Jiro Kurata, MD, PhD, is among internationally recognized neuroimaging scientists pursuing neuroimaging of pain for over two decades. Being board-certified in anesthesiology, pain medicine and critical care, he obtained a PhD degree in Kyoto, Japan for his research on the cerebral mechanisms of anesthetic action in 1996. He moved on to start functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies on pain perception at University of Pittsburgh, USA in 1998. Here he published one of frontier papers on pain-related cerebral activation and proposed a novel concept of inherent inhibitory component in pain matrix. As a university faculty in Tokyo, Japan in 2002, he has been a principal investigator to inquire how chronic pain alters cerebral responses to nociception using fMRI with several governmental funds. His recent focus includes cerebral modulatory and reward responses to pain; their pathophysiological roles in pain chronification; and cerebral mechanisms impaired offset analgesia in patients with chronic pain.