New Kyurizukai
Wishing to become a medical doctor like his father, Dr. Kakinuma took up the challenge of an entrance exam for a national university medical department in vain. He says that the first three years of his campus life at Keio (which was not his first choice) was somewhat purposeless, but joining a lab as a senior awakened his interest in the excitement of research. What underlies his subsequent smooth and successful path of researcher life despite his initial bitter experience seems to be his sincere attitude in addressing any challenges with all his energy.

What was your childhood like?
      From kindergarten through senior high school, I was studying at Seijo Gakuen, a private educational institute adopting a consistent education system similar to Keio Gijuku. The education at Seijo Gakuen was unique; particularly its elementary school emphasized learning from nature and encouraged studying science and mathematics experientially, leading children to touch and feel actual objects. Not only did the school educate children through books, but also more importantly led them to have questions about things and think about “Why so?” For example, its curriculum included a unique two-hour-straight program known as “Stroll Time” – an opportunity for children to take plants and insects in their hands and learn from nature while strolling outside the school.
      There were also art-oriented subjects such as painting, craft making, plastic art, audiovisual art and dramatic art. It seems that these curriculums together provided the foundation that helped nurture my interest in production engineering. In those days, at home I was absorbed in messing around with mechanical things, such as assembling/remodeling a radio-controlled model car.
photo      To tell you the truth, all the subjects – EXCEPT the five core subjects – in my report card were “E” (Laughter)! Looking back at my Seijo Gakuen school life, the experiences I gained as a schoolboy turned out to be a great asset for me to acquire a sense required of a researcher specializing in manufacturing technology.
      My major hobby is music appreciation. Under the influence of my mother who was a classical music vocalist, I began learning the violin as a kindergarten boy and continued it up to the end of junior high school days. To learn the violin, I attended Toho Gakuen’s music school – or “was told to attend the lesson” to put it more correctly. Frankly speaking, I hated going to the music school (Laughter) . . . After all, you cannot master anything if you do it reluctantly. Although I quit playing the violin completely, I still like to listen to classical music. It is often the case that when I visit foreign countries for international conferences, I make time for going to concert halls to enjoy orchestral performances. I’m grateful to my mother for orienting me to this hobby (Laughter).