Liaison (会員通信)

four seasons

News Letter

P 23号 (2023年7月10日)
  1. 「研究経験を活かす場所」 …… 宮田 理恵 (2012年3月生物圏科学専攻博士課程修了 北海道立総合研究機構林業試験場)
  2. Enjoying student life at Hokkaido University …… Deha Agus Umarhadi(Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
P Volume 22 (April 6 2023)
  1. 博士課程進学のすすめ …… 西原 禎文 (2003年度博士課程修了 広島大学大学院先進理工系科学研究科・教授)
  2. 大気海洋コース卒業後の歩み …… 寺尾 建哉(気象庁大気海洋部・技術専門官)
P Volume 21 (December 22 2022)
  1. 自由に恵まれた大学院時代 …… 森 智子 (2017年 生物圏科学専攻 生態遺伝学コース修士課程修了 高校教員)
  2. Unforgettable turning points and experiences in Hokudai …… BUI Thi Ngoc Oanh (Lecturer at University of Science – Vietnam National University)
P Volume 20 (September 20 2022)
  1. 大学院時代を振り返って …… 坂上 誠 (ハイアールアジアR&D株式会社)
  2. How being ambitious helped me in my Japan life …… Serene Ezra Corpus Bondad (Post-doctoral researcher, INRAE, Bordeaux, France)
  3. A New Indonesia Research Institution …… Tika Dewi Atikah (Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology, BRIN)
P Volume 19 (June 15 2022)
  1. My study abroad memory in Hokudai …… Jin Lee (National Institute of Ecology, Republic of Korea)
  2. Studied at Hokkaido University: an amazing experience in my life …… La Ode Muhammad Yasir Haya (Halu Oleo University, Indonesia)
P Volume 18 (March 24 2022)
  1. 環境科学院での経験を振り返って …… 亀井 優太朗 (神奈川県立産業技術総合研究所)
  2. 寒い海にいざなわれた環境科学院での5年間 …… 吉田和広 (佐賀大学農学部 助教)
P Volume 17 (December 20 2021)
  1. 歓喜の夜 …… 本多健太郎 (国立研究開発法人水産研究・教育機構 主任研究員)
  2. これからのインフラ整備における地球環境の重要性 …… 鈴木裕太(日本海洋コンサルタント株式会社)
  3. Hokkaido University gave me wings to fly …… Kaniz Fatima Binte Hossain (Postdoctoral Researcher, Columbia University)
P Volume 16 (September 21 2021)
  1. 「環境科学院で学んだことが、今の自分に繋がっている」 …… 網野智美 (オルガノ株式会社)
  2. 大好きになった北海道、なまら楽しかった研究生活 …… 小林直貴 (信越化学工業株式会社 新機能材料技術研究所)
P Volume 15 (June 15 2021)
  1. 楽じゃなかった、けど楽しかった研究生活 …… 岩﨑 藍子 (東北大学大学院生命科学研究科付属浅虫海洋生物学教育研究センター助教)
  2. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study in Hokkaido University …… Huynh Vuong Thu Minh (Lecturer of College of Environment and Natural Resources, Cantho University, Vietnam)
P Volume 14 (March 25 2021)
  1. 環境科学院で魅力的な研究に出会いました …… 漢那直也 (日本学術振興会特別研究員PD)
  2. My study abroad memory …… WEI Zhishun (Lecturer, Hubei University of Technology)
P Volume 13 (December 20 2020)
  1. 環境科学院時代の特異的で恵まれた研究環境 …… 小森田智大 (生物圏科学専攻2009年3月修了 熊本県立大学環境共生学部准教授)
  2. My life in Hokkaido University Japan under ABE Initiative Scholarship …… Kariuki Boniface Wainaina (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, KENYA)
P Volume 12 (October 5 2020)
  1. 改めて思い、考える『研究開発』の仕事
    岩﨑 健太郎 (住友化学株式会社先端材料開発研究所・主任研究員)
  2. Hokudai - Colorful Memories and Profound Values …… Roxy Mathew Koll, Dr. (Centre for Climate Change Research Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India)
P Volume 11 (June 5 2020)
  1. 環境科学院で学んだ大切なこと …… 出村沙代 (株式会社たがやす取締役 京都精華大学/大手前大学非常勤講師)
  2. Hokudai, the most unforgettable and influential in my life …… Xun Wang (Associate Professor, Sichuan Agricultural University, China)
P Volume 10 (March 31 2020)
  1. 大学院時代を振り返って …… 福田朔也 (アジア航測株式会社)
  2. Hokudai, 2012-2015 …… Suherman (Ph. D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Unibersitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
P Volume 9 (December 20 2019)
  1. 研究から行政へ …… 森本 祥子 (兵庫県職員 林学職)
  2. Hokudai, the home away from home! …… Sharmin Shishir (Post-doctoral researcher, Center for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama, Japan)
P Volume 8 (October 17 2019)
  1. 北海道大学大学院地球環境科学研究科で得たもの …… 川口 俊⼀ (2001年修了 北海道大学大学院国際食資源学院 准教授)
  2. Graduate School of Environmental Science helped me to grow up …… 周丹峰 (キヤノントッキ株式会社 機構設計部)
P Volume 7 (June 22 2019)
  1. 環境科学院で学んだことは人生の財産 …… 山田健太 (山田産商株式会社 代表取締役 平成22年3月環境起学専攻修了)
  2. Hokudai, in my life …… Chanita Boonmak (Instructor at Kasetsart University, Thailand)
P Volume 6 (March 26 2019)
  1. Hokudai, the unforgettable second place I called home …… Lina Mahardiani, Lecturer and Researcher, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta –Indonesia
  2. 環境科学院の良き文化を思い出しながら …… 坂崎 貴俊 (京都大学大学院理学研究科地球惑星科学専攻 助教)
P Volume 5 (December 18 2018)
  1. My two-year experience in Hokudai …… Naufal Rospriandana (GIZ Energy Programme Indonesia)
  2. 頭と体をつかった学究への道 …… 赤坂 宗光 (2006年3月修了 東京農工大学 准教授)
P Volume 4 (September 15 2018)
  1. Asmaa's Memories in Sapporo …… Ms. Asmaa Elnagar (Academic Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt)
  2. 環境科学院で培った考え方で、社会に貢献する …… 近藤 広隆 (積水化成品工業株式会社)
P Volume 3 (June 13 2018)
  1. Memories about life in Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University …… Chunmao Zhu (Scientist, Japan Agency for Marine-earth Science and Technology)
  2. 研究を次の世代につなぐ …… 吉田 怜 (札幌市立八条中学校 理科教諭)
P Volume 2 (March 11 2018)
  1. Memory of Hokudai …… Tika D. Atikah (Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences)
  2. 学術研究から企業の研究へ …… 杉目 康広 (住化エンバイロメンタルサイエンス㈱)
P Volume 1 (December 25 2017)
  1. 環境科学院での経験から …… 田原沙弥香 (一般社団法人北海道再生可能エネルギー振興機構)
  2. GSES - The Shaper of Environmental Scientists …… Md. Tajuddin Sikder, PhD (Assistant Professor, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh)

