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

Search results for: Yasuo Uchida

8 Green Supply Chain Management and Corporate Performance: The Mediation Mechanism of Information Sharing among Firms

Authors: Seigo Matsuno, Yasuo Uchida, Shozo Tokinaga


This paper proposes and empirically tests a model of the relationships between green supply chain management (GSCM) activities and corporate performance. From the literature review, we identified five constructs, namely, environmental commitment, supplier collaboration, supplier assessment, information sharing among suppliers, and business process improvement. These explanatory variables are used to form a structural model explaining the environmental and economic performance. The model was analyzed using the data from a survey of a sample of manufacturing firms in Japan. The results suggest that the degree of supplier collaboration has an influence on the environmental performance directly. While, the impact of supplier assessment on the environmental performance is mediated by the information sharing and/or business process improvement. And the environmental performance has a positive relationship on the economic performance. Academic and managerial implications of our findings are discussed.

Keywords: corporate performance, empirical study, green supply chain management, path modeling

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7 Composition Dependence of Exchange Anisotropy in PtₓMn₁₋ₓ/Co₇₀Fe₃₀ Films

Authors: Sina Ranjbar, Masakiyo Tsunoda, Mikihiko Oogane, Yasuo Ando


We systematically investigated the exchange anisotropy for ferromagnetic Co70Fe30 and antiferromagnetic PtMn bilayer films. We focused on the relevance between the exchange bias and the composition of the Ptₓ Mn₁₋ₓ (14 < x < 22 and 45 < x < 56 at %) films, and we successfully optimized the composition. The crystal structure of the Ptₓ Mn₁₋ₓ films was FCC for 14 < x < 22 at % and FCT for 45 < x < 56 at % after annealing at 370 ◦C for 6 hours. The unidirectional anisotropy constant (Jₖ) for fcc-Pt₁₅Mn₈₅ (20 nm) and fct-Pt₄₈Mn₅₂ (20 nm) prepared under optimum conditions in composition were 0.16 and 0.20 erg/cm², respectively. Both Pt₁₅Mn₈₅ and Pt₄₈Mn₅₂ films showed a larger unidirectional anisotropy constant (Jₖ) than in other reports. They also showed a flatter surface than that of other antiferromagnetic materials. The obtained PtMn films with a large exchange anisotropy and slight roughness are useful as an antiferromagnetic layer in spintronic applications.

Keywords: antiferromagnetic material, PtMn thin film, exchange anisotropy, composition dependence

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6 Debussy's Piano Music: Style Characteristics in Three Categories

Authors: Rika Uchida


Claude Debussy's piano works can be divided into three categories in terms of style characteristics. The first category includes works which are strongly impressionistic, evoking a mood or an atmosphere, rather than making a direct, clear statement. These works often depict nature, and they are descriptive and sensitive in their character. Harmonic vocabulary is often complex, and the sense of tonality is often ambiguous in those works. Examples which belong to this category are ‘Clair de lune’ from Suite Bergamasque, Deux Arabesques, and ‘Reflets dans l'eau’ from Images Book 2. The second category shows little or no trace of impressionism. Works are not descriptive; rather, they are classical or absolute. Examples which belong to this category are Pour le Piano, ‘Hommage à Rameau’ and ‘Movement’ from Images Book 1 and Etudes. The third category can be called exotic. Debussy had a great interest in foreign lands such as the Far and Near East, and Spain. He employs pentatonic and quartal harmonies to describe the Orient, occasionally using the effect of the Javanese gamelan, which impressed him at the Paris Exhibition. His compositions in the Spanish style evoke the atmosphere of Spain. Though he borrowed some techniques from Spanish composers whom he knew, the tonal experimentation which occurs in these works sets them apart. Examples which belong to this category are ‘Pagodes’ and ‘la Soiree dans Grenade’ from Estampes, ‘la Puerta del Vino’ from Preludes Book 2.

