Shirō Ishii

1892 - 1959

Photo of Shirō Ishii

Icon of person Shirō Ishii

Surgeon General Shirō Ishii (石井 四郎, Ishii Shirō, [iɕiː ɕiɾoː]; 25 June 1892 – 9 October 1959) was a Japanese microbiologist, army medical officer, and war criminal who served as the director of Unit 731, a biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army. Ishii led the development and application of biological weapons at Unit 731 in Manchukuo during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945, including the bubonic plague attacks at Chinese cities of Changde and Ningbo, and planned the Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night biological attack against the United States. Ishii and his colleagues also engaged in human experimentation, resulting in the death of over 10,000 people, most of them civilians or prisoners of war. They were later granted immunity in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East by the United States government in exchange for information and research for the U.S. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Shirō Ishii has received more than 1,271,540 page views. His biography is available in 27 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 25 in 2019). Shirō Ishii is the 65th most popular physician (up from 89th in 2019), the 70th most popular biography from Japan (up from 82nd in 2019) and the most popular Japanese Physician.

Shirō Ishii is most famous for his experiments on humans in Unit 731. He experimented on humans by injecting them with various diseases and chemicals to see how they would react.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.3M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 73.72

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 27

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 6.73

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.30

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Shirō Ishiis by language


Among physicians, Shirō Ishii ranks 65 out of 509Before him are Gerhard Domagk, Christiaan Eijkman, Francesco Redi, Robert Bellarmine, Albert Sabin, and Louis Auguste Blanqui. After him are Hilary of Poitiers, Róbert Bárány, Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Cyril of Jerusalem, Frederick Banting, and Albert Szent-Györgyi.

Most Popular Physicians in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1892, Shirō Ishii ranks 31Before him are Marina Tsvetaeva, George Paget Thomson, Robert Ritter von Greim, Edward Victor Appleton, Darius Milhaud, and Mátyás Rákosi. After him are Erhard Milch, Arthur Friedenreich, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, Erwin Panofsky, Stefan Banach, and Andrey Yeryomenko. Among people deceased in 1959, Shirō Ishii ranks 15Before him are Errol Flynn, Boris Vian, Camilo Cienfuegos, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Billie Holiday, and George Grosz. After him are Adolf Windaus, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Bohuslav Martinů, Alfred Schütz, and Edward C. Tolman.

Others Born in 1892

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1959

Go to all Rankings

In Japan

Among people born in Japan, Shirō Ishii ranks 70 out of 5,560Before him are Natsume Sōseki (1867), Emperor Suizei (-669), Tadamichi Kuribayashi (1891), Empress Michiko (1934), Tōgō Heihachirō (1848), and Benkei (1155). After him are Kazuo Ishiguro (1954), Kenzō Tange (1913), Tsutomu Yamaguchi (1916), Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837), Nichiren (1222), and Dōgen (1200).


Among physicians born in Japan, Shirō Ishii ranks 1After him are Kitasato Shibasaburō (1853), Hakaru Hashimoto (1881), Tasuku Honjo (1942), Shinya Yamanaka (1962), Hiraga Gennai (1728), Kiyoshi Shiga (1871), Kusumoto Ine (1827), Shinobu Ishihara (1879), and Akira Endo (1933).