23.2 Enjoying student life at Hokkaido University

Deha Agus Umarhadi(Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)

In the mid of 2018, a friend of mine just returned to Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia after having a one-semester student exchange at Hokkaido University. Her experience motivated me to pursue my master’s degree there. Thanks to Super Global University Scholarship provided by MEXT, I got an opportunity to do my master’s degree at the Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University starting in October 2019.
Once I heard my friend’s story about Hokkaido University, I imagined Hokudai is a big university located in the far north of Japan with an ‘everlasting’ winter. Having lived in a tropical country for the whole of my life, I was a bit worried about the temperate climate. When I stepped my feet on the island, I realized that the environment was not as bad as I worried about, and I even loved it!
My master’s study was under the supervision of Dr. Ram Avtar at Geospatial Laboratory. In this lab, we applied geospatial technology such as satellite imagery and drones to understand the phenomena of Earth’s environment. The lab members were so diverse in origin and background. We were coming from Indonesia (me), Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, South Africa, and Fiji. Each of us brought distinct ideas and research problems, thus our topics are diverse as well. Our diversity triggered us to share and learn from each other.
Outside the laboratory life, student life in Sapporo was so delightful. Making new friends from across the globe, attending cultural events, and enjoying Hokkaido’s nature were such unforgettable pieces to my life.
Hokkaido University is the real incubator for me to start my life as a researcher. In the first month of living in Sapporo, I was directly involved in organizing and participating in Japan-India-Russia Symposium on Geospatial Data for Environmental Monitoring (JIRSGEM)-2019 held by Global Land Programme. Geospatial Laboratory also organized several international symposiums, some of which were unfortunately conducted online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the last month of my study, I got an opportunity to deliver hands-on training regarding remote sensing processing that I applied for my master’s thesis in Online Workshop “Japan-Russia Collaboration for Ecosystem Monitoring”. Those programs allowed me to build networks with other researchers and practitioners in similar fields.
After studying for 2 years as a master’s student, I graduated in September 2021. Then, I returned to my previous institution, PUSPICS (Center for Remote Sensing and Integrated Surveys) Universitas Gadjah Mada as a research assistant. In January 2023, I started a new journey as a faculty member (junior lecturer) at the Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada. Being a faculty member at Universitas Gadjah Mada does not only have to conduct research and teaching but is also required to carry out community service as part of the 3 pillars of higher education in Indonesia.
Although it has been nearly 2 years since my graduation, I feel that I still have a strong connection with Hokkaido University, especially with my supervisor and lab mates. We carried out some research collaborations and projects. The recent one is a workshop on UAV for Agriculture Precision, a project led by Dr. Ram Avtar, held at PUSPICS, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia in March 2023.
I am so grateful to have become a part of Hokkaido University as a student and now as an alumnus.


Autumn photoshoot in front of the EES building


Graduation day


Autumn photoshoot in front of the EES building


Enjoying summer with lab mates in Noboribetsu

21.2 Unforgettable turning points and experiences in Hokudai

BUI Thi Ngoc Oanh (Lecturer at University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Figure: Prof. Sohiko KAMEYAMA (3rd from the left in the
front row) and I (7th from the left in the second row)
attended the scientific conference at the University of
Science (VNU-HCMC, Vietnam)

In 2010, after MOU between Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCMC, Vietnam) and Hokkaido University has been signed, Prof. Hisayuki YOSHIKAWA-INOUE visited the University of Science (US), VNU-HCMC and exchanged with our lab members about education and research in Japan. Then Prof. Fumio HASABE also had come to the US, VNU-HCMC for attending a scientific conference. After that, I considered studying doctorate at the Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University from 2015 to 2018. In the past three and a half years of research and studying, I usually remember and was grateful to my advisor, Professor Sohiko KAMEYAMA for his kind support and insightful comments. His patience and encouragement have enabled me to overcome the entire problem. I also owe a deep sense of gratitude to Professor Hisayuki YOSHIKAWA-INOUE for kindly supporting me at the beginning time. There, I had an opportunity to learn Japanese, meet foreign scientists from conferences, and also had the opportunity to attend the Arctic Ocean Expedition. That is an unforgettable memory.
After getting a Ph.D. degree, I returned to my previous work and became a lecturer at the US, VNU-HCMC. When I guide students in scientific research, I always remember Geochemistry Course and I would like to share the knowledge and skills that I have obtained with my students. After coming back, I still have kept in touch with my advisor and some foreign scientists. I also invited my advisor to attend the scientific conference at my university last November (2022). After the conference, we discussed the ability to have international collaboration in research and education as well.
Hope to have a chance to visit my friends and laboratory at Hokkaido University in near future.

20.2 How being ambitious helped me in my Japan life

Serene Ezra Corpus Bondad (Post-doctoral researcher, French National Research Institute for Agriculture (INRAE), Bordeaux, France)

Enjoying Sapporo Snow Festival in Odori
Park, a few minute walk from Hokkaido

  Karaoke time with my labmates

"Boys, be ambitious"

This was the famous line of Dr. William Clark, one of the key figures towards the establishment of Sapporo Agricultural College, which later became Hokkaido University (Hokudai). The quote of Dr. Clark eventually became the university’s slogan. Every Hokudai student knows about this slogan, as it would be introduced to them from the moment they step into campus, just like how I experienced it. At first, I was amused at Hokudai’s slogan. From where I am from, being ambitious can be seen as a negative quality. We were always taught to be humble, too humble that most of the people would end up settling for less than what they deserve.

My graduation photo with diplomas from
my Masters and Doctoral Studies, both
obtained in Hokkaido University

Witnessed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
marathon event which passed by
Hokkaido University

As time goes by, I noticed how I have embodied the university’s slogan in my life. I did become ambitious. Being a student in one of Japan’s premiere universities was an honor, and I do not want to waste this opportunity by being a mediocre student. I studied hard, and I worked long hours in the laboratory to accomplish my research. Having taken chemistry in my undergraduate, learning cellular biology and environmental science for my graduate studies helped me gain more knowledge. It was challenging, but being ambitious and having the support of my professors helped me successfully gain new ground and establish my presence in the field of cellular toxicology.

It was my first time living long-term in a foreign country. Far away from my family, and friends, in a new culture, with a totally different language and climate as my home country. The experience was both exciting and scary. Living in a new country is not for everyone. It requires courage and even, ambition. Without ambition, I would not have the drive to learn a new language and immerse myself in the Japanese culture. Without ambition, I would not be able to explore, make Japan my second home, and feel less of a foreigner.

