TEDxSapporo 2014

Yasunaga Ogita

North Pole explorer

Born in Aikawa, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1977 currently living Takasu, Hokkaido Prefecture.

He has deepened interactions with Inuit, who lives in the Arctic Region. He has seen the dramatic change of Pole Ocean, which is remarkable these days, and the actual condition of global warming. He has conducted environment researches with Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and university laboratories. He is a rare Japanese individual who can talk about global warming and sea-ice decline in North Pole through not only science theories but also his experience.

In 2000, he participated in “the Adventure Walk to North Magnetic Pole,” which was hosted by adventurer Mitsuro Oba, succeeding in trekking 700 km from Resolute of Canadian Arctic Region to North Magnetic Pole.

In 2002, he accomplished a 700km unassisted trek from Resolute to Grise Fiord.

Since then, he has done a 2000 km dog sled crossing on the ice sheet from Siorapaluk to Ammassalik in Greenland, a 1000 km solo trek without any supplies from Resolute to Cambridge Bay, a 700 km solo trek without any supplies from Resolute to North Magnetic Pole, and so on. In 2012, he challenged a solo trek with no access to supplies from Resolute to North Pole, which no one in Japan and only two people in the world have ever achieved. However, he retreated along the way. In 2014, he made the second attempt, but he pulled back at the point of 86°21’89.8” N. and 68°38’40.1” W.

Yasunaga Ogita has appeared in many TV and radio programs such as “NHK Special (NHK General)” and “Earth TV El Mundo (NHK BS).”

Noyuri Mima

Professor in the School of System Information Science at Future University Hakodate

She studied computer science at University of Electro-Communications, education at the Graduate School of Education in Harvard University, and cognitive psychology at the Graduate School of Tokyo University.

She is engaged in promoting human resources, communication, and networking from her wide range of knowledge and experience in computer, education, and cognitive science.

She has lived in Hakodate, Hokkaido for more than 10 years after moving from Tokyo. She is a big fan of Hakodate because of its climate, food, and culture. She was a member of planning committee of Future University Hakodate and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). After the foundation of those, she became a professor at the university (2000 – present) and a deputy director at the museum (2003- 2006).

In 2008, she established Science Support Hakodate, a voluntary association for promoting science communication and developing science literacy of citizens. She also established Hakodate Herb Study Group for developing regional brand products by enhancing industry-academia-government-citizen collaboration in 2010. In 2014, she started to contribute to NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) as a member of the Board of Governors.

Her selected books are, “An Encouragement of RIKEJO-ish Life” (Iwanami Shoten) and “Designing Future Learning: Space, Activity, and Community” (Univ. of Tokyo Press). Both books are written in Japanese.

Tsutomu Uematsu

President at Uematsu Electoric Co., Ltd.

Tsutomu Uematsu has been fascinated by space since his childhood. He learned fluid mechanics in the university and joined a company designing aircraft in Nagoya. In 1994, he came back to Hokkaido and joined Uematsu Elecetoric Co, managed by his father, Kiyoshi Uematsu. He developed and produced electric magnet used for removing and selecting iron from industrial waste.

Ten years later, his encounter with Prof. Nagata, a researcher of Camui Rocket in Graduate School of Hokkaido University, promised him to give a full support to the rocket research with his love of space. Since then, he has been contributed to four research projects: ‘rocket developments,’ ‘experiments on microgravity,’ which creates the zero-gravity environment like space, ‘developments of a miniaturized satellite,’ and ‘cooperative projects with American private space development corporations.’

His main accomplishments are the research and the launch of the artificial satellite “HIT-SAT,” experimental launch of Camui Rocket (reaching 3,500 meter altitude), the cooperative experimental launch with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), a start-up of ARC project, and etc. In 2012, he achieved to reach 7,400 meter altitude on the experimental launch of Camui Rocket 500p.

Tsutomu Uematsu lectures the importance of broadening possibilities of human activity at companies and schools nationwide. He also dedicates himself to give dreams to young generation by organizing activities such as creating space camps to let children learn about space in a fun way.

Naoyuki Oshima

Chief of Date City Institute of Funkawan culture

He was born in Shibecha-cho, Kushiro Subprefecture, Hokkaido in 1950. After graduating from the History Department in Literature Faculty of Toyo University and working at Chitose City Hall, he studied anthropology and anatomy as an assistant at Sapporo Medical University. From 1995, in Date City, he engaged in maintaining a historical site and Kitakogane Shell-mound as well as researching archaeological ruins. In addition, he set up a nation’s first official research institute, and he has been positively involved in comprehensive cultural administration including arts such as music and painting.

