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

Search results for: Michiko Iwasaki

8 Predicting College Students’ Happiness During COVID-19 Pandemic; Be optimistic and Well in College!

Authors: Michiko Iwasaki, Jane M. Endres, Julia Y. Richards, Andrew Futterman


The present study aimed to examine college students’ happiness during COVID19-pandemic. Using the online survey data from 96 college students in the U.S., a regression analysis was conducted to predict college students’ happiness. The results indicated that a four-predictor model (optimism, college students’ subjective wellbeing, coronavirus stress, and spirituality) explained 57.9% of the variance in student’s subjective happiness, F(4,77)=26.428, p<.001, R2=.579, 95% CI [.41,.66]. The study suggests the importance of learned optimism among college students.

Keywords: COVID-19, optimism, spirituality, well-being

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7 Searching for an Effective Marketing in the Food Supplement Industry in Japan

Authors: Michiko Miyamoto


The market for "functional foods" and "foods with functional claims" that are effective in maintaining and improving health, has expanded year by year due to the entry of major food and beverage manufacturers following the introduction of the specified health food system in 1991 in Japan. To bring health claims related products or services to the market, it is necessary to let consumers to learn about these products or services; an effective marketing through advertising are important. This research proposes a framework for an effective advertisement medium for the food supplement industry by using survey data of 2,500 people.

Keywords: functional foods, dietary supplements, marketing strategy, structural equation modeling

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6 Information Technology and Business Alignments among Different Divisions: A Comparative Analysis of Japan and South Korea

Authors: Michiko Miyamoto


This paper empirically investigates whether information technology (IT) strategies, business strategies, and divisions are aligned to meet overall business goals for Korean Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), based on structure based Strategic Alignment Model, and make comparison with those of Japanese SMEs. Using 2,869 valid responses of Korean Human Capital Corporate Panel survey, a result of this study suggests that Korean human resources (HR) departments have a major influence over IT strategy, which is the same as Japanese SMEs, even though their management styles are quite different. As for IT strategy, it is not related to other departments at all for Korean SMEs. The Korean management seems to possess a great power over each division, such as Sales/Service, Research and Development/Technical Experts, HR, and Production.

Keywords: IT-business alignment, structured based strategic alignment model, structural equation model, human resources department

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5 Linkage between Trace Element Distribution and Growth Ring Formation in Japanese Red Coral (Paracorallium japonicum)

Authors: Luan Trong Nguyen, M. Azizur Rahman, Yusuke Tamenori, Toshihiro Yoshimura, Nozomu Iwasaki, Hiroshi Hasegawa


This study investigated the distribution of magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S) and strontium (Sr) using micro X-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) along the annual growth rings in the skeleton of Japanese red coral Paracorallium japonicum. The Mg, P and S distribution in µ-XRF mapping images correspond to the dark and light bands along the annual growth rings observed in microscopic images of the coral skeleton. The µ-XRF mapping data showed a positive correlation (r = 0.6) between P and S distribution in the coral skeleton. A contrasting distribution pattern of S and Mg along the axial skeleton of P. japonicum indicates a weak negative correlation (r = -0.2) between these two trace elements. The distribution pattern of S, P and Mg reveals linkage between their distributions and the formation of dark/light bands along the annual growth rings in the axial skeleton of P. japonicum. Sulfur and P were distributed in the organic matrix rich dark bands, while Mg was distributed in the light bands of the annual growth rings.

Keywords: µ-XRF, trace element, precious coral, Paracorallium japonicum

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4 Development of Electroencephalograph Collection System in Language-Learning Self-Study System That Can Detect Learning State of the Learner

Authors: Katsuyuki Umezawa, Makoto Nakazawa, Manabu Kobayashi, Yutaka Ishii, Michiko Nakano, Shigeichi Hirasawa


This research aims to develop a self-study system equipped with an artificial teacher who gives advice to students by detecting the learners and to evaluate language learning in a unified framework. 'Detecting the learners' means that the system understands the learners' learning conditions, such as each learner’s degree of understanding, the difference in each learner’s thinking process, the degree of concentration or boredom in learning, and problem solving for each learner, which can be interpreted from learning behavior. In this paper, we propose a system to efficiently collect brain waves from learners by focusing on only the brain waves among the biological information for 'detecting the learners'. The conventional Electroencephalograph (EEG) measurement method during learning using a simple EEG has the following disadvantages. (1) The start and end of EEG measurement must be done manually by the experiment participant or staff. (2) Even when the EEG signal is weak, it may not be noticed, and the data may not be obtained. (3) Since the acquired EEG data is stored in each PC, there is a possibility that the time of data acquisition will be different in each PC. This time, we developed a system to collect brain wave data on the server side. This system overcame the above disadvantages.