Spending time with Filipino students who
are also students of Hokkaido University

In my last two years of PhD studies, the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the world and put a huge challenge in my studies. Restrictions have hindered me to go to university and do lab work. In addition, I have increasingly felt home sick since I couldn’t go to my home country and see my family. The pandemic has put a strong burden on my physical and mental health. However, with the encouragement of my professors, I was able to believe in myself that I can finish my PhD thesis. It took a lot of ambition to work in a pandemic and meet deadlines to be able to graduate on time. But with the help and encouragement of professors, colleagues, staff, and friends, I was able to earn my diploma.

I have stayed in Japan for a total of five years. In those years, I learned to live and do things by myself, made new friends from all over the world, explored new places, learn to speak Japanese, eat good food, and experience new things··· all of this while I earn my masters and doctorate degree in Hokkaido University. I can say that I am a different person to who I was before I studied in Hokudai. The ambition has helped me become more confident in myself and my abilities. Now, I will begin my working life in Europe equipped with the skills and work ethics that I learned in Hokudai and in Japan. I will forever be grateful for Hokkaido University for the opportunity to experience five wonderful years of living and studying in Japan.

20.3 A New Indonesia Research Institution

Tika Dewi Atikah, Graduated from Division of Biosphere Science in 2014. Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN)

(Please also see Volume 2, March 11 2018, of this News Letter)

Fig.1. Me at the edge of
heath forest in Central
Kalimantan, Indonesia

Greeting from Indonesia, I am Tika. After graduating in March 2014, I immediately returned to my country and returned to my previous work as a researcher at the Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences. I continued my research on demographic, the species population at lowland forest area, and the biodiversity management in Indonesia and continue collecting data until it was stopped due to Covid-19 pandemic. Since the government announced that Covid-19 in Indonesia is getting more under control on May 17th, 2022, the field data collection has just begun again. In the last two years, we have been busy on preparing internal reorganization. Finally, on May 5th, 2021, President Joko Widodo signed Presidential Regulation No. 33 of 2021, which effectively established the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) as the only national research agency. The regulation decreed that all Indonesian national research bodies such as the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT), Indonesian National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) merged into BRIN. Thus, all research and development researchers under the ministry had to move into BRIN.

As a research institution, BRIN has the task for carrying out research, developments, assessments, applications, and integrated inventions and innovations following the mandate of Presidential Decree No. 74 of 2019. There are 12 research organizations, namely the Research Organization for Aeronautics and Space, Research Organization for Nuclear Energy, Research Organization for Energy and Manufacture, Research Organization for Earth Science and Maritim, Research Organization for Life Science and Environment, Research Organization for Electronics and Informatics, Research Organization for Social Science and Humanities, Research Organization for Archeology, Language, and Literature, Research Organization for Health, Research Organization for Agriculture and Food, Research Organization for Governance, Economy, and Community Welfare.

My field research at the lowland dry forest area in
West Nusa Tenggara

Me and my current office

Currently, I join the Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology which one of the 8 research centers under the Research Organization for Life Science and Environment. Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology has a vision as a center for science-based policy towards sustainable research and innovation on biodiversity, ecosystems, and its management as a mandate at BRIN regulation No 9 2022 article 4. To achieve the goal, Research Center for Ecology and Ethnobiology determine 4 strategic focus targets, i.e., developing human resources capacity building; focusing on research programs which oriented to solve on the ecology and ethnobiology issues to find the best solutions; Strengthening Scientific Integrity and increasing the competitiveness and strategic role of organizations at national and global levels. Our research activities take advantage of collecting data from the field and evidence-finding. The scope of this research center is ecosystem services, species ecology, integrated landscape ecology, molecular ecology, biodiversity management, climate change studies and ethnobiology. Now, there are 17 research groups in this research center, these are: Climate Change and Ecosystem Management; Ecosystem Characterization and Valuation; Ecological-Modelling; Ethnobotany; Ethnoecology; Landscape Functions and Dynamics; Integrated Watershed Management under a Changing Climate; Peatland Ecosystem Restoration and Conservation; Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration & Conservation; Population Management & Monitoring; Invasive Aliens Species Management; Management of Anthropogenic Landscape Biodiversity; Population Management of Traded Plant Species; Ecological Restoration and Essential Ecosystem Management; Social Economy of Forest Community; Wildlife Utilization Management, Wildlife Management & Threatened Species.

19.1 My study abroad memory in Hokudai

Fig. 1. The second from the left is
the author.
Fig. 2. The third from the left is
the author.

Jin Lee, Associate Researcher, Department of Environmental Impact Assessment, National Institute of Ecology, Republic of Korea

From October 2012 to Marth 2017, I had the honor to study in Graduate School of Environmental Sciences of Hokkaido University with Prof. Hiura and Nakamura. About Five years of my Ph.D research have greatly benefited me, becoming a valuable life experience. My first impression when I arrived in Japan was that it was very cold, but it was warm-hearted. I knew that Hokkaido was colder than Korea, but this was more than what I expected. However, I still remember, my lab members, Niwa and Ohta san had picked me up at Chitose Airport, carrying banner with "Welcome to Japan, LEE SAN". Since then, I was touched by warmth of my lab members.
Prof. Hiura and Nakamura were venerable and gentle scientists. They supervised me to accomplish my scientific difficulties and encouraged my scientific thinking. In the TOEF (Tomakomai Experimental Forest) lab, my experimental skills had been greatly enhanced with the help of the members! Thank you so much for keeping me engaged, learning, and having fun. The fantastic memories sometimes emerged in my mind such as large-scale N fertilization experiments, living in forest, heavy snow, news in bear appearance, new-years clearances in TOEF with lab members, parties with BBQ, travel with friends enjoying Japanese cultures (Fig.1, 2). Obviously living forest was the first time there. The great scenery of four seasons interested me. Also, when I was isolated as heavy snow, the members of the lab, Asano and Onno san, were always very considerate to me. They were all warm people of TOEF members. I could get on really well with them.
About five years at Hokudai have been such a joyful and rewarding time for me. As Hokudai alumna, I feel proud and fortunate to have the opportunity in developing myself during Ph.D student, the knowledge and experiences I gained helped me to find success in my future career. Even though I left Japan a few years ago, a lot of good memories are still always in my mind. I look forward to visiting my family in Hokudai in the near future.

19.2 Studied at Hokkaido University: an amazing experience in my life

La Ode Muhammad Yasir Haya, Head of Marine Science Department, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Halu Oleo University, Indonesia

First time arrived at Hokudai Campus on Oct. 13, 2013.

