ロータリー米山奨記念奨学会の活動報告

今回のブログは、私が現在所属している奨学金団体「ロータリー米山記念奨学会」の活動を紹介します。ロータリー記念奨学会の奨学生をなって、毎月、ロータリー例会に1度だけ出席する必要があり、それ以外にも様々なイベントがあります。私は先週末の日曜日に江ノ島クニーニングキャンぺーンを参加し、今週の金曜日に初めてロータリー例会を参加しました。

江ノ島クニーニングキャンペーンは毎年一度江ノ島の環境保護するために、ロータリーの会員たちが浜のゴミを集め、ゴミの種類を区分して捨てるイベントです。また、この活動は、ロータリー会員の挨拶パーティーも兼ねています。

当日は、私と神奈川工科大学に所属する別のロータリーの奨学生2人と本厚木駅で午前7時に合流して、電車で江ノ島へ向かい、そこでロータリーの奨学生と集合し、九時半に会場に到着しました。

この日はとても暑く、日差しも強いので、私は日焼け止めを塗って行きました。

奨学生はクニーニング活動を始める前に、挨拶パーティーの準備をしました。食べ物と飲み物、机や椅子を車から運び終わった後に、他のロータリー会員と一緒に江ノ島のクニーニング活動をしました。

その後に開催された挨拶パーティー中は、奨学生の全員は給仕係となり、お客様に食事を持っていきました。このパーティを通して、私は様々なロータリー会員と話すことができ、いろいろな面白い話を聞くことができました。ロータリー会員とお客様は、たくさん私に話しかけてきてくれたため、とても楽しい時間を過ごすことができました。

また先週の金曜日には私は初めてロータリ例会に出席しました。その日は、私は午後5時に研究室を出発し、藤沢駅近くの会議室に行きました。例会では、6年前に起きた福島の東日本大震災の支援活動について話をしました。そして、私も日本語で自己紹介をしました。

In this blog I will be discussing about my recent activities at Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation.  Before doing that I would like to give a big thanks to Yuya Mochizuki, a fellow Shirai-lab member. He helped me correct a lot of my Japanese sentences and made them more beautiful. Even now I am studying his corrections in an effort to improve my Japanese.

As a Rotary Yoneyama scholar it is my duty to attend monthly meetings one per month as well as participating in other mandatory activities the club has.

Last Sunday on July 16th, 2017, me and the other Rotary Yoneyama scholars gathered around Enoshima station to participate in the Enoshima Cleaning Campaign. It is a yearly event where current and past Rotary Yoneyama scholars as well as students who are interested in the club get together and pick up the garbage at Enoshima beach. I was very excited about this event since it has to do with environment protection so naturally I had a lot of fun.

The event started at 9 AM in the morning where scholarship recipients gathered at Enoshima station and walked towards the event location which is at a beach house right beside the ocean. We started setting up the event by taking food, drinks, as well as furniture from a car belonging to another Rotary staff. The sun was pretty intense that day but thankfully I bought my sun screen with me so all is well.

I was able to meet many different past Rotary scholars and together we performed a quick sweep around the beach area. My Rotary contact person, Takagi-sensei was also present at the beach. We talked about my recent activities and researches. Soon afterwards current scholars began cooking and serving lunch to well over 15 tables of guests. It was busy and work was demanding but the end result was well worth it as the atmosphere was joyful and full of laughter.

Near the end of the activity the current scholars participated in a post-event discussion, a common Japanese practice to discuss what could be improved upon for next time. Afterwards we resorted garbage into their respective bags and hauled the bags into a nearby dumpster.

My second Rotary event this month happened just two days ago on Friday July 21st when I participated in my first progress report. Instead of reporting my research progress however, I was asked to do a brief introduction. The Rotary staff also talked about the Great East Japan Earthquake that happened six years ago back in March 11 2011 and the Nuclear Reactor accident that happened afterwards. Other topics include growth of Rotary Yoneyama world wide and the growth of female members within the club. All in all I was very touched by the amount of activities Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation is involved in and am hoping to get more active within the club myself.