Keywords: artificial teacher, e-learning, self-study system, simple EEG

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3 Effects of Forest Bathing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Parameters in Middle-Aged Males

Authors: Qing Li, Maiko Kobayashi, Shigeyoshi Kumeda, Hiroko Ochiai, Toshiya Ochiai, Takashi Miura, Takahide Kagawa, Michiko Imai, Toshiaki Otsuka, Tomoyuki Kawada


In the present study, we investigated the effects of a forest bathing program on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters. Nineteen healthy male subjects (mean age: 51.3 ± 8.8 years) were selected after obtaining informed consent. These subjects took day trips to a forest park named Akasawa Shizen Kyuyourin, Agematsu, Nagano Prefecture (situated in central Japan), and to an urban area of Nagano Prefecture as a control in August 2015. On both trips, they walked 2.6 km for 80 min each in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays. Blood and urine were sampled in the morning before and after each trip. Cardiovascular and metabolic parameters were measured. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured by an ambulatory automatic blood pressure monitor. The Japanese version of the profile of mood states (POMS) test was conducted before, during and after the trips. Ambient temperature and humidity were monitoring during the trips. The forest bathing program significantly reduced pulse rate, and significantly increased the score for vigor and decreased the scores for depression, fatigue, and confusion in the POMS test. The levels of urinary noradrenaline and dopamine after forest bathing were significantly lower than those after urban area walking, suggesting the relaxing effect of the forest bathing program. The level of adiponectin in serum after the forest bathing program was significantly greater than that after urban area walking. There was no significant difference in blood pressure between forest and urban area trips during the trips.

Keywords: ambient temperature, blood pressure, forest bathing, forest therapy, human health, POMS, pulse rate

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2 Photoluminescent Properties of Noble Metal Nanoparticles Supported Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nanoparticles Doped with Cerium (Ⅲ) Ions

Authors: Mitsunobu Iwasaki, Akifumi Iseda


Yttrium aluminum garnet doped with cerium (Ⅲ) ions (Y3Al5O12:Ce3+, YAG:Ce3+) has attracted a great attention because it can efficiently convert the blue light into a very broad yellow emission band, which produces white light emitting diodes and is applied for panel displays. To improve the brightness and resolution of the display, a considerable attention has been directed to develop fine phosphor particles. We have prepared YAG:Ce3+ nanophosphors by environmental-friendly wet process. The peak maximum of absorption spectra of surface plasmon of Ag nanopaticles are close to that of the excitation spectra (460 nm) of YAG:Ce3+. It can be expected that Ag nanoparticles supported onto the surface of YAG:Ce3+ (Ag-YAG:Ce3+) enhance the absorption of Ce3+ ions. In this study, we have prepared Ag-YAG:Ce3+ nanophosphors and investigated their photoluminescent properties. YCl3・6H2O and AlCl3・6H2O with a molar ratio of Y:Al=3:5 were dissolved in ethanol (100 ml), and CeCl3•7H2O (0.3 mol%) was further added to the above solution. Then, NaOH (4.6×10-2 mol) dissolved in ethanol (50 ml) was added dropwise to the mixture under reflux over 2 hours, and the solution was further refluxed for 1 hour. After cooling to room temperature, precipitates in the reaction mixture were heated at 673 K for 1 hour. After the calcination, the particles were immersed in AgNO3 solution for 1 hour, followed by sintering at 1123 K for 1 hour. YAG:Ce3+ were confirmed to be nanocrystals with a crystallite size of 50-80 nm in diameter. Ag nanoparticles supported onto YAG:Ce3+ were single nanometers in diameter. The excitation and emission spectra were 454 nm and 539 nm at a maximum wavelength, respectively. The emission intensity was maximum for Ag-YAG:Ce3+ immersed into 0.5 mM AgCl (Ag-YAG:Ce (0.5 mM)). The absorption maximum (461 nm) was increased for Ag-YAG:Ce3+ in comparison with that for YAG:Ce3+, indicating that the absorption was enhanced by the addition of Ag. The external and internal quantum efficiencies became 11.2 % and 36.9 % for Ag-YAG:Ce (0.5 mM), respectively. The emission intensity and absorption maximum of Ag-YAG:Ce (0.5 mM)×n (n=1, 2, 3) were increased with an increase of the number of supporting times (n), respectively. The external and internal quantum efficiencies were increased for the increase of n, respectively. The external quantum efficiency of Ag-YAG:Ce (0.5 mM) (n=3) became twice as large as that of YAG:Ce. In conclusion, Ag nanoparticles supported onto YAG:Ce3+ increased absorption and quantum efficiency. Therefore, the support of Ag nanoparticles enhanced the photoluminescent properties of YAG:Ce3+.