To understand the “mind” of Jomon people, he goes beyond borders of the traditional archaeology by studying cultural anthropology, religion, folklore and brain science and so on.

He deciphers Jomon culture from a new viewpoint and expands his research focusing on the origin of human and high spirits of Jomon culture. Moreover, he makes efforts to establish Civil Jomon Association in various locations of Hokkaido to spread and enlighten people on his research.

Naoyuki Ohshima is a chairman of Hokkaido Archaeological Association, a past director of Japanese Archaeological Association, and a councilor of Anthropological Society of Nippon.

His recent works are “対論・文明の原理を問う(Touron Bunmei no genri wo tou)” (co-author , Reitaku University Press, 2011), and “月と蛇と縄文人(Tsuki to hebi to jomonzin)” (Jurou-sha, 2014 ).

Yuka Watanabe

Soprano singer. Model. Actress.

After she entered the School of Musical Theatre at Arts Educational School in England, she belonged to a choir and played and sang at various large halls and churches in Europe such as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. At the time of graduation, she earned the prize of “the Best Singer of the Year.” She was selected as a finalist of a soprano solo section at the classical music contest, “Three Rivers Young Musician of the Year” which was held in England.

Following graduation, she entered the Vocal department at Royal Academy of Music. She sang Beethoven Symphony No.9, which was conducted by Sir Collin Davis, an internationally renowned conductor.

In Japan, she became a Hokkaido representative of Miss Universe Japan 2012 as well as a national semi-finalist, which was in the top 14. She appeared as a fashion model and a solo singer at an art show which is sponsored by Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and an event held by Hanii Ito, a designer of Hany Wedding.

She performed two roles including the leading part in a short film of Sapporo Movie Sketch 2014 and also translated and dubbed the film into English.

She appeared in a commercial of “Washoku,” which is Japanese style kitchen brand, and narrated it in English.

Yuka Watanabe is looking for what she can tell while empathizing people that she meets through activities of teaching English and singing.

Daiki Sakurai

Student of Hokkaido Information University.

Student of Hokkaido Information University. Speaker at TEDxHIU.

Daiki Sakurai is from Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido. With a dream of becoming a diplomat, he entered Hokkaido Sapporo Minami High School in 2005. He studied hard for all of his high school life, but he failed at the college entrance exam. In the depth of despair, he worked part-time for about a year after graduating from the high school, where he realized that what he really wanted to do was ‘learning.’

He started to study again without fearing another failure and challenged a new dream. In a following year, he studied English liberal arts in State University of New York, the United States. After returning to Japan, he entered Hokkaido Information University to gain more special acknowledge. Now he majors in networking.

Having acquired the Applied Information Technology Engineer Qualification and TOEIC 890 score, Daiki Sakurai puts his all into study in order to pursue an international career by providing high technologies in the IT industry in the near future.


Tsugaru Shamisen player

He began to learn the Tsugaru Shamisen at the age of 7 and became an apprentice of Toshihiko Sato, the third generation of best Tsugaru Shamisen player in Japan.

He won third place in the junior section and first place in the ensemble in section of “Tsugaru Shamisen National Convention 2008,” which was held in Hirosaki, and took second place in Class B in 2012, first place in Class A in 2013 in ” Tsugaru Shamisen Japan Championship,” which was held in Aomori.

He plays Tsugaru Shamisen energetically to convey the attractions of Japanese traditional music to the people all over the world. Niya Sasaki has performed not only in Hokkaido but also Tokyo, New York (Carnegie Hall), Taiwan (Dalongdong Baoan Temple), and the Republic of Turkey. He has continued to play on a regular basis in live houses and clubs and challenge the novel possibilities of Tsugaru Shamisen. He has done numerous collaborations with various genres: DJ, fashion show, brass bands and so on. He performed at “a nation 2013 in Shibuya AX” sponsored by Avex in 2013.

He makes efforts to teach his apprentices in place of his late teacher. He is also involved in music education as a instructor for high school students in the Sapporo area from 2012 to tell the next generation the charm of Tsugaru Shamisen.

Niya Sasaki is an up-and-coming Tsugaru Shamisen player who represents Hokkaido. He is currently a third-year student majoring in Media and Arts at the department of Lifelong Learning System at Hokusho University.