Jirō Tsuji, Honorary Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, passed away on April 1, 2022. He was well-known for his pioneering work on transition-metal-catalyzed reactions, such as the palladium-catalyzed allylic alkylation reaction. He used these reactions in the total synthesis of natural products, and many of them are used in industrial processes.
Jirō Tsuji was born on May 11, 1927, in Shiga prefecture, Japan. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kyoto, Japan, in 1951, a Master’s degree from Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA, in 1957, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York City, USA, in 1960 for work on natural product synthesis under the supervision of Gilbert Stork. Tsuji returned to Japan to work as a Research Associate at Toray Industries, Inc., Kamakura, from 1962 to 1974. He served as Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1974 to 1988, at the Okayama University of Science, Japan, from 1988 to 1996, and at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts from 1996 until his retirement in 1999.
Among many other honors, Tsuji received the Chemical Society of Japan Award in 1981, the Japanese Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 1994, the Japan Academy Prize in 2004, and the Tetrahedron Prize in 2014.
- Organic syntheses by means of noble metal compounds XVII. Reaction of π-allylpalladium chloride with nucleophiles,
J. Tsuji, H. Takahashi, M. Morikawa,
Tetrahedron Lett. 1965, 6, 4387–4388.
- Carbon-carbon bond formation via palladium complexes,
Acc. Chem. Res. 1969, 2, 144–152.
- Catalytic reactions via π-allylpalladium complexes,
Pure Appl. Chem. 1982, 54, 197–206.
- Synthetic Applications of the Palladium-Catalyzed Oxidation of Olefins to Ketones,
Synthesis 1984, 1984, 369–384.
- New general synthetic methods involving π-allylpalladium complexes as intermediates and neutral reaction conditions,
Tetrahedron 1986, 42, 4361–4401.
- New synthetic reactions of allyl alkyl carbonates, allyl β-keto carboxylates, and allyl vinylic carbonates catalyzed by palladium complexes,
J. Tsuji, I. Minami,
Acc. Chem. Res. 1987, 20, 140–145.
- Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions of Propargylic Compounds in Organic Synthesis,
J. Tsuji, T. Mandai,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1996, 34, 2589–2612.
- Transition Metal Reagents and Catalysts: Innovations in Organic Synthesis,
John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
- Palladium Reagents and Catalysts: New Perspectives for the 21st Century,
John Wiley & Sons, 2004.