Anime Expo 2017 Los Angeles

6月28日から、7日4日まで、白井研究室のManga GeneratorチームとReal Baby – Real Familyチームの6人はアメリカ最大のアニメ展示会:Anime Expo 2017(AX2017)へ参加するために、アメリカのロセンゼルスへ向かいました。今回のAX2017での展示「日本キャラVR祭」は集英社が東京近郊のVR会社を招集して、共同で出展した展示です。Manga Generatorの共同展示者は株式会社プログマインド(ProgMind)です。

私達は6月28に羽田空港でProgMindの安藤さんと合流して、6月29日の午前1時の飛行機に乗って、6月28日午後6時ぐらいにロセンゼルス国際空港(LAX)で着きました。そこから、展示会場近くのAirbnbへSuper Shuttleで行きました。今回のAirbnbは中心市街窓から、ロセンゼルスの摩天楼や道を見ることができます。屋上でも綺麗な風景が見えます。

出展の準備は6月29日から、6月30日までです。準備は疲れるし、時間が沢山かかりますが、私は展示会場で働いていた係員と話せて、大きなナルトの気球を膨らませるところを目撃できました。それに私と宥冶は有名なスーパー:Targetへ展示に必要な機械を買いに行きました。

今回は展示中に色々なコスプレイヤーがいました。例えばドラゴンボールのトランクス、人造人間18号、ナルトの暁、ワンピースのルフィなどです。展示会場には、他の展示も沢山ありましたが、私は毎日11時から、7時まで自分のブースで働き、休み時間は1時間だけだったので、他の展示を体験する時間がありませんでした。しかし、Manga Generatorは1日で200回ぐらい体験され、4日間合計で711回も体験されました。体験者からの評価も上々です。ブースで働いていた渡邉翔と安藤歩美もとても嬉しそうです。

展示の最終日はアメリカの独立記念日でした。その日の夜に屋上で美しい花火を見ました。

私達は最終日の晩御飯をOculusの会社の創始者Palmer Luckey氏と一緒に食べました。Palmer氏は今24歳ですが、彼はもう国際的に有名な会社の社長です。私も頑張ります。



Alright, so it’s been a long time since I have updated this blog. Things have been very very busy and I was left with little time for myself. This update is a long one however, as a lot of stuff has happened in the past month.

On June 28th, 2017, me and 4 other Shirai-lab members along with Shirai-sensei and Ando-san, an alumnus of Shirai-lab travelled to the Los Angeles International Airport to attend the Anime Expo 2017. Anime Expo, or AX for short, is the largest Anime exhibition in the entire North America. This time the exhibition, “Japan Character VR Matsuri” is a joint exhibition between Shueisha, the parent company of Shonen JUMP and  the Tokyo VR startup companies. Together our group consists of some 20 people from Japan and we occupied a large area in the Anime Expo’s Entertainment Hall. This is the first time for me to attend an Anime convention in America so naturally I was very excited.

Our Airbnb is located in downtown LA some 20 minutes of walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, the hosting site for AX 2017. The Airbnb is actually a penthouse located on the 20th floor of a building, giving us very good view on a large section of Los Angeles. From my bed which was located right beside the windows I can see neon signs such as U.S. bank on top of the other skyscrapers. To make things better the penthouse has a pool located on the 5th floor and from the top of the penthouse one gets to enjoy beautiful sunset and sunrise.

The setup of the exhibition lasted for two days from June 29th to June 30th. The setup is tedious and long as we have to build an entire exhibition area from scratch but after much hard work the team managed to get it all done. Afterwards I accompanied my two teammates: Sho Watanabe and Ayumi Ando to Target to get some printers and TV sets needed for the exhibition tomorrow.

During the entirety of Anime Expo 2017 me and my teammates pretty much stood in front of our booth, Manga Generator VR JUMP and advertised our interactive comic generator system. This being said I still had a blast mainly because how well received our system was. Throughout the day we had an endless amount of guests just dying to play our game. The waiting line literally never stopped and I actually wished I had some time to catch my breath but that never happened. In fact, I had to ask visitors to stop coming into our booth at the end of each day because we simply can’t accommodate everybody and still pack up on time. As an experienced exhibitor I know that we have broken our previous attendee records and turns out I was right, everyday our game Manga Generator was played almost 200 times when the previous record was a mere 100 times on a good day. Despite of how tiring the whole experience is we all had a tone of fun.

The last day of the exhibition was the American Independence day. That day me and other Tokyo VR startup guys got to eat lunch with Luckey Palmer at a nearby restaurant. We also get to enjoy fireworks on top of our penthouse.

