New Kyurizukai
My college life was a truly rewarding one as I could devote myself to research under Prof. Eiji Saito, who made a name for himself for the discovery of “inverse spin Hall effect” – phenomena indispensable to the development of spintronics – and study together with exceptionally bright lab mates. The greatest factor that supported my research life as a student was discussions with Prof. Saito and the fellow lab mates. This experience still remains a pillar of critical importance for ongoing academic pursuit.

What was your childhood like?
      I was born and raised in Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture – just about halfway between Nagoya and Gifu cities. I spent years through the high school days in this commuter town about a ten-minute train ride from Nagoya.
      Although none of my family members or relatives had good knowledge of or interest in scientific things, they say I was an exception. In fact, as a small boy I was crazy about things like illustrated encyclopedias. I also remember I was an enthusiastic collector of minicar models. As my parents once told me, I was so fond of vehicles that I could identify the type of every single car that passed before my eyes. But I must admit that now I don’t have any car of my own . . . (Laughter). Yes, I seemed to be a type of boy who became absorbed in anything that captured my interest.
      Since elementary school days, I had been good at scientific subjects. So when it came to summer holiday homework, one of my classmates and I tried role sharing – I was responsible for science and math while he took charge of other subjects. That said, I didn’t like experiments. It seems I rather liked brain-oriented study.
      By the way, I chose to study at local public schools, from elementary through high school that could be reached on foot or by bicycle from home because I didn’t like to go to school by train. In fact, most of the good private schools were located in the Nagoya area, which was very likely to get me involved in the morning commuter rush that I hated. Likewise, when I entered Keio University, I chose to live in the Hiyoshi area from which I could walk to the campus.

Did you join any sports?
      Yes. I enjoyed soccer in my elementary school days and belonged to the volleyball club as a junior high school student. But I didn’t join any sports club during my senior high school days because the teacher who oversaw the junior high volleyball club was so stern with us students, which disheartened me in taking up school club sports anymore. Anyway, I couldn’t afford to enjoy club sports at my high school you might say because “just study hard!” was the top priority and watchword at most public high schools in Aichi Prefecture. That said, the subjects I knuckled down to remained unchanged – mathematics and physics. To look back at those days, it seems I began to have a vague yearning for a researcher’s career around then.
      My natural course of life should have been to enter Nagoya University located in my home area. But I dared to choose Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology because I wanted to live my own life away from my parents. In the second year at Keio, I advanced to the Department of Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics. Back in those days, I must admit, I had little idea of exactly what area of study I would like to engage in. Anyway, I chose this department because, compared with the Department of Physics, it appeared to offer more options for my future, where I might possibly do something great. The department’s harmonious atmosphere also became a decisive factor that drove me to study there.