Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Hisashi Masuda

8 Value Analysis of Islamic Banking and Conventional Banking to Measure Value Co-Creation

Authors: Amna Javed, Hisashi Masuda, Youji Kohda


This study examines the value analysis in Islamic and conventional banking services in Pakistan. Many scholars have focused on co-creation of values in services but mainly economic values not non-economic. As Islamic banking is based on Islamic principles that are more concerned with non-economic values (well-being, partnership, fairness, trust worthy, and justice) than economic values as money in terms of interest. This study is important to know the providers point of view about the co-created values, because, it may be more sustainable and appropriate for today’s unpredictable socioeconomic environment. Data were collected from 4 banks (2 Islamic and 2 conventional banks). Text mining technique is applied for data analysis, and values with 100% occurrences in Islamic banking are chosen. The results reflect that Islamic banking is more centric towards non-economic values than economic values and it promotes team work and partnership concept by applying Islamic spirit and trust worthiness concept.

Keywords: economic values, Islamic banking, non-economic values, value system

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7 An Algorithm for the Map Labeling Problem with Two Kinds of Priorities

Authors: Noboru Abe, Yoshinori Amai, Toshinori Nakatake, Sumio Masuda, Kazuaki Yamaguchi


We consider the problem of placing labels of the points on a plane. For each point, its position, the size of its label and a priority are given. Moreover, several candidates of its label positions are prespecified, and each of such label positions is assigned a priority. The objective of our problem is to maximize the total sum of priorities of placed labels and their points. By refining a labeling algorithm that can use these priorities, we propose a new heuristic algorithm which is more suitable for treating the assigned priorities.

Keywords: map labeling, greedy algorithm, heuristic algorithm, priority

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6 Free to Select vTuber Avatar eLearning Video for University Ray Tracing Course

Authors: Rex Hsieh, Kosei Yamamura, Satoshi Cho, Hisashi Sato


This project took place in the fall semester of 2019 from September 2019 to February 2020. It improves upon the design of a previous vTuber based eLearning video system by correcting criticisms from students and enhancing the positive aspects of the previous system. The transformed audio which has proven to be ineffective in previous experiments was not used in this experiment. The result is videos featuring 3 avatars covering different Ray Tracing subject matters being released weekly. Students are free to pick which videos they want to watch and can also re-watch any videos they want. The students' subjective impressions of each video is recorded and analysed to help further improve the system.

Keywords: vTuber, eLearning, Ray Tracing, Avatar

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5 Seismic Behavior of Masonry Reinforced Concrete Composite Columns

Authors: Hassane Ousalem, Hideki Kimura, Akitoshi Hamada, Masuda Hiroyuki


To provide tall unreinforced brick masonry walls of a century-old existing building with sufficient resistance against earthquake loading actions, additional reinforced concrete columns were integrated into the building at some designated locations and jointed to the existing masonry walls through dowel shear steel bars, resulting in composite structural elements. As conditions at the interface between the existing masonry and newly added reinforced concrete parts were not well grasped and the behavior of such composite elements would be complex, the experimental investigation was carried out. Three relatively large specimens were tested to investigate the overall behavior of brick masonry-reinforced concrete composite elements under lateral cyclic loadings. Confining the brick walls on only one side or on two opposite sides, as well as providing different amounts of dowel shear steel bars at the interface were the main parameters of the investigation. Test results showed that such strengthening provide a good seismic performance even at very large lateral drifts and the investigated amount of shear dowel lead to a good performance level that would result in a considerable cost reduction of the strengthening.

Keywords: unreinforced masonry, reinforced concrete, composite column, seismic strengthening, structural testing

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4 Effect of Chromium Behavior on Mechanical and Electrical Properties Of P/M Copper-Chromium Alloy Dispersed with VGCF

Authors: Hisashi Imai, Kuan-Yu Chen, Katsuyoshi Kondoh, Hung-Yin Tsai, Junko Umeda


