Researchers at Meiji University are full of ideas for overcoming all sorts of challenges,
but solving real-world problems is no easy matter.
They keep on trying in the belief that someday they will make a difference.
Why? Because they know that possibilities are boundless.

Incredible Senseis at Meiji UniversityIncredible Senseis at Meiji University

Can We Really Decarbonize and Keep Making Plastics?

Today’s world calls for decarbonization, yet we still rely on plastics. Associate Professor Takashi Osanai wants to resolve this problem with the help of algae, by using the mechanism of photosynthesis to make bioplastics from CO2. And his efforts go beyond research: to commercialize the technology, he has launched a bioventure from Meiji University, which he manages himself.

Takashi Osanai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Agriculture

Specializes in biotechnology, metabolic engineering, and molecular biology. His research focuses on environmental biotechnologies for production of biomaterials and bioenergy using photosynthetic microalgae. To apply his findings in the real world, he is developing technologies that use light and carbon dioxide to protect the environment and resolve resource challenges.



Why Don't You Have Any Robot Friends?Why Don't You Have Any Robot Friends?

What Kind of Robots Could Be Our Friends?

The more robots look like humans, the creepier they seem. You may know this feeling, but what kind of robots could we accept? Professor Takanori Komatsu of Meiji University is exploring this question from a human psychology perspective. Deep down, maybe we just don’t want to get along with robots. What do you think?

Takanori Komatsu, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences

Specializes in cognitive science and human-computer interaction. He conducts research to observe and analyze the relationship between people and artifacts, considering human cognitive attributes. Lately he has taken particular interest in examining why robots haven’t become part of our daily lives and reducing subjective lag times between users and IT devices.



Meiji University × Scientific American:“Friend or Fridge? What Humans Really Want from Robots”
DW (Germany's international broadcaster), DIGITAL WORLD / JAPAN, “Can robot companions live up to expectations?”
DW (Germany's international broadcaster), DIGITAL WORLD / JAPAN, “Shift – Living in the Digital Age.” It is people that are preventing the spread of robots that help people’s lives

An Explorer of Cultural KnowledgeAn Explorer of Cultural Knowledge

Groundbreaking Sustainable Food from Mongolia Yurts

Professor Yuki Morinaga, an expert in climatology and environmental science, became obsessed with fermented horse milk, known in Mongolia as “airag.” Her interest was triggered by the wisdom of nomads, who live in tune with nature. Professor Morinaga’s efforts to scientifically analyze and record the dwindling airag culture provide many tips on rich diversity of nutrition and microbes, environmentally friendly production methods, animal welfare, and more.

Yuki Morinaga, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Commerce

Specializes in climatology and environmental science. She attempts to verify and inherit the traditional knowledge of Mongolian nomads. She also disseminates Japan's pollution experience such as Minamata disease to developing countries. She participated in the 29th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition as Japan's first female member.



Meiji University × Scientific American:“The Link Between Climate and Mongolia's Thirst for Fermented Horse Milk” Sustainable Living in a Time of Global Warming -Learning from Herders in Mongolia-

Studying “japan is urushi”Studying “japan is urushi”

Looking Back to Move Forward with CO2 Reduction

About 9,000 years ago, lacquer has been used for eating utensils in Japan. Professor Takayuki Honda is a leading expert in the scientific study of lacquer. With its beautiful deep gloss and strong coating, lacquer merits fond use over a long period, and is an eco-material that ultimately returns to nature. While being an ancient material closely tied to Japanese culture, lacquer can also help to resolve environmental issues, for example by reducing CO2 emissions. Find out more about research on this challenge.

Takayuki Honda, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Science and Technology

Specializes in analysis of organic compounds and development of methods. We are mainly conducting research on natural organic matter such as lacquer, glue, and pine resin. In particular, we have analyzed the heritage and excavated relics that are thought to have used these natural organic substances, and have clarified "what they were made of" chemically. On the other hand, we are also developing environment-friendly materials made from these natural organic substances.



Meiji University × Nature Index:“Japanese lacquer’s natural advantages” Japanese lacquerware culture with a richness not found in disposable culture

What is the Shape of a Future Computer?What is the Shape of a Future Computer?

Is There Something You Want in the Future? Try Making It!

