Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere

2019 Activity Report for Mission5-4:
Scientific Research on Wood Selection and its Contribution to Society: Wooden Architecture, Living Environments, Wood Resources/Databases, and Transition of Usage


The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Public Understanding Promotion Category

【Winner】Hiroshi Isoda and Takafumi Nakagawa
【Awarding Organization】 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
【Date】April 2019

Research1: Investigation of wood information in East Asia

Principal Investigator (PI): Junji Sugiyama (RISH, Kyoto University)
Research collaborator(s): Suyako Tazuru (RISH, Kyoto University), Takao Itoh (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties), Mechtild Mertz (CRCAO-CNRS), Hwang Sung Wook (RISH, Kyoto University), Kayoko Kobayashi (Kyoto University) and Yosei Kozuma (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties).

It is clear that our wood-based resource culture has been strongly influenced by East Asian countries. Exchanging information with neighboring countries opens a new horizon for understanding mutual relationships. This year, we focused on Chinese and Japanese old wooden statues preserved in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Cleveland Museum of Art in USA. On autumn, Dr. Tazuru visited these museums to take samples with curators and conservators and identified wood species used for Asian statues. The results were partly published.

Publications, etc.

  1. Yusuke Kita, Suyako Tazuru, Junji Sugiyama, Two-dimensional microfibril angle mapping via polarization microscopy for wood classification, IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 012028, 415, 2020.
  2. Suyako Tazuru, Junji Sugiyama, Wood identification of Japanese Shinto deity statues in Matsunoo-taisha Shrine in Kyoto by synchrotron X-ray microtomography and conventional microscopy methods. Journal of Wood Science, 65, 2019.
  3. Suyako Tazuru, Junji Sugiyama, Wood selection of traditional tea ceremony rooms in Japan, The 4th Asia Research Node Symposium on Humanosphere science (The 407th Symposium on Sustainable Humanosphere),Nanjing, China, 2019/12.
  4. Suyako Tazuru, Junji Sugiyama, Wood selection of traditional tea ceremony rooms in japan, The 4th Asia Research Node Symposium on Humanosphere science (The 407th Symposium on Sustainable Humanosphere) , 2019/12.
  5. Suyako Tazuru, Wood identification of wooden statues by synchrotron X-ray micro tomography and conventional microscope method, Museum of Fine Arts Boston (USA), 2019/11. (invited presentation)

Research 2 : Dendroclimatology in equatorial regions

Principal Investigator (PI): Suyako Tazuru (RISH, Kyoto University),
Research collaborator(s): Takahiro Tagami (Kyoto University), Yumiko Watanabe (Kyoto University), Ryo Hisamochi (Kyoto Universtiy), Wataru Omuro (Kyoto University) and Junji Sugiyama (RISH, Kyoto University),

Dendroclimatology in equatorial regions : We applied the analysis techniques of dendroclimatology, such as the tree growth rate and isotope analysis, to tropical trees. We conducted surveys of Teak and Sungkai disk samples that produce annual tree rings, in collaboration with Indonesia and Myanmar. Particularly, we have established technical agreement (LOI) on ‘optimizing wood collection as resources for scientific information for future generation’between Forest Products Research and Development Center, Bogor, Indonesia.
In addition as a new approach, the dendrochronology combined with machine learning of optical micrographs from Cryptomeria japonica was conducted, and the local structure within a ring was found to have potential as a new proxy for the climate reconstruction.

Publications, etc.

  1. Ohmuro, W., Watanabe, Y., Li, Z., Nakatsuka, T., Takeda, S. and Tagami, T., 2019. Basic research on paleoclimate reconstruction using teak tree-rings collected from Bago Mountains, Myanmar.  The 4th Asia Research Node Symposium on Humanosphere Science, Nanjing International Conference Hotel, China, December 26-27th, 2019.
  2. Watanabe, Y. and Tagami, T., 2019. Paleoclimate study based on tree-ring width and the isotopic geochemistry; case studies of Indonesia and Myanmar.  The 4th Asia Research Node Symposium on Humanosphere Science, Nanjing International Conference Hotel, China, December 26-27th, 2019.
  3. Feng Wang, Dominique Arseneault, Biao Pan, Qian Liao, Junji Sugiyama: Pre-1930 unstable relationship between climate and tree-ring width of Pinus taiwanensis hayata in southeastern China. Dendrochronologia, 57, 125629, 2019..
  4. Takeshi Nakajima:Potential of intra-annual microscopic structure as new proxy for dendrochronology、Master Thesis, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University (2019)
  5. T Nakajima, Kobayashi K, Sugiyama J, Anatomical traits of Cryptomeria japonica tree rings studied by wavelet convolutional neural network, IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 415(012027) (2020)