Keywords: music, piano, Debussy, style

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5 Aural Skills Pedagogy for Students with Absolute Pitch

Authors: Rika Uchida


In teaching sophomore level aural skills, I have dealt with students with absolute pitch do poorly in my courses, particularly in harmonic dictation. They can identify triads; however, identifying quality of seventh chords or chromatic chords poses serious challenges. Most often, they need to spell all the pitches before identifying the chord qualities and Roman Numerals. Growing up in a country where acquiring absolute pitch is considered essential, I started my early music training with fixed do system at age three and learned all my music with solfege. When I was assigned as a TA in aural skills courses at graduate school in US, I had to learn relative pitch quickly. My survival method was listening to music with absolute pitch first, then quickly "translate" to relative pitch. In teaching my courses, I have been using chord progressions (5-8 chords total), in which students are asked to sing chord arpeggiation with movable do solfege. I use same progressions for harmonic dictation; I hoped that students learn to incorporate singing and listening skills by overlapping same materials. This method has proven to be successful for most students; in particular, it has helped students with absolute pitch to hear chord quality and function. Although original progressions are written in C as a tonic, they can identify chords in harmonic dictation in other keys as well. In short, I believe singing chord progression with movable do arpeggiation helps students with absolute pitch to improve hearing function and quality of chords in harmonic dictation.

Keywords: aural skills pedagogy, music theory, absolute pitch, harmonic dictation

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4 Application of KL Divergence for Estimation of Each Metabolic Pathway Genes

Authors: Shohei Maruyama, Yasuo Matsuyama, Sachiyo Aburatani


The development of the method to annotate unknown gene functions is an important task in bioinformatics. One of the approaches for the annotation is The identification of the metabolic pathway that genes are involved in. Gene expression data have been utilized for the identification, since gene expression data reflect various intracellular phenomena. However, it has been difficult to estimate the gene function with high accuracy. It is considered that the low accuracy of the estimation is caused by the difficulty of accurately measuring a gene expression. Even though they are measured under the same condition, the gene expressions will vary usually. In this study, we proposed a feature extraction method focusing on the variability of gene expressions to estimate the genes' metabolic pathway accurately. First, we estimated the distribution of each gene expression from replicate data. Next, we calculated the similarity between all gene pairs by KL divergence, which is a method for calculating the similarity between distributions. Finally, we utilized the similarity vectors as feature vectors and trained the multiclass SVM for identifying the genes' metabolic pathway. To evaluate our developed method, we applied the method to budding yeast and trained the multiclass SVM for identifying the seven metabolic pathways. As a result, the accuracy that calculated by our developed method was higher than the one that calculated from the raw gene expression data. Thus, our developed method combined with KL divergence is useful for identifying the genes' metabolic pathway.

Keywords: metabolic pathways, gene expression data, microarray, Kullback–Leibler divergence, KL divergence, support vector machines, SVM, machine learning

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3 Bereavement Risk Assessment of Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer: Relationship between Bereavement Risk and Post-Loss Psychological Distress

Authors: Tomohiro Uchida, Noriaki Satake, Toshimichi Nakaho, Akira Inoue, Hidemitsu Saito


In this study, we assessed the bereavement risk of family caregivers of patients with cancer. In the palliative care unit of Tohoku University Hospital, we conducted a family psychoeducation session to support the family caregivers of patients with cancer. A total of 50 participants (8 males and 42 females; mean age = 62.98 years, SD = 11.10) were assessed after the session for bereavement risk using the Japanese version of the Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT-J). According to the BRAT-J scores, eight participants were considered to be having no known risk (Level 1), seventeen had minimal risk (Level 2), twenty had a low risk (Level 3), four had a moderate risk (Level 4), and one had a high risk (Level 5). Of these participants, seven participants had completed the follow-up postal survey that assessed their psychological distress (the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale: K6) to compare the bereavement risk. According to the K6 scores, three-fourth of the individuals, who were considered to be at Level 3 on the BRAT-J, scored higher than the cutoff point (>10) for the detection of depressive disorder. On the other hand, one-third of the individuals, who were considered to be at Level 2 on the BRAT-J, scored higher than the cutoff point. Therefore, it appears that the BRAT-J can predict the likelihood of difficulties or complications in bereaved family caregivers. This research was approved by the Ethics Committee of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and Tohoku University Hospital.

Keywords: palliative care, family caregivers, bereavement risk, BRAT, post-loss psychological distress

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2 Assesment of Quality of Life among Iranian Male Amateur Athletes via WHOQOL-Brief