Keywords: plasmon, quantum efficiency, silver nanoparticles, yttrium aluminum garnet

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1 Anti-Obesity Effects of Pteryxin in Peucedanum japonicum Thunb Leaves through Different Pathways of Adipogenesis In-Vitro

Authors: Ruwani N. Nugara, Masashi Inafuku, Kensaku Takara, Hironori Iwasaki, Hirosuke Oku


Pteryxin from the partially purified hexane phase (HP) of Peucedanum japonicum Thunb (PJT) was identified as the active compound related to anti-obesity. Thus, in this study we investigated the mechanisms related to anti-obesity activity in-vitro. The HP was fractionated, and effect on the triglyceride (TG) content was evaluated in 3T3-L1 and HepG2 cells. Comprehensive spectroscopic analyses were used to identify the structure of the active compound. The dose dependent effect of active constituent on the TG content, and the gene expressions related to adipogenesis, fatty acid catabolism, energy expenditure, lipolysis and lipogenesis (20 μg/mL) were examined in-vitro. Furthermore, higher dosage of pteryxin (50μg/mL) was tested against 20μg/mL in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The mRNA were subjected to SOLiD next generation sequencer and the obtained data were analyzed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The active constituent was identified as pteryxin, a known compound in PJT. However, its biological activities against obesity have not been reported previously. Pteryxin dose dependently suppressed TG content in both 3T3-L1 adipocytes and HepG2 hepatocytes (P < 0.05). Sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1 c), Fatty acid synthase (FASN), and acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1) were downregulated in pteryxin-treated adipocytes (by 18.0, 36.1 and 38.2%; P < 0.05, respectively) and hepatocytes (by 72.3, 62.9 and 38.8%, respectively; P < 0.05) indicating its suppressive effects on fatty acid synthesis. The hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), a lipid catabolising gene was upregulated (by 15.1%; P < 0.05) in pteryxin-treated adipocytes suggesting improved lipolysis. Concordantly, the adipocyte size marker gene, paternally expressed gene1/mesoderm specific transcript (MEST) was downregulated (by 42.8%; P < 0.05), further accelerating the lipolytic activity. The upregulated trend of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2; by 77.5%; P < 0.05) reflected the improved energy expenditure due to pteryxin. The 50μg/mL dosage of pteryxin completely suppressed PPARγ, MEST, SREBP 1C, HSL, Adiponectin, Fatty Acid Binding Protein (FABP) 4, and UCP’s in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The IPA suggested that pteryxin at 20μg/mL and 50μg/mL suppress obesity in two different pathways, whereas the WNT signaling pathway play a key role in the higher dose of pteryxin in preadipocyte stage. Pteryxin in PJT play the key role in regulating lipid metabolism related gene network and improving energy production in vitro. Thus, the results suggests pteryxin as a new natural compound to be used as an anti-obesity drug in pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: obesity, peucedanum japonicum thunb, pteryxin, food science

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