Research 3 : Wooden building technologies: innovation based on traditional wisdom

Principal Investigator (PI): Hiroshi Isoda (RISH, Kyoto University),
Research collaborator(s): Takafumi Nakagawa, Akihisa Kitamori, Zherui Li(RISH,Kyoto University), Takuro Mori (Hiroshima Universtiy), Kohei Komatsu (RISH, Kyoto University), Que Zeli (Nanjing Forestry University), Min-Fu Hsu (National Cheng Kung University)

Aiming to create a safe and secure type of wooden living space for the future, we will deepen our understanding of the wisdom embodied in wood technologies by investigating traditional or modern wooden buildings. On the basis of that knowledge, we will develop high-performance wooden materials.
In order to find a way to properly evaluate the structural performance of large-scale wooden frameworks with regard to traditional construction techniques, improvement of evaluation methods for detached columns with hanging walls that take into account traditional joint strength, as well as technical improvements to the construction method of drilled pillars with enhance durability and rigidity has been carried out. And for preservation and maintenance of wooden cultural property buildings, we are investigating an improvement of ultrasonic measurement method to search for internal defects of wood members.
Taking the timber frame with the Sashi-gamoi tie-beam and the hanging wall system that applied in traditional Japanese residential houses, the experimental result shows that the global lateral resistance of the frame can be estimated by the superimposition of the moment resistance of the joints, the shear resistance of mud wall, the diagonal effect of the deep tie-beam and the additional rotation of the column bending.

Publications, etc.

  1. Dot Corporation and RISH Kyoto University: Report of lateral behavior of the traditional timber frame considering deep column and beam, funded by MLIT, 2020.3

Research 4: High-performance wood-based materials

Principal Investigator (PI): Kozo Kanayama (RISH, Kyoto University)
Research collaborator(s): Kenji Umemura (RISH, Kyoto University), Soichi Tanaka (RISH, Kyoto University), (Indonesian Institute of Sciences), Shohei Kajikawa (Faculty of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications), Zhongyuan Zhao (College of Furnishings and Industrial Design, Nanjing Forestry University), Min Zhang (School of Forestry and Biotechnology, Zhejiang A&F University), Ragil Widyorini(Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada)、Sukma Surya Kusumah(Indonesian Instutute of Scinece, Research Center for Biomaterials)、Rahma Nur Komariah(Faculty of Forestry, Jambi University)

Effective utilization of wood and wood-based materials contributes to preventing global warming and accelerating decarbonization. To realize the successful long-term usage of wood as materials, development of recycling techniques and high functionality of wood are important. To achieve these requirements, we promote the development of wood-based materials combined with unutilized lignocellulose resources and natural adhesives and of impregnation techniques for removing tissues that disturb the permeation of solution for wood-chemical-treatment, respectively. Recently, development of particleboard using inner part of oil palm trunk are being performed to investigate the utilization of agricultural wastes of as a raw material for wood-based materials. When ammonium phosphate was used as additives, the obtained binderless particleboard had excellent water resistant. Based on the results obtained, the research paper was published. In addition, regarding collaborative research with China and Indonesia, we invited researchers to proceed the research, and discussed future research and acceptance of student.

Publications, etc. 

  1. Rahma Nur KOMARIAH, Takuji MIYAMOTO, Soichi TANAKA, Kurnia Wiji PRASETIYO, Firda Aulya SYAMANI, SUBYAKTO, Toshiaki UMEZAWA, Kozo KANAYAMA and Kenji UMEMURA: High-performance binderless particleboard from the inner part of oil palm trunk by addition of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, Industrial Crops and Products, 141, 111761 (2019)


International Activity

Session organization at ARN symposium

3 sessions relating to the activities of Mission 5-4 were successfully organized at 5th ARN at Nanjing, coorganized by Nanjing Forestry University, December, 26-27, 2019. Interdisciplinary approaches among archeology, architecture and wood science was introduced at the session ‘A new horizon of humanosphere science and humanity’. Global issues based on tree ring analyses ranging environmental science to archeology were discussed in the session ‘Wood information: climatology and Tree ring scienc’, Finally, in the ‘Timber architectures’ session, traditional wooden constructions were exemplified by the state of arts modern analysis. This activity strengthens the significance of Humanosphere Science and future cooperation with Chinese researchers.


November, 22, 2019, a letter of intent on ”Optimizing wood collection as resources for scientific information for future generation” between Forest Products Research and Development Center, Bogor, Indonesia and RISH, Kyoto University. We thank to Professor Emeritus Toshitaka Tsuda who initiated this cooperation.

2019 Activity Report