The Authors

Introducing the authors of the works on exhibit at the museum. Click on links from each author to go to their individual websites.

Kokichi Sugihara (D. Eng.; Professor, Meiji University)

Kokichi Sugihara
(D. Eng.; Professor, Meiji University)

Research field: Mathematical engineering

While researching computers capable of understanding pictures, I discovered that in the optical illusions known as impossible figures, there are some that can be made solid. That led me to ongoing research into solid visual illusions and to creating solids that manifest illusions. I want to convey the fun and wonder of solid visual illusions to as many people as possible, and to contribute to accident prevention by helping create environments where illusions do not appear.

Born in Gifu Prefecture. Prior appointments at the Electrotechnical Laboratories (ETL), Nagoya University, and the University of Tokyo. Winner of the 2010 Best l Illusion of the Year Contest. Hobby is making soba noodles.

Hitoshi Arai (DSc.; Professor, Graduate School, University of Tokyo)

Hitoshi Arai
(DSc.; Professor, The university of Tokyo)

Research field: Applied mathematics

When we look at things our brains are processing many pieces of information from our eyes. There are nevertheless many points still to be clarified around how the brain is actually processing that information. I make liberal use of advanced mathematics to study those points. Something that plays an important role in the process is visual illusion. On the face of it, mathematics and visual illusions seem unrelated, but we can use mathematics, for example, to study the mechanisms of visual illusion, to control the degree of visual illusion, and to create new illusions.

Born in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Prior appointments at Waseda University and Tohoku University. Awarded a Commendation for Science and Technology (Research Category) by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2008 for a new mathematical theory of vision and visual illusions, and the 1997 Spring Prize from the Mathematical Society of Japan for research into complex and harmonic analysis.

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Yasushi Yamaguchi (Dr. Eng.; Professor, Graduate School, The university of Tokyo)

Yasushi Yamaguchi
(Dr. Eng.; Professor, The University of Tokyo)

Research field: Media informatics
(particularly computer graphics, image processing and geometric modeling)

Computer graphics is a technology for showing scenes and images that do not actually exist, as if they did, or in some instances, for showing them in a form readily understood by humans. In the process of creating many different images, I became interested in creating optical illusions that, when someone looks at them, makes them go, "Wha-a-at?!" I want to come up with ways to create images that are sometimes realistic and easy to understand, and sometimes unrealistic and strange, but that always convey a certain sense of naturalness.

Born in Tokyo. Prior appointment at Tokyo Denki University. Vice-president of International Society for Geometry and Graphics since 2008. Hobby is skiing (In younger days, also climbed mountains and sailed yachts, but that was then…)

Akiyoshi Kitaoka (PhD Ed.; Professor, Ritsumeikan University)

Akiyoshi Kitaoka
(PhD Ed.; Professor, Ritsumeikan University)

Research field: Sensory psychology

I study anything to do with visual illusions. Unlike the term "visual illusion" in English, the term in Japanese, sakushi, is used largely to refer to theillusion of shape (geometrical illusion), but I am in ambitious pursuit of a "pan-illusion" strategy that may go so far as to define facial illusion as visual illusion, and should reveal the existence of a wide range of visual illusions, including those of color, brightness, movement, and space. I am also attempting to incorporate into the domain trompe l'oiel, impossible and reversible figures, and images of all forms of constancy.

Born in Kochi Prefecture. Prior appointment at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience. Awarded Gold Prize in the 9th L'Oreal Art and Science of Color Prize in 2006. Awarded the 3rd Award for Original Research from the Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology in 2007. Both the Japanese and English versions of his website, Akiyoshi's Illusion Pages, launched in 2002 at Ritsumeikan University, attract many hits.

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Kazuhiro Ueda (PhD; Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo)

Kazuhiro Ueda
(PhD; Professor, The University of Tokyo)

Research field: Cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, intelligent informatics

Many famous examples of illusion are related to vision, but illusions related to human cognitive activities other than vision have also been found. At the Ueda Laboratory we elucidate not only visual illusory phenomena that are primarily visual color illusions associated with sense of color but also illusory phenomena associated with decision-making in human economic behavior, particularly purchasing and investment behavior. In looking at these illusory phenomena in a broad, interdisciplinary way, we explore ways to contribute not only to preventing errors, accidents, and crimes, but also to the creation of advertising and art that use visual illusions.

Born in Gunma Prefecture. Awarded an Honorable Mention in the 7th Docomo Mobile Science Prize (2008). Finalist in the 2009 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest. Hobby is wine tasting.

Homei Miyashita (PhD in Knowledge Science; Associate Professor, Meiji University)

Homei Miyashita
(PhD in Knowledge Science; Associate Professor, Meiji University)

Research field: Human-computer interaction

Media and web content technology is described as technology that shows (or gives the experience of) imaginary objects and information that do not exist in the real world, but in that sense the technology is not unrelated to visual and other illusions, which are phenomena that enable us to see (experience) things that do not exist in the real world. I apprehend illusions in their broadest sense, and seek to be useful to society by converting illusions to use in media technology and web content production.

Born in Florence, Italy. Received various awards, including the 41st Takamine Award (Science), a Gold Award (Images and Web Design) in ThinkQuest Japan 2002, an Outstanding Performance Award (Music) in the m-flo Remix Contest hosted by Avex, the eAT (electronic Art Talent) Award '06 Grand Prix (Mastery Award) (CG), a Special Award (Games) in the Society for Arts and Science Exhibition 2008, and the 3rd Hayao Nakayama Memorial Foundation Award (Games).

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Akiyasu Tomoeda (PhD Eng.; Lecturer, Meiji University)

Akiyasu Tomoeda
(PhD Eng.; Associate Professor, Musashino University)

Research field: Jamology

The single greatest cause of traffic congestion on expressways is neither accidents nor roadworks, but what is known as "sag," where speeds decline on roads that have a virtually undetectable upward incline. This type of visual illusory phenomenon, in which drivers do not correctly apprehend that there is an upward slope, invites slower speeds, and the result is terrible traffic jams. I believe that resolving the visual illusory phenomena experienced by drivers and creating an environment in which driving can be done appropriately will ameliorate traffic congestion.

Born in Hiroshima Prefecture. Prior appointments as a specially appointed researcher in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Tokyo, and as a research promotion officer (Global COE post-doc) in the Organization for the Strategic Coordination of Research and Intellectual Properties, Meiji University. Awarded the 2010 Japan Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Thesis Award. Motto is "Correcting congestion in the commonplace."

Haruaki Fukuda (Research Assistant, Graduate School, University of Tokyo)

Haruaki Fukuda
(Assistant Professor, The University of Tokyo)

Research field: Cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience

An illusion is when one apprehends something other than reality, and is conceivably a strong reflection of how the brain is processing information about the external world. My ongoing research is into all sorts of illusions, primarily illusions associated with the sense of color, to consider how our brains process information.

Born in Osaka Prefecture. Finalist in the 2009 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest.

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