展示会場で働いた係員はナルトの気球を膨らませています。
屋上からはロセンゼルスの高いビルがみえます。
多くのAnime Expoの参加者は美しいアニメキャラクターの服を着ています。
5階には大きなプールがあります。

TechShopとTokyo VR Startup

皆さん、久しぶりです。最近に私はとてもにぎやかだったり、たくさんイベントと見学があったり、新しいのブログを書く時間がありませんでした。すみません。今回のブログはその2つイベントについて書きます。

先週の木曜日に私と同じ研究室の東田茉莉花はTechShop Japanのワークショップに参加するために東京都へ行きました。TechShopは本来に2006年にアメリカのカリフォルニア州のメンロパークで開所しました。今まで世界中に4ヵ国、合わせて14箇所あり、世界的に有名な工房です。最初に私達はTechShopと富士通の方と自己紹介したり、TechShopの案内をしたり、そして色々な機械を使いました。後に私と茉莉花は富士通の方に取材しました。ワークショップを終わった時に、私達を自分で作った作品を持って帰りました。

先週の金曜日に私とBabyチームのチームメートを一緒にTokyo VR Startup開所式へ参加しました。その開所式はスタートアップ企業した方の集会です。集会中に私は別の会社の方と喋れたり、名刺を交換出来たり、そして将来の目標についての意見交換ができたので、私はこんな集会が好きです。

Alright so I know that it’s been a long time since I updated this blog and my apology for the recent lack of new contents. Truth is I’ve been very busy with all kinds of company visits, gatherings, and meetings thus I barely have time to myself let alone updating this blog. This being said, I will be discussing about two of the events I have attended recently.

Last Thrusday me and a lab friend of mine Marika Higashida went to the TechShop Japan located at Tokyo in Japan. TechShop is actually a DIY workshop that started back in 2006 in Menlo Park, California. Now it has expanded all over the world with 14 offices spread across 4 countries (the other two countries being United Arab Emirates and France). As the name suggests, TechShop is a work space with many different types of equipment allowing people to use for a fee. The different types of equipment include textile machines, plastic molding machine, electric saws, and spray painting equipment just to name a few.

We began our visit by a brief self introduction between me and Marika, people from Fujitsu (since Fujitsu is involved with funding TechShop), as well as people from TechShop. Afterwards we are lead around TechShop and introduced to all different types of machines as well as brief demonstration on how to use some of them. The TechShop and Fujitsu company employees are even kind enough to let us create our own tool kits to take back as souvenirs. At the end of our visit me and Marika interviewed two of the Fujitsu staff about their career and what they do as well as some of the projects they are currently working on.

The next event I am going to describe actually take place just a day later when me and the rest of baby team members visited Tokyo VR Startup New Company Welcoming Ceremony. It is a party dedicated to new VR companies that will be starting their own businesses soon. During the party I was able to talk to many of the startup staffs such as MyDearest, EXPVR, the makers of Sushi Bar, as well as sponsors such as Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft, and HTC. All in all although these events can be busy and tiring, I still had a lot of fun talking to people from different backgrounds and exchanging ideas.

Tokyo TechShopの外に展示してあったのロボット。
TechShopの中に色々な機械があるので、どんな作品も作れます。
これはプラスチック製品を作れる器材です。
TechShopのワークショップが終わって、私一人で赤坂で散歩している時に会ったのコスプレイヤー。

5月18日集英社の相談

5月18日に白井研究室の全員を日本で最も有名マンガ雑誌「ジャンプ」の「集英社」本社にてとあるプロジェクトの打ち合わせをするために向かいました。集英社の場所は神保町駅付近です。その日私と白井先生と山口と浅野は神奈川県工科大学前のバス停をバスで出発して、本厚木駅で電車を乗って、新宿駅でもう一回電車を乗り換えて、そして神保町駅で他にのメンバーと合流して、一緒に集英社へ行きました。

集英社の入り口が様々な漫画についての製品がありました。例えば:ワンピースとナルトのポスター、そして夕崎梨子の等身大プラモデルです。集英社の中の廊下もたくさんのマンガプロダクトがありました。記念にお土産までいただいてしまいました。好きなマンガのキャラクターグッズを1つ選んでくださいと言いました。私選んだの製品はナルトのジャケットです。

その後、大きな会議室で、プロジェクトの提案を行いました。会議中に皆、色々な話題を喋りました。例えば集英社海外のマンガ展示、アメリカでの市場の可能性、それにVRとマンガの可能性。最後に、私達は近くにのレストランへ行って、遅くまで、関連の分野の仲間と喋ったりしました。後に私と浅野は一緒に電車で本厚木駅へ着いて、歩いてアパートへ帰りました。

This Thursday on May the 18th, me and the rest of Shirai-lab went to Shueisha. inc, the most famous manga magazine “JUMP” and its company . As a big manga fan myself, I am naturally very excited to have the opportunity to go on this pilgrim as Shueisha can easily be considered as the holy place not just for Japanese comic fans, but for any Japanese pop-culture enthusiasts.

