Takeshi Udagawa was born in Ogikubo, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan, on May 3, 1932 to Saheiji Udagawa (father) and Teruko Yamazaki (mother). His father was a buyer at at the Mitsukoshi Department Store, a store founded in 1673, originally named Echigoya. It sold kimonos. The store is at left in the 1856 Utagawa Hiroshige woodblock print, shown at right.
Takeshi's siblings were: Isamu Udagawa - older brother who tragically died at the age of 32 when Takeshi was still in middle school; Kyoko Udagawa, younger sister, and Kiyoshi Urayama, younger half-brother, worked at Adachi Hospital as administrator and now deceased. Takeshi's father died and mother remarried. Kiyoshi was the only child from that 2nd marriage.
When the war started Takeshi was only nine years old. He remember the incendiary bombing that occurred in March of 1945, he was 12. The family escaped to the bank of the Arakawa River - and watched the bombing. He recalls thinking they were like fireworks..... they didn't come too close. The family was living near the border of Tokyo and Saitama, so was at a good distance from the main areas that were bombed.
Takeshi attended an outstanding middle school. After graduating from high school he attended Tokyo Rika Daigaku (Science University). He received his BS in 1957. Next he was accepted into the graduate program at Tokyo Education University and was awarded his PhD in 1962. Following graduation, Takeshi worked at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. He took leave and came to United States in 1964 to work with Professor Ray Sheline at Florida State University. Professor Taro Tamura had recommend him to Professor Sheline. He published a number of papers while at FSU.
In 1969, Takeshi joined the Center for Nuclear Studies at the University of Texas, providing important theoretical support for the tandem laboratory.
He married Yukiko Amano on March 21, 1960 in Japan. Yukiko was born May 10, 1934, in Yokahama, Kanagawa, Japan. Yukiko was a singer and artist. Takeshi and Yukiko had two sons, Yoichi and Taturo. Yoichi Udagawa, a celebrated music conductor, was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. He began playing the violin at age four and made his conducting debut at the age of fifteen. After receiving a music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, he continued advanced studies in conducting with Gunther Schuller, Seiji Ozawa, Morihiro Okabe, and Henry Charles Smith. He is an avid fan of exercise and yoga and continuous self-education. Younger son, Taturo Udagawa, was born in Tallahassee, Florida on October 3, 1965. He is a very successful researcher at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He has a doctorate in biochemistry and before moving to Vertex, he worked in the lab of Judah Folkman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Folkman) at Harvard for several years.
Yukiko died October 10, 1989, in Austin, Texas. She is buried in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery. After his wife died, Takeshi married Mami Sato Eto on April 15, 1991 in Austin, Texas.
Takeshi's research ranged over a number of areas of nuclear physics. These included low energy nuclear reactions, intermediate energy physics and nuclear structure.Tools used for these studies were direct reaction theory, optical potentials, Tamm-Dancoff and the random-phase-approximation. His publication list must number in the hundreds. During the 1980s alone he produced over 35 papers. Takeshi and Taro Tamura had a very productive and longterm collaboration that was terminated by Tamura's untimely death in 1988.
During the later part of his career, he accepted the position of Graduate Advisor for the physics department. This is a very demanding administrative position requiring extensive one on one with graduate students. He was a most successful and popular advisor, much appreciated by students. He was also a dedicated teacher, often teaching one the required graduate classes.
On December 2, 2009, a Conferment of Decoration and reception were held for Dr. Takeshi Udagawa. Dr. Udagawa was an autumn 2009 recipient of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, at the official residence of Consul-General Osawa. The Emperor of Japan recognized Dr. Udagawa for his contributions to fostering United States and Japan relations. Guest from the Japanese Association of Greater Houston, the Japan-American Society of Greater Austin, family members and friends of Dr. Udagawa participated to celebrate his achievement. The Orders of the Sacred Treasure, established in 1888, features a mirror, which was an ancient treasure, surrounded by sixteen connected circles, and four or eight beams of light. The attachments are designed in the shape of paulownia flowers and leaves.
Since his retirement Takeshi walks everyday and keeps track of his distance with a pedometer.
Takeshi Udagawa Photo Album