Microstructural and electrical properties of copper-chromium alloy (Cu-Cr) dispersed with vapor-grown carbon fiber (VGCF) prepared by powder metallurgy (P/M) process have been investigated. Cu-0.7 mass% Cr pre-alloyed powder (Cu-Cr) made by water atomization process was used as raw materials, which contained solid solute Cr elements in Cu matrix. The alloy powder coated with un-bundled VGCF by using oil coating process was consolidated at 1223 K in vacuum by spark plasma sintering, and then extruded at 1073 K. The extruded Cu-Cr alloy (monolithic alloy) had 209.3 MPa YS and 80.4 IACS% conductivity. The extruded Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composites revealed a small decrease of YS compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr alloy. On the other hand, the composite had a higher electrical conductivity than that of the monolithic alloy. For example, Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composite sintered for 5 h showed 182.7 MPa YS and 89.7 IACS% conductivity. In the case of Cu-Cr with VGCFs composites, the Cr concentration was observed around VGCF by SEM-EDS analysis, where Cr23C6 compounds were detected by TEM observation. The amount of Cr solid solution in the matrix of the Cu-Cr composites alloy was about 50% compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr sintered alloy, and resulted in the remarkable increment of the electrical conductivity.

Keywords: powder metallurgy Cu-Cr alloy powder, vapor-grown carbon fiber, electrical conductivity

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3 Cognitive Function and Coping Behavior in the Elderly: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Ryo Shikimoto, Hidehito Niimura, Hisashi Kida, Kota Suzuki, Yukiko Miyasaka, Masaru Mimura


Introduction: In Japan, the most aged country in the world, it is important to explore predictive factors of cognitive function among the elderly. Coping behavior relieves chronic stress and improves lifestyle, and consequently may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. One of the most widely investigated frameworks evaluated in previous studies is approach-oriented and avoidance-oriented coping strategies. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between cognitive function and coping strategies among elderly residents in urban areas of Japan. Method: This is a part of the cross-sectional Arakawa geriatric cohort study for 1,099 residents (aged 65 to 86 years; mean [SD] = 72.9 [5.2]). Participants were assessed for cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and diagnosed by psychiatrists in face-to-face interviews. They were then investigated for their each coping behaviors and coping strategies (approach- and avoidance-oriented coping) using stress and coping inventory. A multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between MMSE score and each coping strategy. Results: Of the 1,099 patients, the mean MMSE score of the study participants was 27.2 (SD = 2.7), and the numbers of the diagnosis of normal, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia were 815 (74.2%), 248 (22.6%), and 14 (1.3%), respectively. Approach-oriented coping score was significantly associated with MMSE score (B [partial regression coefficient] = 0.12, 95% confidence interval = 0.05 to 0.19) after adjusting for confounding factors including age, sex, and education. Avoidance-oriented coping did not show a significant association with MMSE score (B [partial regression coefficient] = -0.02, 95% confidence interval = -0.09 to 0.06). Conclusion: Approach-oriented coping was clearly associated with neurocognitive function in the Japanese population. A future longitudinal trial is warranted to investigate the protective effects of coping behavior on cognitive function.

Keywords: approach-oriented coping, cognitive impairment, coping behavior, dementia

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2 Anti-Acanthamoeba Activities of Fatty Acid Salts and Fatty Acids

Authors: Manami Masuda, Mariko Era, Takayoshi Kawahara, Takahide Kanyama, Hiroshi Morita