Shueisha is located near Jimbocho station in Tokyo. At the entrance are various manga related products such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach’s posters, a life sized anime character wearing a two piece swimsuit, as well as many other goods. What’s more, the entire Shueisha is filled with manga posters, anime character board cut outs, and more life sized Jump characters. At the end of our tour we are all allowed to pick one Jump Anime merchandise and the one I picked is a Naruto Jacket.

Afterwards we went inside a large meeting room to discuss possible collaboration between Shirai-lab and Jump. Some of the topics we discussed include Shueisha’s exhibitions in England, France, America, and other countries as well as future opportunities abroad. After the meeting the entire crew went to a nearby restaurant and partied till well over midnight. Me and Asano left the place around 11:30 PM where we traveled by train back to Hon-Atsugi and then walked on foot back to our apartments.

集英社ライツ事業のエリアにて。
等身大のアニメキャラクターpaper cut out

ロータリー米山団体鎌倉市の旅行

5月13日に僕はロータリー米山の団員と一緒に鎌倉市へ旅行に行きました。私は11時に本厚木駅から出発して、海老名駅で列車を乗り換えて、鎌倉駅で団体員と合流して、鎌倉市へ観光しに行きました。その日は雨が降っていたので、僕はあそこへ行った唯一の学生でした。しかしそのおかげで、僕が他にの団員を沢山話せました。

この旅行のガイドさんは鎌倉市市役所で35年に働いたの磯崎さんです。彼は今は幼稚園の先生です。それに私のロータリー米山団体の連絡者、高木先生も鎌倉市出身です。今回の旅行中に彼らと鎌倉市の歴史を話ました。

最初に僕たちは鎌倉文学館へ向かいました。あの文学館は丘上にあり、大きくて、綺麗な洋式な建物です。文学館の中に色々な鎌倉市出身の作家と美術家についての紹介があり、鎌倉市の歴史も沢山がありました。文学館を参加した後に、私達を晩御飯へ食べに行きました。晩御飯を食べたの場所は和食と洋食があるレストランです。後に近くの道路を散歩して、うちに帰りました。

On May 13th 2017, me and the other members of Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship Foundations member went over to Kamakura City for a sightseeing trip. Since it was raining heavily on Saturday, I was the only student who can make it to the meeting but because of it, I get to talk to many Rotary Yoneyama officials. Overall I had a lot of fun with the exception of getting myself all wet from the rain.

Our tour guide for that day used to work for the Kamakura City government for 35 years before retiring and becoming a kindergarten teacher. What’s more, my contact person, Takagi-sensei also came from Kamakura. Together the two of them kept on telling us all sorts of stories and lore about Kamakura the ancient city.

Our first destination was the Kamakura Cultural Center which is a western styled house on top of a hill. The cultural center exhibits all sorts of culture related documents about Kamakura ranging from historical scripts to art works and books done by authors and artists from Kamakura. Afterwards we ate out at a restaurant serving both Japanese and Western styled food. Since I do not have to pay for any of the food I had a good feast and during the dinner gets to know the officials a lot more.

鎌倉文学館前に彫刻。
この洋式の建物が鎌倉文化館です。
私はレストランで沢山食べ物を食べました。

ゴールデンウィーク

先週の水曜日から(5月3日)日曜日(5月7日)までは日本のゴールデンウィークです。ゴールデンウィーク他に名は黄金週間(おうごんしゅうかん)と大型連休(おおがたれんきゅう)です。ゴールデンウィークは以下の記念日を含有するです:昭和の日(昭和の日)、憲法記念日(けんぽうきねんび)、緑の日(みどりのひ)、と子供の日(こどものひ)です。この休みは五日間ぐらいなので、日本の家族はこの休み中に海外旅行したり、家族旅行したり、しています。

