Republic of China (1912–1949) China Physics First Chinese Nobel laureate
1965 Tomonaga.jpg Sin-Itiro Tomonaga  Japan Physics
1973 Leo Esaki 1959.jpg Leo Esaki  Japan Physics
1979 Abdus Salam 1987.jpg Abdus Salam  Pakistan Physics First Pakistani Nobel laureate
1983 Nobel prize medal grey.png Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar  United States, Physics Born in India
1997 Steven Chu official DOE portrait.jpg Steven Chu  United States Physics
1998 Daniel Chee Tsui.jpg Daniel C. Tsui  United States Physics Born in China
2002 Masatoshi Koshiba 2002.jpg Masatoshi Koshiba  Japan Physics
2008 YoichiroNambu.jpg Yoichiro Nambu  United States Physics Born in Japan
2008 Makoto Kobayashi-press conference Dec 07th, 2008-2b.jpg Makoto Kobayashi  Japan Physics
2008 Toshihide Masukawa-press conference Dec 07th, 2008-4.jpg Toshihide Maskawa  Japan Physics
2009 Charles K. Kao cropped 2.jpg Charles K. Kao  United Kingdom and  United States, Physics First Hong Kong citizenship Nobel laureate
2014 Isamu Akasaki 20141211.jpg Isamu Akasaki  Japan Physics
2014 Hiroshi Amano 20141211.jpg Hiroshi Amano  Japan Physics
2014 Shiju.jpg Shuji Nakamura  United States Physics Born in Japan
2015 Takaaki Kajita 5171-2015.jpg Takaaki Kajita  Japan Physics


Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1981 Kenichi Fukui.jpg Kenichi Fukui  Japan Chemistry First Asian and Japanese Nobel laureate in Chemistry
1986 Yuan T. Lee 1-1.jpg Yuan T. Lee  Taiwan and  United States Chemistry First Taiwanese Nobel laureate
2000 Hideki Shirakawa 20011212.jpg Hideki Shirakawa  Japan Chemistry
2001 Rioji Noyori.jpg Ryōji Noyori  Japan Chemistry
2002 Koichi Tanaka 2003.jpg Koichi Tanaka  Japan Chemistry
2004 Aaron Ciechanover 01.JPG Aaron Ciechanover  Israel Chemistry
2004 Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Nobel Laureate Avram Hershko.jpg Avram Hershko  Israel Chemistry
2008 Osamu Shimomura-press conference Dec 06th, 2008-2.jpg Osamu Shimomura  Japan Chemistry
2009 Nobel Prize 2009-Press Conference KVA-08.jpg Venkatraman Ramakrishnan  United Kingdom and  United States Chemistry Born in India
2009 Ada E. Yonath.jpg Ada Yonath  Israel Chemistry
2010 Nobel Prize 2010-Press Conference KVA-DSC 7398.jpg Ei-ichi Negishi  Japan Chemistry
2010 Nobel Prize 2010-Press Conference KVA-DSC 7383.jpg Akira Suzuki  Japan Chemistry
2011 Dan Shechtman.jpg Dan Shechtman  Israel Chemistry
2013 AW TW PS.jpg Arieh Warshel  Israel and  United States Chemistry
2013 Nobel Prize 17 2013.jpg Michael Levitt  Israel,  United Kingdom and  United States Chemistry
2015 Aziz Sancar 0060.jpg Aziz Sancar  Turkey and  United States Chemistry First Turkish Nobel laureate in science

Physiology or Medicine[edit]

Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1968 Har Gobind Khorana nobel.jpg Har Gobind Khorana  United States Physiology or Medicine First Asian born and Indian born Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine
1987 Susumu Tonegawa Photo.jpg Susumu Tonegawa  Japan Physiology or Medicine First Asian and Japanese Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine
2012 Shinya yamanaka10.jpg Shinya Yamanaka  Japan Physiology or Medicine
2015 Satoshi Ōmura 5040-2015.jpg Satoshi Ōmura  Japan Physiology or Medicine
2015 Tu Youyou 5012-1-2015.jpg Tu Youyou  China Physiology or Medicine First Chinese woman Nobel laureate
2016 Yoshinori Osumi cropped 2 Yoshinori Osumi 20161003.jpg Yoshinori Ohsumi  Japan Physiology or Medicine
2018 Tasuku Honjo 201311.jpg Tasuku Honjo  Japan Physiology or Medicine


Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1913 Rabindranath Tagore in 1909.jpg Rabindranath Tagore  British India Literature First Asian and Indian Nobel laureate
1966 Agnon.jpg Shmuel Yosef Agnon  Israel Literature First Israeli Nobel laureate
1968 Yasunari Kawabata 1938.jpg Yasunari Kawabata  Japan Literature
1994 Paris - Salon du livre 2012 - Kenzaburō Ōe - 003.jpg Kenzaburō Ōe  Japan Literature
2000 Gao Xingjian Galerie Simoncini Luxembourg.jpg Gao Xingjian  France Literature Born in China
2006 Orhan Pamuk in Rustaveli Theatre, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2014.jpg Orhan Pamuk  Turkey Literature First Turkish Nobel laureate
2012 MoYan Hamburg 2008.jpg Mo Yan  China Literature
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro in Stockholm 2017 02.jpg Kazuo Ishiguro  United Kingdom Literature Born in Japan


Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1973 LeDucTho1973.jpg Lê Đức Thọ
(declined award)
 North Vietnam Peace First Asian and Vietnamese Nobel laureate in Peace
1974 Eisaku Sato 1960.jpg Eisaku Satō  Japan Peace
1978 Menachem Begin, Andrews AFB, 1978.JPG Menachem Begin  Israel Peace
1979 MotherTeresa 094.jpg Mother Teresa  India Peace First Asian woman Nobel laureate
1988 Dalailama1 20121014 4639.jpg Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama  India Peace First Tibetan Nobel laureate
1991 Remise du Prix Sakharov à Aung San Suu Kyi Strasbourg 22 octobre 2013-18.jpg Aung San Suu Kyi Flag of Myanmar (1974–2010).svg Burma Peace First Myanmar Nobel laureate
1994 ArafatEconomicForum.jpg Yasser Arafat  Palestine Peace First Palestinian Arab in Nobel laureate
1994 Shimon Peres by David Shankbone.jpg Shimon Peres  Israel Peace
1994 Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Life of Lt. Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, 7th IDF Chief of Staff in photos (11).jpg Yitzhak Rabin  Israel Peace
1996 Carlosbelo.jpg Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo  Timor-Leste Peace First Timorese Nobel laureate
1996 José Ramos-Horta Portrait.jpg José Ramos-Horta  Timor-Leste Peace First Timorese Nobel laureate
2000 Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png Kim Dae-jung  South Korea Peace First Korean Nobel laureate
2003 Shirin-Ebadi-Amsterdam-2011-Photo-by-Persian-Dutch-Network.jpg Shirin Ebadi  Iran Peace First Iranian Nobel laureate
2006 Professor Muhammad Yunus- Building Social Business Summit (8758300102).jpg Muhammad Yunus  Bangladesh Peace First Bangladeshi Nobel laureate in Peace
2007 Fr. Jett Villarin.jpg Jose Ramon Villarin  Philippines Peace Jointly won with former US Vice President Al Gore as part of a team of climate scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change[3], "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"[4]
2010 Nobel prize medal grey.png Liu Xiaobo  China Peace First Asian Nobel laureate in prison
2011 Tawakkul Karman (2011).jpg Tawakkul Karman  Yemen Peace First Arab Woman and First Yemeni Nobel laureate
2014 Kailash Satyarthi March 2015.jpg Kailash Satyarthi  India Peace First Indian Nobel laureate in Peace
2014 Malala Yousafzai at Girl Summit 2014.jpg Malala Yousafzai  Pakistan Peace First Pakistani Woman Nobel laureate and youngest Nobel laureate
2018 Nadia Murad in Washington - 2018 (42733243785) (cropped).jpg Nadia Murad  Iraq Peace First Iraqi Nobel laureate


Year Image Laureate Country at the time of the award Category Comment
1998 Amartya Sen , c2000 (4379246038).jpg Amartya Sen  India Economics First Asian and Indian Nobel laureate in Economics
2002 Daniel KAHNEMAN.jpg Daniel Kahneman  Israel and  United States Economic
2005 Robert Aumann 2010.jpg Robert Aumann  Israel and  United States Economic

Non-Asian born Laureates of Asian descent[edit]

Non-Asian Laureates born in Asia[edit]


  1. ^ "Nobel Prize" (2007), in Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 14 November 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:

    An additional award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was first awarded in 1969

  2. ^ "All Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ "Aquino to swear in Ateneo's new president". ABS-CBN News. September 7, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007". Oslo: The Norwegian Nobel Committee. 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 20 November 2018.