Imagine something you want in the future and harness the power of computers and 3D printers to create a prototype. In Professor Homei Miyashita’s lab, students are exploring the future by giving form to these kinds of ideas. What can we make, and how, to live more happily? A whole range of challenges is under way.

Homei Miyashita, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Chair of Frontier Media Science, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences

His research area is Human-Computer Interaction. He explores how advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality, 3D printers, drones and taste displays can be integrated into our daily lives.



Meiji University ×The Wall Street Journal : “Tasting is Believing ~Can a Low-Sodium Diet Still Deliver Savor?” Tasting is believing! FUJIMORI Shingo experiences something Surprising at the forefront of taste media
[Press Release] Professor MIYASHITA Homei, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences at Meiji University and the other received the Ig Nobel Prize in Nutrition
Meiji University × National Geographic: “A new sensation: recording and reproducing taste”

Can Robots Get Along with Humans?Can Robots Get Along with Humans?

Practical Robots Now in Training

Professor Yoji Kuroda is working on practical application of user-friendly robots capable of performing security duties and dangerous work as a tool of humans. Robots hold the key to resolving Japan’s labor shortage, but in order to move around smoothly and do their work even in crowds, they need plenty of real-world experience. Enter the new robot recruit. It makes you want to keep a fond eye on it.

Yoji Kuroda, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Science and Technology

His research field is autonomous mobile robot, and he was a member of JAXA's Hayabusa project. While conducting academic research at the university, he aims to apply the resulting robotics technology to create a sustainable industry to help people.



The Day Pigs Save HumansThe Day Pigs Save Humans

Organs Made to Order with the Help of Animals?

Medical treatment raises many tough challenges. An organ transplant may be the only option, but what if a donor can’t be found? A serious disease may need research, but what if there are few cases to study? Professor Hiroshi Nagashima is at the forefront of research that could leap such hurdles in one jump. Learn more about this heroic life-saving research.

Hiroshi Nagashima, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Agriculture
Director, Meiji University International Institute for Bio-Resource Research

Hiroshi Nagashima has been pursuing application of cloned pigs and genetically engineered pigs to the translational research. His current research focus includes in vivo organ regeneration using genetically engineered pigs, creation of disease models using genome editing and somatic cell cloning technology, production of genetically modified pigs as potential organ donor for xenotransplantation.


Meiji University × Nature Research Custom Media: “Life science: amazing professors at Meiji University in Tokyo”

Optical IllusionistOptical Illusionist

Welcome to the Amazing World of Optical Illusions

Optical illusions have long depicted mysterious three-dimensional shapes. Now Professor Kokichi Sugihara is using the power of mathematics to create such shapes for real. Optical illusions occur when our brains unconsciously augment two-dimensional information reflected on our retinas by converting it into three dimensions. That’s why we can’t “unsee” such illusions even once we know how the trick is done. Perhaps we should simply enjoy the mystery.

Kokichi Sugihara, Ph.D.
Meiji University distinguished professor emeritus
Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences

His research area is mathematical engineering. In his study of mathematical modeling of the human vision system, he found new types of optical illusions such as impossible motion illusion and ambiguous cylinder illusions.



LINKS What you see may not be real but an illusion
Meiji University × CNNIC: “The Magic of Math”
Meiji University × National Geographic: “When circles are finally squared”

Origami Changes EverythingOrigami Changes Everything

The Fusion of Origami and Robots Brings a Revolution to Manufacturing

Origami can create various shapes from a single sheet of paper, and its techniques have even been used in space. The only obstacle to exerting its full potential is achieving mass production. Professor Ichiro Hagiwara is working to solve this problem with 3D origami printers and robots. He believes origami-based manufacturing will change our lives in the near future. Watch the video to discover more.

Ichiro Hagiwara, Ph.D.
Meiji University distinguished professor emeritus
Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences

His research area is Origami engineering. In his study of industrialization of Origami structure by cheap forming method, he has developed Origami 3D printer with Origami robot which keeps foldable and deployable function of Origami structure.



LINKS Japanese Origami brings innovation to the world
Meiji University × National Geographic: “Origami gets a second life”

Information noted in the videos, such as positions and affiliations, is current at the time of production.

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