私は先週、沢山自分のアパートで眠たり、研究室でプログラミングしたり、Book Offで漫画を読んだり、そして厚木市の至る所で散歩したり、しました。先週の土曜日に白井研究室は厚木市の山で野営ゼミが催されました。白井研究室の卒業生、現役四年生、他に研究室からの四年生、それに白井研究室に入る志望の学生を、三十人の学生が野営に出席しました。火を焚いて、肉と野菜を焼いて、バーベキューを食べて、ハンドヘルドゲームを遊んで、そして野営隣の川中に水で遊びました。皆は午前十時から、午後五時まで無休に遊びました。あの日の天気はとても暑いですが、全員はとても楽しそうでした。それに私は日本人の友達と日本で沢山話し合いました。概ね、野営は良いし、楽しいのイベントなので、とても満足です。

Hello everyone, Rex here, I just got back from the Japan Golden week, which is a long vacation resulted from combining several national holidays together. The holidays that were packed together to form golden week include the Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Green Day (environmental protection day), and the children’s day. This is one of the most important and longest vacations in Japan and because of this Japanese people tend to take their entire family out on long vacations within Japan or abroad. As for me I didn’t go anywhere, simply slept a lot, went to comic shops to read manga, did some programming in my lab, and walked all over the Atsugi city. I actually walked around the city so much that I got bored of it.

On Saturday, May 6th, Shirai lab held a big picnic up on the mountains of Atsugi city. That morning me and a couple of my lab friends met at the Hon-Atsugi station, purchased all the meat we need for the party, and then drove back to the university to organize our supplies before taking off for the camping ground. In total around 30 students attended the event as not only are current lab members invited, but also students who graduated from the lab, other 4th year students, as well as students aspire to join Shirai-lab. We had a lot of fun at the camping ground and I got the unique chance to practice my Japanese with other Japanese students. It was also a joy to meet previous graduates of Shirai-lab and ask them how they are doing now that their job has started.

Lastly this time my Japanese was checked by Takeda, I am surprised by how little mistake I made this time! Overall I made only about three of them.

皆は山中にの川の水で遊びました。

4月28日三笠公園三浦海岸

4月29日(土曜日)私三浦海岸と横須賀市の三笠公園へ観光に行きました。この日は、本厚木駅から電車に乗って、海老名駅で乗り換えて、横浜駅でもう一回電車を乗り換えて、三浦海岸駅に着きました。三浦海岸までは、電車で一時間と四十分かかりました。

三浦海岸は神奈川県の南部の浜です。私が到着した後に駅から、海岸線の道路沿いを南に向かって歩きました。この海岸の浜の砂は白いし、海は美しい青い色を成し、そして港があります。しかし浜の中に少しゴミがあるので、あまり綺麗ではないです。それに歩いているときに、鷹が私のポテトチップスを取っていきました。二時間半後に小さい丘の上に到着し、そこから海の上のクルーズ船を見て、駅へ戻りました。

厚木市に戻る途中、横須賀中央駅で降りて、三笠公園へ行って、有名な三笠軍艦を見ました。三笠軍艦は1904年(明治37年)に日露戦争中に大活躍した軍艦です。軍艦の上には沢山大砲があります。軍艦を見た後に神奈川歯科大学を参観し、地元のラーメン屋で晩御飯を食べて、本厚木駅へ戻ってきました。

So what’s happening fellow bloggers. Rex again. Just yesterday on April 29th I went to the Miura Beach located at Southern Kanagawa prefecture and on my trip home stopped by Mikasa Park to admire the famous Mikasa battleship. Also people may find it surprising that the above Japanese version has no correction marks on it. That doesn’t mean I wrote a perfect Japanese blog on my first try, it’s just that I had different people checking my Japanese this time. My lab mates Yuya and Shou are nice enough to spend their time reviewing my Japanese post.

So back to the main topic, after spending 2 full weeks inside Atsugi city, I decided that I need a long trip to refresh my mind. Thus I decided to travel to one of the southernmost beaches in Kanagawa prefecture. After roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes of train ride as well as switching the train 3 times in between, I finally arrived at Miura beach. Surprisingly there aren’t a lot of people on the beach at this time, I can only suppose the weather is still too cold for most people as aside from some random surfers and families it is mostly empty. As usual, once I arrived at a new location I started walking aimlessly around, which is a very effective way to get to know a place actually as I ended up discovering many docks, new beaches, as well as some military like structures along the coast. Eventually I arrived on top of a small hill overlooking the surrounding oceans and that’s when I decided to turn back. After coming back to my apartment and looking at google map I found out that I had almost arrived at the south side of the beach (I started at the north side) .