Objectives: Fatty acid salts are a type of anionic surfactant and are produced from fatty acids and alkali. Moreover, fatty acid salts are known to have potent antibacterial activities. Acanthamoeba is ubiquitously distributed in the environment including sea water, fresh water, soil and even from the air. Although generally free-living, Acanthamoeba can be an opportunistic pathogen, which could cause a potentially blinding corneal infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. So, in this study, we evaluated the anti-amoeba activity of fatty acid salts and fatty acids to Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30010. Materials and Methods: The antibacterial activity of 9 fatty acid salts (potassium butyrate (C4K), caproate (C6K), caprylate (C8K), caprate (C10K), laurate (C12K), myristate (C14K), oleate (C18:1K), linoleate (C18:2K), linolenate (C18:3K)) tested on cells of Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30010. Fatty acid salts (concentration of 175 mM and pH 10.5) were prepared by mixing the fatty acid with the appropriate amount of KOH. The amoeba suspension mixed with KOH with a pH adjusted solution was used as the control. Fatty acids (concentration of 175 mM) were prepared by mixing the fatty acid with Tween 80 (20 %). The amoeba suspension mixed with Tween 80 (20 %) was used as the control. The anti-amoeba method, the amoeba suspension (3.0 × 104 cells/ml trophozoites) was mixed with the sample of fatty acid potassium (final concentration of 175 mM). Samples were incubated at 30°C, for 10 min, 60 min, and 180 min and then the viability of A. castellanii was evaluated using plankton counting chamber and trypan blue stainings. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against Acanthamoeba was determined using the two-fold dilution method. The MIC was defined as the minimal anti-amoeba concentration that inhibited visible amoeba growth following incubation (180 min). Results: C8K, C10K, and C12K were the anti-amoeba effect of 4 log-unit (99.99 % growth suppression of A. castellanii) incubated time for 180 min against A. castellanii at 175mM. After the amoeba, the suspension was mixed with C10K or C12K, destroying the cell membrane had been observed. Whereas, the pH adjusted control solution did not exhibit any effect even after 180 min of incubation with A. castellanii. Moreover, C6, C8, and C18:3 were the anti-amoeba effect of 4 log-unit incubated time for 60 min. C4 and C18:2 exhibited a 4-log reduction after 180 min incubation. Furthermore, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined. The MIC of C10K, C12K and C4 were 2.7 mM. These results indicate that C10K, C12K and C4 have high anti-amoeba activity against A. castellanii and suggest C10K, C12K and C4 have great potential for antimi-amoeba agents.

Keywords: Fatty acid salts, anti-amoeba activities, Acanthamoeba, fatty acids

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1 Antimicrobial Activity of Fatty Acid Salts against Microbes for Food Safety

Authors: Aya Tanaka, Mariko Era, Manami Masuda, Yui Okuno, Takayoshi Kawahara, Takahide Kanyama, Hiroshi Morita


Objectives— Fungi and bacteria are present in a wide range of natural environments. They are breed in the foods such as vegetables and fruit, causing corruption and deterioration of these foods in some cases. Furthermore, some species of fungi and bacteria are known to cause food intoxication or allergic reactions in some individuals. To prevent fungal and bacterial contamination, various fungicides and bactericidal have been developed that inhibit fungal and bacterial growth. Fungicides and bactericides must show high antifungal and antibacterial activity, sustainable activity, and a high degree of safety. Therefore, we focused on the fatty acid salt which is the main component of soap. We focused on especially C10K and C12K. This study aimed to find the effectiveness of the fatty acid salt as antimicrobial agents for food safety. Materials and Methods— Cladosporium cladosporioides NBRC 30314, Penicillium pinophilum NBRC 6345, Aspergillus oryzae (Akita Konno store), Rhizopus oryzae NBRC 4716, Fusarium oxysporum NBRC 31631, Escherichia coli NBRC 3972, Bacillus subtilis NBRC 3335, Staphylococcus aureus NBRC 12732, Pseudomonas aenuginosa NBRC 13275 and Serratia marcescens NBRC 102204 were chosen as tested fungi and bacteria. Hartmannella vermiformis NBRC 50599 and Acanthamoeba castellanii NBRC 30010 were chosen as tested amoeba. Nine fatty acid salts including potassium caprate (C10K) and laurate (C12K) at 350 mM and pH 10.5 were used as antifungal activity. The spore suspension of each fungus (3.0×10⁴ spores/mL) or the bacterial suspension (3.0×10⁵ or 3.0×10⁶ or 3.0×10⁷ CFU/mL) was mixed with each of the fatty acid salts (final concentration of 175 mM). Samples were counted at 0, 10, 60, and 180 min by plating (100 µL) on potato dextrose agar or nutrient agar. Fungal and bacterial colonies were counted after incubation for 1 or 2 days at 30 °C. Results— C10K was antifungal activity of 4 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against fungi other than A. oryzae. C12K was antifungal activity of 4 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against fungi other than P. pinophilum and A. oryzae. C10K and C12K did not show high anti-yeast activity. C10K was antibacterial activity of 6 or 7 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against bacteria other than B. subtilis. C12K was antibacterial activity of 5 to 7 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against bacteria other than S. marcescens. C12K was anti-amoeba activity of 4 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against H. vermiformis. These results suggest C10K and C12K have potential in the field of food safety.

Keywords: food safety, microbes, antimicrobial, fatty acid salts

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