2022 Atsumi Scholars Spring Research Presentation

On March 4, 2023 (Saturday), the spring presentation session for the Atsumi Foundation fellows of 2022 took place in a hybrid format at the foundation hall. In addition to the fellows from 2022, there were many fellows from 2023 as well as foundation staff who participated in the event in person.

To begin, Executive Director Atsumi Naoki shared the goals of the foundation as well as some words for the fellows, and reestablished the Atsumi International Foundation's philosophy and its continued commitment to support scholars. After that, under the guidance of the overall host for the event, Secretary General Tsunoda Eiichi, the presentation session got under way with the 2022 fellows who were scheduled to present in autumn taking turns hosting and time keeping. There was a problem with the audio for the first online presenter, but host Aqil-san and time-keeper Nora-san created a relaxing atmosphere with their discussion about famous places to view cherry blossoms. There were many easy to understand presentations from the sciences and humanities, and it was an exceptionally fruitful and enjoyable presentation session.

Chin Hongyu, the first presenter, spoke about the development of a method to selectively synthesize compounds with an asymmetric center. Comparing asymmetric compounds to the change in left and right when one looks at one's hand in the mirror made it incredibly easy to understand, and the prospect of creating a new standard for catalyst development through the use of machine learning in selectively synthesizing compounds was truly exciting.

Next, Hirota Chieko presented about the Mongolian Kazakh culture of decorating the interior of their yurts. The decoration which she had persuaded them to let her have was a detailed and colorful piece that took one's breath away. From pieces which show one's perseverance at the time of marriage to demonstrating respect for one's social position up until the present, to buying ready made items rather than making them. The decision to display Kazakh identity and the changes in maintaining this tradition left an impression on me.

The third presentation by Jo Byeong-wook was about the development of perfusion devices -artificial blood vessels and other three-dimensional systems which allow for the flow of liquids. I was surprised by how small it was compared to current devices, and how maintenance was completed in the short time of 30 seconds. While the idea of using a magnet to power the motor was simple, I felt there was a lot of potential for further development.

The fourth presentation by Kondo Shinji was about developments in maintaining output performance in lithium-ion batteries. I was impressed by the inventiveness of using the surfactant around the battery body without coating the electrodes in advance, thus making it possible to dynamically create a mechanism that maintains output performance while using the batteries.

Following a break, the fifth presentation by Park Joon-hee was about the strike by the Korea Railroad Union and the social support it received. In Japan, it's unusual for a strike to be supported by students let alone other members of society, but according to Park-san's presentation this strike in Korea received tremendous support from students and others. Through analyzing frequently used words as well as the historical context, the connection between the social public and youth support was made clear. I would like to learn from this method of looking beyond superficial information to craft a careful and meticulous examination from a bird's eye view.

The sixth presentation by Takeuchi Kyoko was an extensive overview "X-gender," a category which does not fit in within the male-female gender binary, and how the category has been socially perceived from the 1990s and shared amongst the community as well as what the recognition of the category allowed for. I felt that achieving this objective research from a unique perspective despite the lack of resources would become a milestone worth looking back on. Although the term back then was different, I was surprised to learn that "X-gender" was already known about in the 1990s. The presentation was very fruitful and I learned a lot, such as that the understanding of the gender binary promoted by the Gender Identity Disorder Special Law had spread even amongst transgender individuals, and that the ambiguous definition of "X-gender" was what made it possible to create temporary spaces of belonging.

Focusing on China whilst also comparing the situation in Japan and the US, Tan Tianyang, the seventh speaker, discussed and summarized the points regarding the expanded license system which can manage the rights of copyright owners who do not belong to centralized management organizations such as JASRAC. The easy to understand presentation made one think about the significance and difficulties of the expanded central license system, as well as about the tactics each country had employed to address them.

To end, I, Mori Takato, presented about the space-time geometry of quantum entanglement, which is a form of micro system-specific correlation. It was difficult to present this research which stands at the crossroads of theoretical physics and quantum information theory to a general audience, but by employing general theoretical physics and starting from philosophical questions such as "Where do we come from," "What is reality," and "What are we made of," I explained how theoretical physicists understand space-time, gravity and quantum nature. In particular, I believe that my field of research - holograms as space-time - provide an interesting perspective and could influence a general philosophical worldview. I was told that my presentation was like an NHK program, and if I managed to convey the fascinating aspects of my research then I'm happy.

After each presentation the members of the board and supervisors gave insightful comments as well as questions. Through the presentations and comments, I believe an understanding of and interest in these varied fields was developed.

To end, Advisor Atsumi Itsuko gave the closing remarks and shared the history of the foundation and with that, the 2022 spring presentation session came to a close. Advisor Itsuko shared the fact that the Hina dolls on display in the foundation hall were in fact gifts to her as a child when she was in Italy, and the story of how she had crossed the ocean by ship close to a century ago left an impression on me. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest thanks to everyone at the Atsumi Foundation for all of the support they have given me. From now on, as a Raccoon I would like to bring with me my pride in having been an Atsumi scholar, and would like to work towards developing my research and international cooperation.

Text:Mori Takato(2022)

Translated by Sonja Dale

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