He was born in Osaka, Japan on March 12, 1925. He received his B.S. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1959, both in physics and from Tokyo University. His Nobel prize was awarded for research he had conducted around 1958 regarding electron tunneling in solids. He moved to the United States in 1960 and joined the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, where he became an IBM Fellow in 1967.