I was a Ph.D. student of Course in Global Environmental Management, Division of Environmental Science Development from October 2013 to September 2017. The experience of studying at Hokkaido University, especially at the Graduate School of Environmental Science (GSES), has made a significant change for me as an alumnus. I remember very well when I first arrived in Sapporo on October 12, 2013. As a research student, it was challenging to continue my studies as a Ph.D. student because I still had many limitations from myself. However, after going through the research student period, I adapted to new habits. The culture of hard work, focus on goals, and commitment to targets under the supervision of Associate Professor Masahiko Fujii has shaped the personal character I am today and, of course, was very beneficial for my career development as a lecturer at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Halu Oleo University, Indonesia. I cannot forget one of the memories when my supervisor asked for the first presentation in front of a Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) project team in Kyoto in 2014. I was confused because my research data had not been analyzed yet, so I was overwhelmed during the discussion session.
Fully supported by Prof. Fujii so that I can become a reliable researcher at the Ph.D. level has given me many opportunities to attend international seminars/conferences in several countries, both during my time as a student and currently as an alumni, such as the Republic of South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, and Germany. Because of these experiences, I am always excited to attend international seminars/conferences to follow the latest issue trends and research developments and share my research results with other researchers in the forum. Of course, the publication of scientific articles in reputable international journals is my target every year.
Living in Hokkaido, especially in Sapporo City, has made a good impression on my family and me. For example, the beauty of nature (the phenomenon of snow, cherry ("sakura") blossom in spring, and autumn color of leaves) and the clean, orderly, and friendly Japanese people have provided an extraordinary experience and become a lesson for us as a family. Many interesting places in Hokkaido are so beautiful and memorable that they make us want to return.
v19h1 v19h2
1. Together with my supervisor (Prof. Fujii) and RIHN researchers at the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia (SIMSEA) Regional Symposium in Quezon City, the Phillipines, on Sept. 2016. 2. Together with all students and supervisors in the Division of Environmental Science Development, GSES. I am in the second row, left corner (behind Prof. Fujii)

17.3 Hokkaido University gave me wings to fly

Kaniz Fatima Binte Hossain, Postdoctoral Researcher, Columbia University


Hello, Konnichiwa, I am Kaniz. I joined Hokkaido University in October 2015, as a master's student at Graduate School of Environmental Science with MEXT scholarship. After my master’s course I pursued my Ph.D. in the same lab from 2017 to 2020, with the Mitsubishi Corporation International Scholarship. During my study in this university, I got the opportunity to improve my knowledge and research ability on the area of molecular toxicology and environmental science. My supervisor, Dr. Masaaki Kurasaki was an inspiring and student friendly professor. Without his kind supervision and cooperation, it was not possible for me to complete my research within 3 years. During my Ph.D., I received "Hokkaido University Frontier Foundation Nitobe Program for Graduate Students Scholarship", "Excellent student overseas visit program Award by Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University" and "Excellent Research Award in 2018 by Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University". During my master's and Ph.D. periods, I attended several workshops and conferences in Japan and other countries, which helped me to have better understanding about my research, and broaden my vision. I also achieved the "Young Investigator Award" in 2018 by The 10th International Conference on Heme Oxygenase, Seoul, South Korea.
Apart from my research life, I had an amusing daily life in Sapporo. I studied Japanese language to learn basic conversations necessary for daily life in Japan, which was really helpful. I met a lot of people from different parts of the world and I made friends who will never be forgotten. To represent my own culture, I participated in 'International Cultural Festival' and the food festival 'Hokudaisai' several times. I was always attracted to nature and Japanese culture, so I traveled many beautiful places in Japan. I will always cherish those memories.
After my Ph.D., I joined Columbia University as a postdoctoral researcher. I believe Hokkaido University gave my career the wings to fly. I have pool of memories of Hokkaido University and hope to visit Hokkaido again.

v17k v17k
15.2 Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study in Hokkaido University

Figure 1. Attending course of principles in climate change
adaptation and mitigation provided by Prof. Mitsuru Osaki from
Hokkaido University, Japan (2019).

Figure 2. Interview of master students in Climate change
and Delta Management Program in 2020 (the first
person from the left in the first low is the author)

Huynh Vuong Thu Minh, Lecturer of College of Environment and Natural Resources, CTU, Vietnam

My full name is Huynh Vuong Thu Minh, Lecturer of College of Environment and Natural Resources, Cantho University (CTU), Vietnam. I studied for a doctorate at the Graduate School of Environmental Science (GSES), Hokkaido University, from 2016 to 2019. I got scholarship of Vietnamese Ministry of Education & Training and Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) CTU Project. This project aims to strengthen the human resources capacity in order to enhance the level of scientific research of CTU. In the past three years of hard working, I always remember and was grateful to my advisor, Professor Masaaki KURASAKI for the never-ending kind support. His patience, altruism, and immense knowledge have enabled me to overcome the entire problem for the three years. I also owe a deep sense of gratitude of co-advisor Professor Ram AVTAR, Faculty of Environmental Earth Science - Hokkaido University. His insightful comments, the timely suggestion with dynamics have enabled to help his student confident to widen research from various perspectives.
After getting a Ph.D. degree, I returned to my previous work and also contributed to JICE CTU project such as became co-lecturers with Japanese Lecturers and became a manager for master program of Climate change and Delta Management under this project. I realize that studying in GSES is the best decisions since I have achieved new knowledge and capacity building that I can contribute for JICE CTU project and my college, too. The two years have passed since I graduated, but I never forget the second month since I arrived in Japan. It was a beautiful snowy day at the end autumn in Sapporo in the deep homesickness.

14.2 My study abroad memory

WEI Zhishun (Lecturer, Hubei University of Technology, China)

Taken from Hokkaido University,
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

From April 2011 to March 2014, I had the honor to study in School of Environmental Sciences of Hokkaido University. Three years of my doctoral research have benefited me a lot, becoming a valuable life experience. My research area was focused on heterogeneous photocatalysis, which has been intensively investigated after famous report published in 1972 in Nature by Honda and Fujishima on water splitting. It is believed that photocatalysis especially that under solar radiation might effectively alleviate the global energy and environmental problems, and thus more and more attention has been paid to this research field in many countries. My tutors were Professor Bunsho Ohtani and Professor Ewa Kowalska, from whom I have benefited a lot.
During my doctoral study, I had opportunity to meet many foreign scientists from different countries who came to our laboratory for research visits, and also I had opportunity to visit Europe for exchanging study. Those experiences made me understand the culture and customs of many different countries. In particular, I am very grateful to Professor Ewa Kowalska and Poland. I got an opportunity to meet many Polish friends and go to Poland, and thus I might say that I know the culture and some customs of Poland. Till now I have kept in touch with many Polish researchers.

Taken from Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan,
Hubei, China

In the laboratory, my experimental skills had been greatly improved under the help of lab members. The research atmosphere and conditions of Hokkaido were very good, and I had opportunity to use many advanced equipment at the Institute of Catalysis (ICAT; former Catalysis Research Center - CRC). In addition, I traveled with Japanese and Chinese friends to experience Japanese local culture in many places. I have got a knowledge not only on my scientific topic, but also on the social and cultural aspects of the world, that has greatly inspired me in my present life.
Presently I am working at Hubei University of Technology in China. My research area is still on photocatalysis, as I think this is important and perspective field for human life and our globe. I am able to carry out relevant research work well after back to China due to the good experience I gained in Japan. Moreover, I share my experience and good memory of Hokkaido University with my students. I hope they can also get an opportunity to study in different countries to get to know more cultures and customs, and thus to have wide view of the world. When I guide students in scientific research, I always remember the time when I discussed with Professor Ewa Kowalska and team members, and I would like to share the knowledge and skills what I have obtained to my students.
Although I left Hokkaido University several years ago, a lot of good memories are still always in my mind. I hope it will be possible for me to visit my friends at Hokkaido University (and also Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan) in near future.