Authors: Shirko Ahmadi, Ahmad Fallahi, Marco C. Uchida, Gustavo L. Gutierrez


The aims of the present study are to assess and compare the health habits and quality of life (QoL) of Iranian amateur athletes in different sports. A total of 120 male amateur athletes between 17 and 31 years, engaged in 16 kinds of sports which include team (n=44), individual (n=40) and combat sports (n=36) from sports clubs in the west cities of Iran; and also those not involved in any competition in the past. Additionally, this is a cross-sectional, descriptive observational study, which the subjects completed the WHOQOL-brief questionnaire to evaluate QoL. The questionnaire is composed of 26 questions in four domains (physical health, psychological, social and environmental domains), that was applied in the Persian language. Information on the frequency and duration of training sessions were also collected. The Shapiro-Wilk test was used to verify normal distribution, followed by the chi-squared test for proportions and simple analysis of variance for comparisons between groups of sports. Pearson’s correlation was used to assess the relationships between the variables analyzed. According to the findings, those from individual sports obtained highest points in the all domains of QoL; physical domains (87.1 ± 8.1 point), psychological domains (87.6 ± 9.6 point), social domains (89.7 ± 9.2 point), environmental domains (75.5± 10.7 point) and overall QoL score (84.9 ± 9.4 point). Generally, social domains were the highest QoL index (84.3 ± 7.2 points), and environmental domains were the lowest QoL index (68.1 ± 10.8 points), in all of the sports. No correlations were found between QoL domains and time engaged in the sport (r = 0.01; p = 0.93), number of weekly training sessions (r = 0.09; p = 0.37) and session duration (r = -0.06; p= 0.58). Comparison of QoL results with those of the general population revealed higher levels in the physical and psychological components of amateur athletes. In the present study, engaging in sports was associated with higher QoL levels in amateur athletes, particularly in the physical and psychological domains. Moreover, correlations were found between the overall score and domains of QoL.

Keywords: amateur, domains, Iranian, quality of life

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1 Effect of Different Knee-Joint Positions on Passive Stiffness of Medial Gastrocnemius Muscle and Aponeuroses during Passive Ankle Motion

Authors: Xiyao Shan, Pavlos Evangelidis, Adam Kositsky, Naoki Ikeda, Yasuo Kawakami


The human triceps surae (two bi-articular gastrocnemii and one mono-articular soleus) have aponeuroses in the posterior and anterior aspects of each muscle, where the anterior aponeuroses of the gastrocnemii adjoin the posterior aponeurosis of the soleus, possibly contributing to the intermuscular force transmission between gastrocnemii and soleus. Since the mechanical behavior of these aponeuroses at different knee- and ankle-joint positions remains unclear, the purpose of this study was to clarify this through observations of the localized changes in passive stiffness of the posterior aponeuroses, muscle belly and adjoining aponeuroses of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) induced by different knee and ankle angles. Eleven healthy young males (25 ± 2 yr, 176.7 ± 4.7 cm, 71.1 ± 11.1 kg) participated in this study. Each subject took either a prone position on an isokinetic dynamometer while the knee joint was fully extended (K180) or a kneeling position while the knee joint was 90° flexed (K90), in a randomized and counterbalanced order. The ankle joint was then passively moved through a 50° range of motion (ROM) by the dynamometer from 30° of plantar flexion (PF) to 20° of dorsiflexion (DF) at 2°/s and the ultrasound shear-wave velocity was measured to obtain shear moduli of the posterior aponeurosis, MG belly, and adjoining aponeuroses. The main findings were: 1) shear modulus in K180 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than K90 for the posterior aponeurosis (across all ankle angles, 10.2 ± 5.7 kPa-59.4 ± 28.7 kPa vs. 5.4 ± 2.2 kPa-11.6 ± 4.1 kPa), MG belly (from PF10° to DF20°, 9.7 ± 2.2 kPa-53.6 ± 18.6 kPa vs. 8.0 ± 2.7 kPa-9.5 ± 3.7 kPa), and adjoining aponeuroses (across all ankle angles, 17.3 ± 7.8 kPa-80 ± 25.7 kPa vs. 12.2 ± 4.5 kPa-52.4 ± 23.0 kPa); 2) shear modulus of the posterior aponeuroses significantly increased (p < 0.05) from PF10° to PF20° in K180, while shear modulus of MG belly significantly increased (p < 0.05) from 0° to PF20° only in K180 and shear modulus of adjoining aponeuroses significantly increased (p < 0.05) across the whole ROM of ankle both in K180 and K90. These results suggest that different knee-joint positions can affect not only the bi-articular gastrocnemius but also influence the mechanical behavior of aponeuroses. In addition, compared to the gradual stiffening of the adjoining aponeuroses across the whole ROM of ankle, the posterior aponeurosis became slack in the plantar flexed positions and then was stiffened gradually as the knee was fully extended. This suggests distinct stiffening for the posterior and adjoining aponeuroses which is joint position-dependent.

Keywords: aponeurosis, plantar flexion and dorsiflexion, shear modulus, shear wave elastography

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