On my way back I stopped at Yokosukachuo Station to check out a famous battleship. Upon arrival at Mikasa park I found out that the battleship is infact Mikasa battleship, a famous war ship that fought in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904. The ship is surprisingly well preserved and most of the cannons are still intact. Also worth noting is that there is a big American naval base right on the north side of Mikasa park and much of Yokosuka city is full of American and Japanese sailors. I also suspect there is a Japanese naval officer academy somewhere nearby as there are students dressed in officer clothing all over the place.

This concludes my very productive Saturday, which took over 8 hours despite of me only visiting two places.

電車中の風景です。/View inside the train.
三浦海岸の海の色は美しい青。/Beach at Miura.
三浦海岸にある軍事構造の建物です。/A strange military like structure at Miura beach.
明治時代からある有名な軍艦です。The famous Mikasa Battleship from the Meiji Era.
三笠軍艦の船長の像です。/The statue of captain of Mikasa Battleship.

ロータリー米山とSIGGRAPHの提出など

先回このブログの更新から、多くのことが完了しましたをやりました。

今月の7日に私と白井先生は日本科学未来館中で開催されているディズニー美術展示 「ディズニー・アート展《いのちを吹き込む魔法》」 の開催会展覧会参加するために、東京へ向かいました。あのこの展覧会ディズニーからの色々な珍しい画像がありました。そして多くの歴史情報も展示しありました。しかしながらPixarの作品ぜんぜんありません。実の理由はわからないですが、ディズニーとPixarの関係はあまり良くないと思いました

8日と9日に私ロータリー米山奨学生に正式ななっていますになりました。二日の間に沢山新入生挨拶したり、ロータリー米山公益財団法人ロータリー米山記念奨学会の役員を会ったりとお会いしたり、色々な資料を交換したりしました。新入生中に他に台湾人が二人ですおりました彼達彼らは神奈川歯科大学の院生だし、来年卒業する予定です。別々に国からの学生も沢山ですそれぞれの国からもたくさんおりました。例えば韓国、中国、ベトナム、タイ、モンゴル、ネパールなどです。

最後に白井研究室の四年生はたった今SIGGRAPHにの提出投稿を完了していましたしました。フランスラヴァルLaval Virtual展示時にもう既にSIGGRAPH賞を受賞しましたが、今再びSIGGRAPHに提出投稿しています。この研究室の学生はとても盛んだ熱心と思います。私もより頑張る必要だとがあると思います。

Revised by Akihiko SHIRAI (2017/4/26, 71/100)

Hello folks, sorry for the lack of updates since last time. Things have been very busy and my PhD program at Kanagawa Institute of Technology actually officially started some two weeks ago. Also you can see, there are a good amount of correction marks in the Japanese version of my blog, this is because my supervisor Akihiko Shirai helped me proof read through my draft and gave me a grade. Hopefully as time goes on I will make fewer mistakes. Now onto the main topic.

On April 7th 2017, me and my supervisor Shirai-sensei went to Miraikan at Odaiba Tokyo to see ”The Art of Disney – The Magic of Animation” exhibition’s opening ceremony. Because this is a preview of the exhibition, only people with special invitations are allowed to come. Since this is an official licensed Disney exhibition, there are a lot of concept artworks, demo animations, photographs, and even old animation machines at the exhibition. If anything it sure is good to be re-acquainted with the old Disney classics and overall I had quite a lot of fun. I do find it strange however, that none of the Pixar works were being exhibited here. Although I do not know the exact cause, I can only imagine it is because Disney and Pixar are more or less rivals at this stage and wouldn’t want to include works from their rival company (although Disney owns Pixar, I still suspect there are some rivalry going on there).

On April 8th and 9th I attended the “Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation” Scholarship Students ceremony and officially became a member of the Yoneyama club. During the ceremony I got to meet with a lot of students of different nationalities including Korean, Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese,  Thai, Nepalese, and so forth.  I also got to know some of the Rotary Yoneyama staff. All in all I was impressed with the kinds of people involved with the foundation and would really like to get more involved with the club.

Lastly the 4th year students at Shirai-lab has just finished submitting their paper to SIGGRAPH. Although they have already won the SIGGRAPH award and will be going to the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference for sure, these people still want to add more stuff to the conference. I am quite surprised by their desire to submit materials to conferences.