13.2 My life in Hokkaido University Japan under ABE Initiative Scholarship

Kariuki Boniface Wainaina (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, KENYA)

In 2013 the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Kenya office announced the first batch of the African Business Education (ABE) Initiative scholarship program. The program offers scholarship for African youth to undertake a master’s course in Japan as well as an internship in Japanese companies. The aim of the program is to foster a network between the Japanese and the African businesses and it appeared to me as quite a unique program. I therefore applied for it without hesitation. This was to be followed by very thorough screening processes characterized by interviews and sitting examinations. The rest is history since I eventually became one of the first 156 beneficiaries of this prestigious scholarship and Hokkaido University located in Sapporo city would become my home for two years between 2014 and 2016.
All the 156 African youth that had qualified for the program converged in Tokyo at first where we were given a very warm welcome followed by an elaborate orientation of the Japanese systems and culture. Tokyo was to me an amazing city, it was actually beyond my imagination, highways, buildings, subways, malls name it, were all dazzling. At the close of the program in Tokyo, we had learnt a lot, we had tasted a lot of Japanese delicacies, and we had seen a glimpse of the wonderland Japan. It was time for us to depart to our designated universities. A send-off party that had been organized for this purpose and attend by many Japanese drawn from various sectors remains memorable to this day. One of the invited guests was no other than Prof. Shunitz Tanaka, a renowned researcher at the Graduate School of Environmental Science at Hokudai. On the side chat during the party, he heartily welcomed five of us who were to join Hokkaido University on behalf of the Hokudai fraternity and I started feeling part of the great university long before I joined.
By the time we landed in Sapporo, winter was knocking to set in and it was getting chilly, we were first received at Sapporo JICA centre to a warm welcome by staff members there. They took care of us in collaboration with JICE throughout our study life at Hokudai.
I joined the university on my birthday in 2014, and therefore that makes it remain remarkable. I was received well by my supervisor Prof. Tomonori Sato and he became very helpful throughout my studies. He, together with other professors at Hokudai, exhibited kind hearts and were always willing to assist us in all ways. Immediately after joining the university I started to become accustomed to the exciting life at Hokudai which started with an annual International Students’ welcome party which is normally organized at the Graduate School of Environmental Science. We had a taste of the traditional Japanese food which obviously included the famous sushi among other delicacies. Life in Japan was filled with many more memorable experiences. It is not possible to put it all into context, but the most exciting ones were the “Onsen” (hot spring bath), Karaoke, “TabeNomi Houdai” Sapporo beer garden and the annual Sapporo snow festival. My first onsen experience was organized by my supervisor together with other members of the faculty and students. I did not know what to expect until we got there, all the rest were Japanese except myself and another Indonesian who refused to get in. At the onsen all of us had to wear the “birthday” suit, I almost asked the ground to break and swallow me but it was too late, the rest is history. After that I visited Onsen two more times with friends and it was fun, indeed, I miss that activity so much. The karaokes were also exciting and refreshing. After days of hard work and long hours inside the research room, karaoke would come in handy. Actually, my friends used to associate me with karaoke since my sir name kariuki sounds the same. We actually don’t have karaokes in Kenya and I have even been having a wild thought of starting up one. Tabe nomi houdai was another nice experience. We occasionally held our parties there and the fun in the place is derived from the fact that you eat and drink as much as you can within a specified period of time for a specified amount of money.
I was impressed by the both the formal and informal lifestyle of the Japanese in various ways. First, Japanese are accurate when it comes to punctuality. So accurate are the Japanese that, when a train gets late by a minute at a railway station, they announce an apology. The other thing that really impressed me was the humility of the Japanese. Their humility and polite nature are portrayed at all levels and in all places. This character makes their service delivery extremely perfect and one gets to enjoy every bit of it. I can say a million things about my experience in Japan but they can all be summed to saying that it was incredibly memorable.
I went back to my homeland Kenya in 2016 and back to my position as the Chief Technologist in the department of mechatronic Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. I came back more refined, with renewed zeal to serve others with dedication. Immediately after coming back to Kenya, my supervisor back in Japan Professor Sato informed me that my master thesis had won the Numaguchi Memorial Award for being outstanding. He thereafter sent me the certificate and the medal which I received with humility. Prof. Tomonori Sato, always availed himself whenever I sought out for him and also offered immeasurable help. This is an important trait I picked proudly from him and brought to my current work place which both my colleagues and the students I interact with have the honor of enjoying.

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1: With some members of the regional climate research group at Hokudai. 2: With a JICA Staff (Fukuchi san) In a tour to the Ainu Ethnic Museum (“Poroto Kotan”). 3: With other members of Manufacturing research Chair carrying out research on coconut value chain.

12.2 Hokudai, the most unforgettable and influential in my life

Roxy Mathew Koll, Dr. (Centre for Climate Change Research Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India)

It is more than 13 years since I graduated from Hokudai, but the values that it instilled in me and the colorful memories are still alive and vivid. I did my graduation at the Faculty of Environmental Earth Sciences, with Prof. Youichi Tanimoto. I was excited and nervous when I joined Hokudai, but my professor and team members made me feel comfortable like it was home.
I am happy to say that I assimilated several values in career and life, during my research term at Hokudai. Tanimoto Sensei used to take us for lunch every Thursday, where we have casual chat over hot Japanese Udon. Then we used to have our group meetings where we were engrossed in scientific discussions. These team building exercises helped me a lot, and now I use these methods to teach my own students. My research experience at Hokudai helped me to talk slowly, and to present and write my content with attention to the details. Generally, my science communication skills improved, and this has helped me till date.
I was involved in all kind of Japanese and International cultural activities inside and outside University. Hokudai has a huge number of international students, and there are a lot of interactions happening between these students and the Japanese community, through the International Students Centre and HUISA (Hokkaido University International Students Association). As a result, I was able to visit places and people outside Sapporo, particularly through homestays where I bonded with Japanese families. All these interactions helped me to absorb the thoughtful ways of life from the culture. I thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese seasons and songs that come with it—yuki, sakura, etc. I still watch Japanese anime—with my family—Totoro is their favorite! We love Japanese food, and if I miss anything from Japan now, that is the oishi Onigiri.
Now I work as a Climate Scientist in India, leading research on changes in the tropical climate system. I have a climate lab with PhD and MS students, and I keep on instilling the same values that Hokudai and Japan has taught me.
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11.2 Hokudai, the most unforgettable and influential in my life

Xun Wang (Associate Professor, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.)

