新板 窮理図解

Was it necessary for you to study abroad after all?
      Yes. I think it’s very important for us to put ourselves in an environment where we can discuss on a par with excellent researchers from around the world. Speaking for myself, I was lucky because I was able to experience a lifestyle that allowed me to have discussions and think together, at any time, with foreign researchers who were thinking only of research around the clock. Because of this valuable experience, my lab at Keio follows the Princeton University style.
photo      Princeton University also has a tradition of developing discussion while taking lunch – an inspiring idea. I then knew that in Western countries like the United States, lunchtime and coffee breaks usually function as venues of communication regarding research. I had the impression that these hours are valuable as the extension of research work. Of course, in Japan we also drink or eat with students but these occasions are mostly for diversion.
      I would like to advise those students, who wish to choose a researcher’s career, to study abroad as early as possible, preferably by the age of 30 at the latest.

Do you have any creed that you value as a researcher?
      Creative ideas for research rarely come up all of a sudden. Any good idea can take shape only after making constant efforts day after day, I believe. In other words, you must work hard steadily from day to day. Of course, you may sometimes fail. But if you stick to it untiringly, I’m sure the exit will surely come into sight sooner or later. If you capture something exciting in this way, you can appreciate a sense of major achievement. In fact, I experienced such a joyful moment several times in the process of my research pursuit. That should be the zest for researchers. Whether you are a researcher or not, anyone who is successful in society is, without exception, a person of steady effort. Don’t you think so?
      In this connection, my overall impression of Keio students is that they are smart. They have the ability to handle things well and their communication ability is high. In a negative sense, they are shrewd. So, if they learn to make constant efforts, there will be nothing to fear. I sincerely hope that they will acquire such abilities.

How are you spending your holidays?
      I often go out to countryside onsen hot-spring resorts with my friends. I recently visited Dake Onsen in Fukushima Prefecture. Dake Onsen features hot waters of strong acidity. I truly enjoyed an open-air hot-spring bath, unwinding myself and forgetting about everything. Another diversion is drinking Japanese sake. I sometimes drink with my students to relieve accumulated stress.

Some words from students
Student : Dr. Yokomori is an earnest, reliable teacher, who readily gives advice whenever we have a problem. What makes him great is his policy; he is kind but never spoils us, leading us to be independent. He is strict when it comes to research, but likes to go on a spree together with us at drinking parties – an unexpected aspect of his personality.

(Reporter & text writer: Madoka Tainaka)