展示の場所中に写真を撮れないので、外にのポスターだけ撮りました。/Since visitors are forbidden from taking photographs inside the exhibition hall, I can only take some photos of posters outside the exhibition.
ロータリー米山奨学金新入生パーティーの中に他に学生と挨拶しました。/Chatting with other scholarship recipients.

2017 France Trip Continued (Laval)

第五日から、先発組と大樹我妻と白井先生を合流しました。私達一緒に電車でLAVAL展示の参加するために、LAVALへ向かいました。LAVALはフランスのとても古い町です。今の人口は二十万ぐらいです。町の中に至る所が古代な城と修道院があります。都心には古代から住民の生活を支援したマイエンヌ川が流れています。

展示の五日間で赤ちゃんチームは四百以上のお客さんに体験してもらいました。主な評価はよいものでした。お客さんはこのプロジェクトは楽しいし、教育にも向いているし、そして革新的ですと話したり、twitterで赤ちゃんについての文章を書きました。それに記者が私達のプロジェクトを新聞に報道しました。

最終的に、赤ちゃんチームがSIGGRAPH賞を受賞しました。皆がSIGGRAPH賞を受賞した時、とても驚きましたし、嬉しかったです。賞があるので、今年のSIGGRAPHへ参加できます。

展示を完了した後に、フランスの最大乳製品会社Lactalisへ見学しに行きました。最後の日にレンヌへ電車で行って、古代な城モンサンミッシェルを見学しました。

On the fifth full day the advance team was joined by the last team member of Real Baby – Real Family Daiki Agatsuma, as well as team supervisor Akihiko Shirai-sensei. We made our way to Laval VR exhibition located at the ancient city of Laval and spent the entire day setting up the exhibition. Laval itself is a city of over 900 years old and is the French city with the highest castle concentration ratio. The entire town is full of ancient fortresses, churches, and structures. Right at the center lies the Mayenne River which has supported the Laval population since ancient times.

In the next five days from March 22nd to March 26th our team would entertain over 400 guests and eventually won the SIGGRAPH award during the Laval Award ceremony. When it was announced that our team would receive the SIGGRAPH award I was extremely emotional and somewhat embarrassed by standing beside my other teammates during the award ceremony as I was just an English translator and onsite support. Winning the SIGGRAPH award also means the team will be heading to California for the SIGGRAPH conference later this year. As for me it is undecided whether I will get to go or not due to the limited budget but if my submission in SIGGRAPH gets accepted I will be able to join the team.

The reception to our exhibition was in general positive with most players saying the project is ground breaking, innovative, and fun to play. There are some negative feedback of course such as how the system functions more as a working demo rather than a full blown game and that the baby could have more facial expressions. During this time I was also able to meet with many VR enthusiasts from all around the world. We had party almost every single night and at the end of the five day marathon I was dead tired but feeling extremely fulfilled.

After the Laval exhibition we visited Lactalis, the largest French diary company founded in Laval back in 1933 as well  as went to Rennes to tour the Mount Saint-Michel, an ancient French fortress situated on an island. I have had a lot of fun and am looking forward to my next journey.

LAVALの修道院が美しく、古い窓があります。/The old churches of LAVAL has some very beautiful windows.
赤ちゃんチームを展示の準備しています。/Team Baby preparing for the exhibition.
400以上の体験者が赤ちゃんを体験しました。/Over 400 players experimented with our project.
毎晩パーティーがありました。沢山海鮮料理を食べました。/There are parties everyday and we all ate a lot of seafood.
モンサンミッシェルは古代時の重要な要塞です。/Mount-Saint Michel Abbey is an important stronghold in Normandy.

2017 France Trip (Paris Sightseeing)!

3月16日から同月28日まで、白井研究室の赤ちゃんチームはフランスへLaval Virtual 2017の展示に参加するためにフランスへ行きました。私がフランスに旅行に行くのはこれで2回目になります。

三月16日の夜に、フランスのシャルルドゴール空港に到着しました。先発組の望月と浅野の助けを借りて、二時間後にパリのホテルに着きました。私達のホテルはアパートの八階です。このビルはとても高い建物だったので、窓からエッフェル塔を見えました。旅行はとても疲れたので、晩御飯を食べてすぐに寝ました。

パリの旅行の第一日に私達歩いて有名なルーブル美術館へ行くことを決めしました。この美術館は昔のフランスの王様の宮殿なので、とても大きく、美しく、そして時々部屋の壁と天井の中にも美術作品があります。建物のサイズは大きいすぎるので、一日で全て展示を見るのは無理です。展示されている作品は昔の城壁と城の堀や、ヨーロッパからの色々な絵や、そしてギリシャの彫刻などです。美術館を見学した後に、皆がとても疲れたので、電車でホテルへ帰りました。