I stayed in Japan for my Ph.D. course from 2006 to 2012. I studied in Division of Biosphere Science, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, with Prof. Toshihiko Yamada. The experience in Hokkaido University was the most unforgettable and influential in my life. Hokkaido University trained me well to be a scientific researcher. The sophisticated equipment in lab and intensely cultivated testing field developed my exquisite experimental skills. The active and rigorous academic atmosphere gave me the precise attitude to my present scientific works. And most importantly, the team members helped me to accomplish my Ph.D. work, and made me feel homely warmth. Prof. Yamada was a venerable and gentle scientist. He supervised me how to deal with the scientific difficulties, and encouraged my scientific thinking. The team members, such as Yoichiro Hoshino Sensei and Tetsuya Yamada Sensei, instructed me in experimental skills. During my Ph.D. period, I attended several conferences and workshops inside and outside of Japan. That helped me have a chance to learn and understand more in my research field, and conferred me more open scientific thinking. The daily life in Hokkaido was another important impression for me. I studied Japanese from the basic letters to use it to deal with the daily routines. I made a lot of friends from all of the world meeting in Hokkaido. I traveled several sights in Japan. I was attracted deeply to Japanese landscapes and culture.


Nine years have passed since I graduated from Hokkaido University. However, the fantastic memories sometimes emerged in my mind. In 2018 summer, I traveled back to Sapporo and Hokkaido University with my parents. They were almost 70 years. It was the first time they went abroad. I showed them the sites I have ever been, the labs, restaurants and classrooms. Now, I am an associate professor working in Sichuan Agricultural University in China. I am supervising several students in fruit science, and I always encourage them to go abroad for further study. I believe that the life in a different culture from their own will be a most unforgettable and influential, and sometimes that will gain more than study.
I am proud to be a graduate of Hokkaido University.

Suherman (Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Unibersitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)

10.2 Hokudai, 2012-2015

Attended the international conference in
Tohoku University, September 2019

My name is Suherman. I graduated from Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Japan on March, 2015, under the support of Hitachi Foundation scholarship.
During my study in Hokkaido University for about three years (from 2012 to 2015), I got the opportunity to improve my knowledge and research ability on the area of material science and environmental science in whole. Furthermore, I was able to collaborate with some industries in Japan such as Hitachi, Ushio Inc., Yabegawa Electronics etc. for research development especially in biosensors and their applications.
Recently, I am an associate professor in chemistry (environmental chemistry) at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. After finishing my study in Hokkaido University, as main supervisor, there are 12 bachelor and 9 master’s students who succeed their study and already graduated from our laboratory up to now. Now, there are still 8 bachelors and another 6 master students doing the final project at their last year in our group.

With student at the ASEAN
University event, 2019

As a lecturer, I am responsible for some courses/subjects such as: basic chemistry, basic analytical chemistry, chemometry, chemical analysis, environmental sampling and data analysis, chemistry aspect in ecology, and toxicologycal chemistry.

In the laboratory with the bachelor and master students

As an environmental expert, I try to give my opinion and ideas on environmental issues through short popular writing in newspaper (printed or online).
From early 2018, the president (rector) of Universitas Gadjah Mada appointed me as Head of Student Creativity Office, Directorate of Student Affairs. My task is to facilitate and back up the Universitas Gadjah Mada student activities, especially for participating in the national and international competition.
With student at the ASEAN University Network event, 2019
As Hokkaido University alumnus, I feel proud and fortunate to have the opportunity in developing myself during my Ph D. program there. The knowledge and experiences I gained helped me to find success in my future career as always shown in Dr. Clark's phrase "Boys, be ambitious"
In the laboratory with the bachelor and master students.

Sharmin Shishir (Post-doctoral researcher, CFES, University of Toyama)

9.2 Hokudai, the home away from home!

Assalamualikum (peace be upon you)! I memorize the days of being at Hokkaido University as vivacious. It was an inordinate opportunity for me to study in Japan with the honor of MEXT scholarship (October 2015) as a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Environmental Science. Looking through the door to my gracious supervisor’s (Prof. Shiro Tsuyuzaki) room saw the eyes of affection! That’s how the journey of my Hokudai life started in abroad. It was quite impossible to complete my Ph.D. without the caring support of my supervisor. Whenever I confronted any difficulties I went to my sensei and he showed me nice clues to the solutions. However, it was welcoming, generous, kind, lovely and friendly environment in Plant Ecology laboratory. Each and every teacher and staff were kind hearted and friendly. I discovered a new sphere of learning environment including innumerable conveniences there. Enjoyed the occasional parties and have excellent intimacy with lab members in lab and outside as well. Got to know how to do research, develop skill, gather knowledge, and last but not least how to interact with people. Developed the Japanese language at the International Student Center (ISC) where able to communicate and make international friend throughout the world countries. Gradually practiced using "sumimasen", "gomennesai", "daijobu desu", and so on. Therefore, I cultured how one can be a decent, moral and well-mannered person. Those were the utmost knowledge in my life. I recall the quotes “Boys, be ambitious” (Dr. W. S. Clark), "I have a dream" (Prof. Shiro Tsuyuzaki) those are the speech marks stirring me now and then. These quotes make me passionate to research and find the way of my life.
Obviously enjoying snow was first time there. Such a white, soft and refreshed feelings never I felt before. It was amazing going out through the snow fall. Still can sense that feelings closing my eyes. Though stumbled quite a lot of times in winter. In summer, I didn’t walk on smooth grass flowers before went there. Walking through the agricultural field turned into intoxication sometimes. Hokudai was like a dream land in spring. It appears as a paradise when “Sakura” the cherry blossom ensues. The autumn was thrilling with the appearance of yellow and red leaf day by day. Was counting days and waiting when leaf will be totally yellow at the Ginko road. That season I used to go to lab by Ginko road to relish the charmed nature though the other road was convenient.
Now miso soup, kake-udon, kake-soba, nabe, ramen noodles became my favorite Japanese food though it was a little hard to eat at the very first time. I will never forget the wonderful time of my life in Sapporo. Still I go there in my dreams and wish to be there some day. Thank you/dhonnobaad/arigatou gozaimasu.

