Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere

Center for Exploratory Research on the Humanosphere

The Center was established to promote interdisciplinary research projects relevant to RISH’s missions and to pioneer new scientific fields. The Center seeks to vigorously expand new fields of Humanosphere Science, in collaboration with the RISH staff, Mission Research Fellows, guest researchers and outside cooperative researchers. Since 2010, RISH has functioned as a Joint Usage/Research Center committed to being a source for project-based collaborative research by promoting three main activities: the “Exploratory Research for Sustainable Humanosphere Science” invites applications from young researchers undertaking exploratory interdisciplinary research; the “Mission Research for the Sustainable Humanosphere” invites applications for research projects that address RISH’s five missions; and the “Flagship Collaborative Research on the Humanosphere” promotes project-based collaborative research. The Center seeks to promote international collaboration through open recruitment of projects and various educational and research programs in and outside the University. It also holds events, such as symposiums and open seminars.exploratory_center_01

Organization of Open-seminar

The “open seminar” is a casual research meeting within RISH during lunchtime on Wednesdays. At each seminar, we invite a lecturer from RISH or outside with the aim of sharing results within RISH, inspiring new seeds of research, and enhancing collaborations. We held 13 open seminars in 2017, bringing the total number to 232. In association with our international promotion program, “RISH Asia Research Node”, we also started to deliver selected seminars across the world through the internet. In 2017, we transmitted 8 seminars to the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN). Lectures presented during the overseas training of RISH graduate students were also distributed in Japan.

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Organization of Symposium

exploratory_center_02RISH has consistently held many research meetings since its establishment in 2004, trying to promote Humanosphere Science to a wide audience and expand the research community. At present, 372 of these meetings, named “RISH Symposium”, have been held to date. In 2017 the Center for Exploratory Research on the Humanosphere supported 30 RISH Symposia (see list below) held not only in Japan, but also abroad in countries like Indonesia and China. At the end of every fiscal year, the Center holds the mission symposium to summarize and review RISH’s activities during the year and to discuss directions for the short and/or long-term future.

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Exploratory Research by Mission Research Fellows

As the Humanosphere Sciences Joint Usage/Research Hub, RISH defines the humanosphere from a global viewpoint as the spheres vital to human existence: “the outer space”, “the atmosphere”, “the forest-sphere” and “the human living environment”. The center promotes interdisciplinary and exploratory research projects by Mission Research Fellows, who are young researchers and members of the Center for Exploratory Research on the Humanosphere. They work on exploratory/fusion research projects relating to the five missions for establishing humanosphere science.

Soichi Tanaka : Development of techniques for highly controlled chemical treatment in wood flow forming

The aim of our work is to homogeneously fill all the cell walls of a wood block with chemical substance, which is required as a pre-treatment for wood flow forming technique. This study deals with the clarification of substance-migration to control substance-distribution in wood.

Seiji Zenitani : Kinetic modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection


Magnetic reconnection is an abrupt change in magnetic field-line topology in plasma. We study the basic physics of magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space by means of supercomputer simulations and spacecraft observations.

Tran Van Do : Forest carbon sequestration, a contribution of forest to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere against global warming and climate change

In this study, Net Ecosystem Productivity of evergreen broadleaved forests in Southeast Asia was estimated by measuring Net Primary Productivity and heterotrophic respiration.

Ryota Ouda : Antiviral compounds from plant biomass

In this study, we aim to identify the novel antiviral compounds from wood and bamboo vinegar, as well as to investigate suitable wood and degradation conditions needed to reasonably obtain physiologically active substances, even from scrap wood.

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“Research for Sustainable Humanosphere Science” program

The sustainable survival of human beings depends on exploration of research topics related to Humanosphere Science. In 2009, we started the “Research for Sustainable Humanosphere Science” program to find and promote these studies by young researchers under 40 years old. In 2016, we started receiving applications not only from Japan but also from overseas researchers. We adopted 8 projects in 2017. 

Examples of Research Projects in FY 2016 (Total 15 titles)

  • Chin-Cheng Yang : Global genetic database for the widespread invasive alien species: invasive ants as example
  • Masayuki Itoh : Application of laser-based CH4 analyzer on canopy scale CH4 Flux in tropical peat swamp forest
  • Yasuhiro Shimane : Understanding of wood-component conversion by a marine-bacterial lignin-degrading enzyme
  • Takao Koezuka : Structual modification of lignin by genetic engineering using monolignol acetheyltransferase
  • Kojiro Takanashi : Functional analyses of cyclization enzymes in the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites

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“Mission Research for the Sustainable Humanosphere” program

RISH has adopted five scientific missions to tackle the immediate research needs related to the survival of mankind. Since 2009, we have supported applications that address these missions from researchers from within and outside the University through the “Mission Research for the Sustainable Humanosphere” program. In 2016, we started receiving applications from overseas researchers. We adopted 24 projects in 2017.

Examples of Research Projects in FY 2016 (Total 27 titles)

  • Hirotsugu KOjima : Observation of wave-particle interactions in the relation to the ion outflow in the polar region
  • Halimurrahman : Study of atmospheric stability variations with EAR-RASS observations
  • Naoto Nihei : Characteristics of soils and crops based on the ratio of radiocesium (137Cs) to stablecesium (133Cs)
  • Hubert Luce : International collaborative study on atmospheric turbulence based on simultaneous observations with the MU radar, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and radiosonde balloons
  • Hiroaki Isobe : Reconstructing the past solar antivity using aurora and sunspot records in historical literature

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Flagship Collaborative Research on the Humanosphere

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The “Flagship Collaborative Research on the Humanosphere” is an effort to promote  and enhance the visibility of project based collaborative research actively conducted in the Core Research Divisions. In 2016 we reexamined the existing projects and expanded this effort to five projects.


Bio-nanomaterial research  

Leader:Hiroyuki Yano

In this flagship research, we perform collaborative fusion research for the production and reconstitution of cellulose nanofibers to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable humanosphere through the creation of advanced bio-based nanomaterials for use in automobiles, buildings and many other products.


Integrated studies of the sustainable production and utilization of tropical biomass plants

Leader: Toshiaki Umezawa

The aim of this flagship projects is to conduct international collaborative research towards the establishment of system for the sustainable management and utilization of tropical plantation of trees and grass biomass plants.


Collaborative study on energy transfer process in space humansphere

Leader:Yoshiharu Omura

The contribute safety and security of the humanosphere, we investigate energy transfer processes from the Sun to aurorae and radiation belts.


Collaborative Research of Energy Transfer and Material Conversion by Microwaves

Leader : Naoki Shiohara

This collaborative research aims to open a new field of  microwave utilization for wireless energy transfer (Microwave Power Transfer, Wireless Power Transfer) and energy transfer sources for the development of materials (biofuels and functional materials derived from biomass and inorganic resources such as metals and ceramics). This collaborative research also aims at expanding microwave-applied science and technology through communication between microwave engineers and chemists, biologists, physicists, medical and material scientists from the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere and other research organizations around the world.


Equatorial Fountain

Leader : Mamoru Yamamoto

Cumulonimbus convection is active in the equatorial atmosphere, which generates atmospheric waves that propagate upward to transport energy and momentum in the upper atmosphere. Materials originating from low-to-mid-latitude regions also converge in the equatorial region, are blown upward, and spread across the globe. We call this process the “Equatorial Atmosphere Radar in Indonesia and other instruments, and by modeling and simulation. This project also promotes plans for the Equatorial MU Radar.

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