二日目と三日目は赤ちゃんチームは主としてSIGGRAPHとLAVALについて仕事を働きました、ただし二日目に私達ホテルの近くの朝市へ向かいました。この朝市は毎週の土曜日だけ開いている市場です。

第四日に先発組は凱旋門とエッフェル塔へ参観することを決めしました。浅野はLAVALについて仕事を完了するために、一緒に行けませんでした。凱旋門は二百年前に、ナポレオンが戦争の勝利を祝うために、建築家に依頼させてできました。建物のいたるところにきれな彫刻があります。私達を凱旋門の最上階へ上がるために、切符を買いました。最上階からは、パリ全体を見下ろすことができます。美しい彫刻の他に、第一回世界戦時の戦士の服もがあります。私の考えでは、凱旋門はエッフェル塔よりとても面白いです。

From March 16th to March 28th, the Real Baby – Real Family team from Shirai-lab embarked on a journey to France where the team participated in the 19th Laval Virtual Reality exhibition. This is my second time in France and first time in Laval and Rennes.

I landed on Paris`s Charles Du Gaulles Airport on the evening of March 16th and after some navigation arrived at our hotel in Paris thanks to my other lab mates Yuya Mochizuki and Takaya Asano. At our flat we are joined by the 4th member of the expedition team Marika Higashida. After some very quick dinner the team quickly fell asleep.

On the first full day the entire team walked to Louvre Art Museum for some sight seeing. The Louvre Art Museum used to be a fortress for the French King Philip Augustus and is later converted into an imperial palace and finally to an art museum. The museum is the undisputed biggest art museum I have seem to date and that is saying a lot as being a professional artist I made it my priority to visit as many art museums as I can. There are probably over five floors inside the art museum and at times an entire room from the floor up to the ceiling are covered with art pieces. The pieces exhibited there ranges from old fortress wall sections and castle moats (yes actual entire fortress sections the sizes of 3 story building), to European art master pieces and Greek statues. At the end of the day the entire team is dead tired and resorted to taking the train back to our hotel.

We toured the French Morning market on the second day which while doesn’t seem like much is a street market open only on Saturday. There the team practiced our English and very limited French skills. The third day is mainly a working day where we didn’t finish our SIGGRAPH VR Village submission till late at night.

On the forth day three of the expedition team, Marika, Yuya, and I went to the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Takaya Asano had to stay behind due to some unfinished works for the Laval Exhibition that is yet to come. Before our visit to Arc de Triomphe there were some initial debates as to whether we should even visit the structure due to our limited time but I was and am very glad I had went there as it would prove to be the highlight of my trip. The arc was commissioned by Napolean at the height of his power where the emperor wanted an arc for soldiers to march under after returning from a successful military campaign. It stands at the heart of Paris and is connected by 12 other streets, forming a star like geography with the arc right at the middle. It is 50 meters, or roughly 15 floors tall and is much bigger than I originally anticipated (I thought it was just a small arc roughly 4 stories tall). The entire arc is covered by stone relief sculptures featuring soldiers and angels. Our small team of three actually paid an entrance fee to go up to the arc (yes you can actually walk up there) where we gets to see the entire city of Paris. The arc also functions as a small art and history museum where soldiers’ uniforms are stored inside. After the arc we went to the Eiffel Tower which proves to be somewhat of a let down as it is just a giant steel structure. The team decided not to go up the arc due to the long waiting time (45 minutes) and expensive ticket.

ホテルの窓から、エッフェル塔。/You can see the Eiffel Tower from the hotel’s window.
ルーブル美術館のギリシャの彫刻。/Greek Statue in Louvre Museum.
ルーブル美術館は昔のフランスの王様の宮殿/Louvre Museum used to be the living quarter of the French Monarch.
パリの朝市で色々な食べ物が買えます。/At the Paris Morning Market, you can buy many different kinds of food.
凱旋門でナポレオンの銃器を買えますが、日本に持って帰れないので、買いません。/Since I couldn’t take the Napoleon pistol back to Japan, I didn’t buy it.
凱旋門で展示しているの第一次世界戦の戦士の服。/Various World War 1 Soldiers’ uniforms on display at the Arc de Triomphe.