8.2. Graduate School of Environmental Science helped me to grow up

周丹峰 (キヤノントッキ株式会社 機構設計部)

The Graduate School of Environmental Science left me with a good memory for three years. There are academic first-class professors and kind seniors. Thanks to the guidance and education of Professor Atsuko Sugimoto, I could achieve today's achievements.
I remember that when I first entered the Sugimoto Laboratory, my English was not good. Professor Sugimoto still taught me seriously, helped me to find the information, and also guided my presentation to help me solve the problems. The first year of my master course, I participated in a field work at Yakutsk, Russia, a summer school (field short course at Yakutsk), and laboratory short course organized by our professor. These were of great help to my next research.
GSES My research topic was "Diagnosis of nitrogen cycle in rivers in Hokkaido referring to nitrate dual isotopes". The objective was to quantify the nitrate concentration and its isotopic composition with land use, to identify the temporal variation of nitrate to show seasonal variation, to examine the nitrogen sources and transformation processes in the rivers in Hokkaido. For this topic, I went to the area of Mt. Yotei to collect water samples. I used to do experiments every day, deal with data, and improve the research methods. I feel that everyday life was very exciting and filled in the research of the subject, method learning, and data processing. The attitude towards the research was very helpful to my life and work.
I am currently working on the research and design of organic display production equipment. When I talked with customers at work, the understanding of the equipment often reminds me of the memory I have learned from the vision of Earth Science. In the future, I will also apply what I have learned in the Graduate School of Environmental Science to work. Thanks to professors, seniors and the Graduate School of Environmental Science for helping me.

7.2. Hokudai, in my life

Chanita Boonmak, PhD. (Instructor, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University)

Have you ever heard a song ‘In my life’ by the Beatles? A part of this song tells about the places that you would remember for all of your life. The places that held memories of beloved ones and friends that you still recall until today. Hokudai is one of the places for me. It has been five years since I graduated from Hokudai. However, I feel like it was only yesterday that I walked from my apartment at Kita 21 Nishi 6 to Morikawa Lab at the 8th floor of Graduate School of Environmental Science, where I spent three years and a half there. I came to Japan in 2009 as a research assistant in NITE-NBRC at Chiba for one and a half year. During my stay, I met my professor, Prof. Masaaki Morikawa at a conference that was starting point of my life as PhD student in Hokudai. I was enrolled as a research student in September, 2010. It was a great autumn season, next was winter. As a student from Thailand which is a tropical country, even though I lived in Chiba before, but I had never faced such a heavy snowstorm before I came here. The first time that I saw piles of snow outside my apartment. I called to Ms. Megumi Honma, my best friend and secretary of the Morikawa Lab, that I was afraid that I could not go to lab because I had no idea how to walk on the snow. This funny story had been repeated numerous times in parties. Research experience and knowledge gaining from Morikawasensei are undoubtedly great. I had learnt a lot from his insight and perspective. What I appreciated the most were his mental strength and leadership. There were sometimes that we reached struggling points of researches. He took it as challenges, not giving up, and finally found new directions or right solutions. I really enjoyed being in his team and working on my research. Those experiences shaped me to be ‘me’ today. Now, I have become an instructor at Kasetsart University, Thailand. Morikawa-sensei is not only my professor, but also ‘my teacher’ who inspires and motivates me to be a good teacher and researcher. Thank you Hokudai for the wonderful memories that will light up my life for a life time.

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6.1. Hokudai, The Unforgettable Second Place I Called Home

Lina Mahardiani (Lecturer and Researcher Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta – Indonesia)

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I always believe that if it is our time then it is!
I left Sapporo two years ago, but it’s seems like yesterday. I visit Japan for the first time in September, 2009 when I got the scholarship from JASSO for JENESYS Program. It was Prof. Shunitz Tanaka that gave me the opportunity to be selected as one of the awardees of that program. During that program I had to join laboratory as requirement to build and sharpen my ability in research. I was introduced to Prof. Yuichi Kamiya since he works with catalyst, same as my topic during my master course in Indonesia. It was so much fun working in Kamiya laboratory even only for four months as awardee of JENESYS Program that I decided to come back as a doctoral student in Kamiya laboratory if I got the scholarship. At the same time, it was my first experience to see the changing leaves and snow. It was really beautiful and cold in Sapporo but I felt the hospitality of the people of Sapporo, especially Kamiya laboratory members.
Then in 2012, I received scholarship from the government of Republic of Indonesia and came back to Kamiya laboratory in Hokkaido as doctoral student. It was my second time, but still I got some “culture shocks” in and outside Hokudai campus. The positive “culture shocks” are like how I amazed on the dedication and passion of Japanese, how clean, precise and convenient the city is which can give a little negative “culture shocks” on the language gap and culture which created a lot of misunderstanding at first. However, I was able to manage those difficulties and challenging situations and become stronger. I was lucky to be a member of Kamiya laboratory since the other members helped me a lot with all the adaptation phase, like how to use the instruments by ourselves. I was also fortunate to meet many professors with knowledge, insights and sincerity. I was able to make friends from around the globe which I met in Hokkaido University. Also experienced the culture of Japan through the traditional Japanese dance.
Thank you for the Faculty of Environmental Science for the help and support throughout my doctoral course. Last but not least, I am forever grateful toward Prof. Kamiya who has been really supportive, encouraging, kind, patient and helpful throughout the time. Thank you so much for keeping us engaged, learning and laughing. I hope we can continue and broaden our work for collaboration in research between our institutions.
Three years at Hokkaido University have been such a joyful and rewarding time for me. Every little encounter and experience gained here in Japan has been enriching and will remain within my memories for life long. Until we meet again. Thank you...Thank you and Terima kasih.

5.1. My two-year experience in Hokudai

Naufal Rospriandana (GIZ Energy Programme Indonesia)

I achieved the Indonesian Government Scholarship in 2014, and joined the Fujii Sensei’s Laboratory of Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University and graduated in 2016. The opportunity to study and live alone in Japan at that time honestly was the first international experience of my life. My latest experience of going abroad before pursuing my MSc in 2014 was just a 3-day trip to Singapore, 10 years before! Nervous, confused, naturally haunted my mind. Arriving at Chitose Airport, at 3:00 PM that afternoon, I handled everything by myself, until I arrived at Sapporo Station. I almost went down in Shin-Sapporo so confused, luckily a Chinese-guy I met in the train showed me his google map and told me it was not Sapporo yet.
I spent two years in Japan until got the Master Degree. As a master-by-research student, Boys be Ambitious a good quote once you decided to join Fujii Lab. Just set what are your ideas, how you think you can do that, and what are your targets, so Fujii Sensei will try to support you. Such a good opportunity for me that I also engaged with an international research project of Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia Pacific Ring of Fire, a project led under Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, where Fujii Sensei was also one of the research group Chairs. I had a lot of opportunities to join the meetings with international colleagues, conducting researches, delivering presentations in international seminars in Kyoto, Seoul, etc.
I also made a lot of friends, with Indonesian students in Hokkaido, also with international students. They are kind and warm in the coldness of Sapporo. At the first time to Sapporo, I was asked by Indonesian student association to manage the Indonesian Cultural Night. I was challenged and took the request, I succeed the event, both as main actor of the drama and also head of event. I passed at least 2 times of fasting month and Ied Mubarok, the annual Islamic day after 30-days Ramadhan fasting. in Sapporo, I met many Moslem Friends from all around the world. The campus location is also near to the mosque.
Autumn is the most favorite season when I was in Sapporo, but the autumn is just a very short time. Many places to go to take photos, I really like Makomanai Park. I took many photos there with friends. I went to Takinoue, stayed in an old school. I also went to Yubari, a typical city in suburbs of Japan that lost the population. Nice to have the experience, not only studying, but also present in professional research’ environment during conferences, and of course have fun out of working time.

