Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I visited the Odaiba area, Tokyo to see the real-scaled GUNDAM. GUNDAM is a super robot in Japanese animation movies.

When I was a child, I was an enthusiast and hoped to see the real GUNDAM. Thirty years later, the dream comes true!

"Oh, It moves!" (but only the head can in this time).
View from the legs.
"A boy, don't forget your win is totally due to the ability of mobile suits!"
An officer said in the movies.

Now the wall picture of my PC is GUNDAM.

You can download the large piture from here.

So many people come to see the super robot!

Unfortunately, the event has been finished and the GUNDAM 1:1 was under dissolution. But I believe we can meet him in near future...!

Or you can enjoy another famous Japanese animation hero, the "Iron Man #28".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Diving people : cases in Russia and Japan

Unfortunately, I have no experience of diving to the deep sea, although I'm a marine researcher. Of course, human cannot dive to the seafloor at the depth of several thousands meters. The submersibles (submarine) can give us a chance for deepsea tour. In Japan, the famous submersible "Shinkai 6500" can be available and I will have a chace to join the dive in future.

Recently, not only scientific researchres but various people can go to the deep sea with submersibles. I introduce two different cases.

i) Russian case
●Vladimir Putin to the seafloor of Lake Baikal (Technobahn)

Unbelievable! He dived to the depth with the Russian submersible "Mir". Although the submersible accident is rare, the safety is not promised. He and Russia impressed the world with the toughness and strength.

In addition, the methane hydrate is discovered recently at the seafloor of Lake Baikal. Their demonstration will be related to such energy resource usage and economic activity around the Lake Baikal.

ii) Japanese case
I hope the Japanese Prime Minister or former prime minsters should go to the deep sea such as Putin. However, we choose another people for the mission...a Japanese idol !

●Shokotan Blog

● Shokotan's dream comes true ... to the deep sea with Shinkai 6500

Shoko Nakagawa, "Shokotan", got a chace to go to deep sea. Her trial is for TV program relating a scientific variety show.

"A scientific variety show" ? What's that?
Recently, science becomes an entertainment?
But it is more funny than the Russian news, isn't it?
Most Japanese people will have an interest in deep sea at the on air!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What kind of science do you want to know?

Question. You drive a car and go to trip. It's a time for lunch. You are hungry and want to eat a local and special food. Fortunatelly, two restaurants come along the road side.

Left side: with Japanese traditional noodle
Right side: with Chinese noodle, US beef steak, Indian curry, European omelet etc...

You are driving and do not have enough time for comparison. If you immediately decide today's lunch spot, which restaurant do you want to choose?

I will choose the left one: Japanese noodle restaurant. It is not because I'm Japanese. The right-side restaurant will be nice, but I wonder the cooks may serve the conventional food as we can eat everywhere, and they may have no local specialized food. On the other hand, the left-side restaurant concentrates to a kind of dishes and may contrive the menu for traveler with using the local dishes.

Let’s move to the scientific issue. I feel that scientists should also emphasize one nice outcome when they present their own research result to public (non experts to the scientific field). I know that a research yield many outcomes for society. However, if they present many aspects of their research outcomes, people may not judge the importance of their research such as the above restaurant case.

Not only for lunch, but also for scientific interest, many people love to get the special experiment. Also, they do not have enough time for hearing the detail. As a result, they want to know one of the great aspects of the scientific issue.

How do you feel? Which restaurant do you want to enter?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

When You Wish upon a Star

Japanese people write their wishes on colorful sheets and hang them to banboo. The custom originally comes from a Chinese old tale.

The students in our laboratory also made the bamboo and ornaments. Now, some students study for examination to the graduated school. Therefore, most of hopes relates to its success.
Others are related to refinement of traffic jams around our university, growth of a company where a student will work from the next year, and so on.

By the way, do you know a similar decorated bamboo in space? Dr. Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronauts, stays at the International Space Station (ISS) now. He also put a bamboo (actually paper craft of bamboo) and wrote his hope on a sheet. His hope is the completion of the Japanese space laboratory module, named "Kibo".

"Kibo" is a Japanese word meaning "hope". I feel the ISS is like a bamboo, and the "Kibo" module is like a sheet for wish. After the completion, many people will carry out their experiments in the module with their HOPE.

Other astronauts from US and Russia etc. pray the happiness and health of their families. Both of Japanese astronauts and students do not. Why? I think that our laboratory and the ISS are places of work, and Japanese students and the astronauts pray about their work. If they go to a temple or shrine, theywill pray for their families. Japanese people normally divide their style in and out of office.

Anyway, the bamboo in the ISS is so funny.
It should be called as "When You Wish in stars"!

(See also my Japanese blog:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Melon Bread

Do you know "melon bread" in Japan?
The "melon bread" does not include melon and any fruits, and
does not have the melon taste and smell.

The lower is a typical "melon bread".
Now, you can easily understand the reason.
The surface pattern is similar to the melon itself.

At first, the bread was not called as "melon bread" but "sunrise".
It simulated the shape of sun almost 100 years ago.
After several tens years had passed, the melon fruit become popular and
the name of "sunrise bread" was changed to "melon bread".

The upper bread in the photograph is also called as "melon bread".
It is the original version of the "melon bread" developed about 100 years ago
in Kobe and Kyoto. After the recent version of "melon bread", called as "sunrize"
originally, becomes popular, the original version becomes minor.

Why did Japanese people to make a melon-shaped bread?
About 100 years ago, the fruits of melon was quite rare in Japan.
Also the bread itself was rare. I think both of the melon fruit and bread
are kinds of symbol for "trendy goods" or "mode" at that time.
It is easily understood that a baker tried to combine these novel things
for his new item. This is my guess.

Finally, do you know a Japanese word of "bread".
For example, the "melon bread" is called as "melon pan" in Japanese.
It is not a saucepan made by melon :P

Monday, June 29, 2009

R/V Shigen

The Japanese research vessel (R/V) "Shigen" ("Resources" in Japanese) is used for energy resource explorations. She has ten streamer cables for seismic survey to image sub-seafloor structures with seismic reflection wave.

Cartoon is here.

Photograph. Very unique forme.

However, the streamer cables were cut by Japanese submarine unfortunately.
(Yahoo News Japan)

Sevens of the cables were cut, and four have been lost.
(Press release from METI, Japan)
METI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Although R/V Shigen is not famous in Japan, the name is highlighted again since she was born in 2007. Too bad. Please be famous as your research results, Ms. Shigen!

I heard from a researcher who analyse the 3D seismic data obtained by R/V shigen that he have never get a permission for visiting the vessel.
Why? I cannot understand.

I recommend to make a event of open ship with R/V Shigen. Many people will understand her activity there.

Finally, I introduce websites with photos of R/V Shigen.
Have fun!

This blog is restarted.

I have left this blog with no modificatios.
Again, I'll start the introduction of my Japanese blog in English.

Have fun!