Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere

2016 Activity Report for Mission 4: Development and Utilization of Wood-based Sustainable Materials in Harmony with the Human Living Environment

Research 1-1: Innovation of timber structureW (Hiroshi Isoda・Takuro Mori・Akihisa Kitamori)

New wood materials such as cross-laminated timber are studied, connections using these new materials are developed and evaluated, and structural systems are studied with the goal of contributing to the construction of a sustainable society. Wood utilization by creating and evaluating a hybrid system of reinforced concrete and steel and/or construction with wood materials is proposed.

Research Activities

  • Study of structural performance of cross-laminated timber.
  • Pull-out strength of lag screw bolts inserted in cross-laminated timber.
  • Study of the seismic performance of mid-/high-rise and large-space timber structures
  • Development of a hybrid floor system using wood and concrete
  • Development of seismic reinforcement techniques for reinforced concrete and steel structures using wood materials.

Research 1-2: Evaluation of structural performance of existing buildings and development of seismic retrofitting techniques (Hiroshi Isoda・Takuro Mori・Akihisa Kitamori)

Our main goals in this line of research are to characterize wood materials, evaluate the joint and structural performance of existing buildings, and develop test methods and procedures. We also summarize the relationship between the response of the structure and comfortability and safety. A visualization to help owners understand the state of the structure is included in this research item.

Research Activities

  • Evaluation of seismic performance of existing wooden construction.
  • Investigation of causes of damage in order to reduce earthquake damage of wooden houses.

Research 2: Quantitative morphology of woody plants (Junji Sugiyama et al.)

Promotion of research related to the wood collection maintained at the RISH Xylarium, with particular attention to a scientific analysis of the information engraved inside wood, and with the expectation that the knowledge obtained would provide the future direction of wood utilization toward a sustainable society.

Research Activities

  1. Automated wood identification by machine learning combined with image analysis.
  2. Wood identification by nondestructive methods.
  3. Wood science aided by use of a synchrotron radiation facility.

Publications, etc.

 (Open source program)

Junji Sugiyama, Kayoko Kobayashi (2016) wvtool: Image Tools for Automated Wood Identification,

Research 3: From production to recycling of wood biomass-based materials (Kozo Kanayama・Kenji Umemura・Soichi Tanaka)

New wood-based materials in balance with both the global and regional environments are studied to develop production, utilization, and recycling/disposal systems for wood biomass.

Research Activity

Solute-diffusion into cell walls controlled during conditioning of solution-impregnated wood.

Publications, etc.

(1) Soichi Tanaka,Masako Seki,Tsunehisa Miki,Ichinori Shigematsu,Kenji Umemura,Kozo Kanayama (2016) Effect of Solvent Evaporation Rate on Solute Diffusion into Cell Walls in Solution-Impregnated Wood under Conditioning Process, Journal of the Society of Materials Science, Japan, Vol.65, No.5, pp.359-364.

(2) Soichi Tanaka,Masako Seki,Tsunehisa Miki,Ichinori Shigematsu,Kozo Kanayama (2016)Solute diffusion into cell walls in solution-impregnated wood under conditioning process II: effect of solution concentration on solute diffusion, Journal of Wood Science, Vol.62, No.2, pp.146–155.

(3) Soichi Tanaka,Masako Seki,Tsunehisa Miki,Kenji Umemura,Kozo Kanayama (2016)Solute diffusion into cell walls in solution-impregnated wood under conditioning process III: effect of relative-humidity schedule on solute diffusion into shrinking cell walls, Journal of Wood Science, Accepted in January 2017.


Research 4: Establishment of environmentally harmonized innovative recycling system of resources in the humanosphere (Tsuyoshi Yoshimura, Toshimitsu Hata, Aya Yanagawa)

Our research targets are a) to enhance the durability of wood-based materials based on fundamental researches, and b) to research and develop sustainable functional materials from wood. The present research topics are as follows:

  • Ecology, physiology, and management of wood-deteriorating organisms.
  • Sustainable functional materials from wood.
  • Study of interactions between insects and microorganisms for biological control.

mission_report_28_4_4Nesting/gallery system of the invasive drywood termite Insicitermes minor visualized by X-ray CT


Hypha of Termitomyces eurrhizus penetrating into wood


Sustainable functional materials with onion-like carbon structure and multi-graphene layers


Entomopathogenic fungi attached to Drosophila body surface

Research Activities (Publications, etc.)

  • Baek-Yong Choi and Tsuyoshi Yoshimura: Investigation of thermal conductive properties of structural timbers at low temperature region using solid carbon dioxide as a chilling agent, J. Wood Sci., 62, 356-362. DOI 10.1007/s10086-016-1557-4.
  • Sensho Honma, Toshimitsu Hata, Yasunori Ohashi, Joko Sulistyo, Takashi Watanabe, Tsuyoshi Yoshimura: Simultaneous production of aromatic chemicals and ammonia adsorbent by pulse-current pyrolysis of woody biomass, J. Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5027.

Public Relations (In Japanese)

  • シロアリの世界に興味津々(7面) 洛南タイムズ(2016.11.19)(Aya Yanagawa).
  • 杠プロジェクト (街角ダイジェスト) FM Uji (2016.11.18) (Aya Yanagawa).
  • 読売新聞(地域27面)(2016.11.19) シロアリ生態 園児驚き(Aya Yanagawa).
  • 未来に輝くこどもを育む宇治の幼児教育(2面) 宇治市政だより(2017.01.15) (Aya Yanagawa).

Research 5: Production and utilization of cellulose nanofibers (Hiroyuki Yano, Kentaro Abe, Fumiaki Nakatsubo, Arimitsu Usuki)

A plant cell wall consists of nanofibers called cellulose nanofibers. We are developing high-strength and low thermal expansion nanocomposites based on nanofibers for use in automobiles, buildings, portable computers, medical devices, and many other products.

Research Activities

  • Isolation of cellulose nanofibers from various bioresources.
  • Development of bio-based nanocomposites.
  • Development of further application of cellulose nanofibers.
mission_report_28_4_8 mission_report_28_4_9

Publications, etc.

A. N. Nakagaito, M. Nogi, H. Yano: Displays from transparent films of natural nanofibers, MRS Bulletin, 35(3) (2010) 214-218.