## HOBBY##


Northern lights are the most beautiful and fantastic phenomena of the Earth, I think. I've been to Alaska to see them almost every spring in 1996-2002. Although I've seen them also in Lapland, I prefer Alaska because I can feel them in a deep forest. I also take pictures for my memory (see the photo on the top page). I enjoyed waiting, waiting, and waiting for the lights to appear in the cold weather (-30 degree) all night (~10 hours). I was happy if I caught them in the early evening and I saw them disappearing in dawn, so that I could feel them the closest. However, I've not been to Alaska since one of my Eskimo friends was killed in autumn 2002. The Sun is getting active again with the 11 years cycle, so it may be time to go back...

Stars and the Universe

I love stars, galaxies, and the Universe. When I was a child, I often went to Goto Planetarium in Shibuya, Tokyo. When I was a 3rd-year junior-high school student, I wrote a report entitled "relativistic cosmology" as a summer vacation homework, which might be the beginning. When I was a high school student, I was deeply impressed by a book "The brief history of the universe" by Steven W. Hawking. I was determined to study astronomy, and started preparing for the entrance examination of the Univ. of Tokyo, which I passed, and proceeded to the Department of Astronomy in 1995. During undergraduate, we often drove to Mt. Fuji with a sleeping bag and stayed up all night looking at stars. During postgraduate, I just worked very hard (with (20 hours work + 8 hours sleep) x 6 days), and in 2002 I got a Ph.D of astronomy and a postdoc research position in Germany. After briefly went back to Japan in the end of 2005, I decided to move out again to take a job offer from Australia in the beginning of 2008. I was happy to live at Mt. Stromlo Observatory under the southern cross, surrounded by kangaroos. But in 2011, I got a better job offer from UK, and moved again. My hobby turned to be my permanent job. Everyday I'm making my galaxies in my computer. I'm also interested in observations but I went for observing only a couple of times, such as at the Subaru telescope on the top of Mauna Kea (4200m) in Hawaii main island, and have sat on a panel for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Coral and Seas

I also love ocean; I like just looking at water, swimming, and scuba diving. When I was at an elementary school, I was competing in swimming. In 1997, I've been Okinawa for the first time, which is southern islands 1600km away from Tokyo, and found a paradise - it was a clear blue sea with white sand, and under the water it was full of tropical coral and fish. Then I ran into a scuba diving shop in Tokyo, and on 23rd Aug 2000 I got a license from NAUI at Izu near Tokyo. Since then I've dived in the Indian Ocean (2001), Mediterranean Sea (2002), Great Barrier Reef (2003, 2008-2014), Red Sea (2004, 2005), Hawaii (2006, 2008, 2015), Coral Seal (2010), Ningaloo Reef (2011), Easter Island (2015), and Malta (2016). Among these, my best places are northern Ishigaki Island of Okinawa, and Red Sea in southern Egypt. The remaining places I want to dive are Maldives and Mexico. I like chasing a butterfly fish, and looking for a rare angel fish, floating among Anthias fishes, and swimming along the drop-off, melted into the deep sea blue. I also take under-water pictures for my memory. I don't have so many opportunities for diving these years... Next, I want to get a boat license and learn sailing.


I like not only listening music but also playing. I was singing in a rock band during my high school and university times. I love 70's western rock music (e.g., AEROSMITH, ROLLING STONES, QUEEN,...) and 80's Japanese rock music (ARB, ECHOES, Carmen Maki & Oz,...). My most favorite band is LA-PISSCH, which is a Japanese band of mixture music (like FISHBONE) of ska, punk, and hard rock. However, the key board player, Gen Ueda (1961-2008), passed away in March 2008, and I lost one reason to live in Japan. I had one more favorite band, UTA, which was a Japanese indies band. I went their live so often that we became friends; I was hoping that they would become famous. But after I moved Munich, in May 2003, my music life is completely changed when I went to an opera!

Drama Plays

I prefer performing a play to watching. I started acting at my elementary school and belonged to a theater company, BISHOP, but quit in 1998. The play writer and director, Haruyuki Kurihara, became a novelist, and I was hoping that he would become famous. Then I tried to see many kinds of plays in 1998-2002. I also had a chance to work with Tsukakohei (1948-2010), who is a very famous Japan-living-Korean dramatist but passed away, and I lost another reason to live in Japan. I also enjoy watching films, and my favourite directors are Hirokazu Koreeda (1962-), Kazuo Kuroki (1930-2006), and Takashi Koizumi (1944-), which dig into human drama of daily life, as well as Stephen Daldry (1960-) and Michael Haneke (1942-). But in 2003, my theatre life is completely changed when I saw an opera in Munich. Modern opera is a complex art of music and drama play, and opera directors are aim to deliver a new interpretation. My most favourite director is Christof Loy, and I'm traveling around to see his productions.


I like Japanese literature written a hundred years ago, especially Soseki Natsume (1867-1916), Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972), Jyun'ichiro Tanisaki (1886-1965), and Kahuu Nagai (1879-1959). Stories are not special but simple, in a daily life, and can be boring. Instead, the deep mind of characters are written with artistic words, so that the beauty and darkness of the human being is revealed. I don't like recent novelists very much, except for Keiichiro Hirano (1975-).


I can go anywhere by myself, if it's enough clean and safe. I used to like only nature and have no interests for human products. But now I am fond of churches and castles in Europe, as well as modern architectures, such as Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), Otto Wagner (1841-1918), Norman Foster (1935), and Coop Himmelb(l)au (1968-). I also like any kinds of transport, e.g., aircraft, helicopter, yacht, cruise boat, and my ultimate dream is to get a flying license! I've done Svalbard (2013), Easter Island (2015), and Patagonia (2020), so the remaining places I want to visit are Antarctica and Moon.

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