Asmaa Asmaa Asmaa Asmaa

4.1. Asmaa's Memories in Sapporo

Ms. Asmaa Elnagar (Academic Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt)


Four years have passed quickly since I joined Hokkaido University. I was enrolled in the Laboratory of Bio-materials Chemistry as a master student in Graduate School of Environmental Science, under supervision of Prof. Nobuo Sakairi.
Although it was a kind of challenging journey, it was really interesting to me. It was my first time to travel abroad and visit Japan. My first impression when I arrived in Japan was that the super helpful Japanese airline. In addition, cities were clean, comfortable, and the public transportation was convenient. It was very cold and snowy as well. Even I know that Sapporo is colder than Egypt, it was more than what I was expected. Thus, I got a kind of "culture shock".
However, I was lucky to join Sakairi-sensei’s lab. He was dealing with me typically like his daughter, and I felt that very well in many things. As he knew that I am Muslim, he showed me a "prayer room" from the first day of my coming to the lab. Moreover, he was usually asking the lab-members about me especially when I was pregnant.


My thesis was entitled "A synthetic glycoconjugates approach on LPS O-antigen of Pandoraea pulmonicola". This polysaccharide has a trisaccharide repeating group, which contains unusual highly modified quinovosaqmine (3-amino-3,6-dideoxy-D-glucose) residue. I developed efficient synthetic route to the qinovosamine derivative from D-glucose. I also carried out selective modification of the amino group to introduce a pyroglutamic acid derivative. I had abilities to carry out organic synthesis of complex molecule such as conducting reactions, isolation of products, and structure determination by NMR and IR spectroscopy. During my research, I won Hokkaido University scholarship for international students and HIECC scholarship. Although I worked in lab for long hours daily, I had never felt bored or tired. I still remembered all events in-and/or outside campus and PQ parties which I participated in. Sakairi-sensei taught me the basic principles of research and scientifically guided me during my study. He encouraged me without hesitation to participate in conferences with oversea and Japanese students to represent my data. I always remember his kindness. Such an environment would definitely make very good interactions for me on a daily basis for enjoying and improving my research. In a reality, Sakairi sensei is a very good professor in both social and academic sides.


The surrounding environment in Sapporo was super attractive with very beautiful trees colors. I was so interested to notice the complete difference in seasons "summer, spring, autumn or winter". For the first time, I saw "sakura tree" and picked many photos with. Japanese in nature are so polite, lovely and helpful. Wherever in the streets, work, university lab., or markets, I found many Japanese volunteers were offering their help. They always encourage international students to study in Japan. When I came to Sapporo, I was pregnant. At that time, I started the challenges and adventures of future mother as well as a researcher. Every day I had a new interesting adventure with lab and family. However, it was so nice that Japanese government can accept kids of sixty days old to enter nurseries and let parents go their work without interruption. I cannot ignore the great help of Sapporo English Medical Interpreters (SEMI) with me until delivery of my baby and their following me up. In addition, the great help of Hokkaido University to give me a full exemption of tuition fees during my study. They always support and offer advices to the foreigners’ families and put them in a suitable atmosphere for an excellent research. Therefore, Japanese always urged me to respect them. Although my Japanese language was poor, I liked to communicate with this language; like "ohayo", "arigato", "wakarimasu", "daijobu desu", "sumimasen" etc., and worked on these as some basic words within my Japanese friends in the lab. Japanese language helped me a lot for making friendship. I liked the culture of mutual respect of Japanese. I liked so much the Japanese food like "suchi", Japanese tea and seafood soap. For the first time, I wore Japanese "kimono" which made me happy. Also, I played Japanese baseball. In addition, I really miss my bike that I was riding there. Moreover, I visited Tokyo which was very impressive, and visited many places around Hokkaido like Tomita Farm, Blue Pond, Maruyama Zoo, Otaru Aquarium etc.
All in all; the life in Japan was not only interesting and safe but also was in a systemic manner based on restricted rules particularly in traffic laws and scientific research principles. I learned how to be self-dependent and creative. Together, that provided me with a unique experiences and I gained first-hand knowledge on how to designate paths and therefore to achieve my goal. My study visit to Japan was a key step to improve my current career plan by allowing me to take an active contribution and to be qualified enough to be a researcher in Egyptian university right now.
I conclude that Japanese people can do the impossible with their insistence and cooperation. In addition, my journey to Japan has a positive impact on my current career and life-style.
Sorry to hear about the news of typhoon and earthquake in Japan in September 2018. Japan is a favorite place to visit, make an interesting research and to live. My prayers, thoughts and hearts are with everyone who has been affected, for speedy recovery. Honestly, I have a great hope to return back to Japan to meet Sakairi sensei and all my Japanese friends to only say "Thank you"!

3/1. Memory of Hokudai

Chunmao Zhu
(Scientist, Japan Agency for Marine-earth Science and Technology)

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1. Research scene: seeing mountain Rishiri in the observatory, photo
taken in July 14, 2011. 2. Life scene: Genghis Khan party in front of
the graduate school in June 26, 2010

Nine years have passed since I joined Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University. I was enrolled in the Course of Geochemistry as a PhD student in April 2010. It turned to be one of my best experiences in life. Both the facilities and the researches are of the top levels. The three-year study allows me to be well trained to be a scientist. I was lucky to study with professor Hisayuki Yoshikawa, who supervised me not only how to conduct specific research topics, but also the way of scientific thinking. Featured by fieldwork studies, I had the chance to conduct observations at Rishiri Island, the northernmost Hokkaido. Such experiences trained me to realize the importance to understand what is really happening in the fields by conducting observations in the fields. Another invaluable experience is that the students I worked with in the same laboratory are all enjoying the study and life. They are working hard in research, and they are kind, caring, energetic and easygoing in life. As a large part of our studies were conduct based on chemical analytical techniques, we had a very interesting event - the annual competition to accurately use pipette to transfer liquid. This one-day recreation event has become to be a good memory. The study and life are so fruitful, and the people in the laboratory are so nice that I never felt homesick as a foreigner.
The graduate school provided a lot of chances for graduate students to experience various ability-up activities. Being support by the graduate school, I went to Washington DC, the United States to study atmospheric transport model. I also went to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to join a summer school on the environmental change of the boreal forest, and to Beijing, China to participate in an academic conference. Meanwhile, the campus of Hokkaido University, Sapporo city, and the whole Hokkaido are charming. Energetic professors and students, caring people, beautiful nature, all these elements make my PhD memorable. I am proud to be an alumnus of Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University.

2/1. Memory of Hokudai

Tika D. Atikah
(Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences)

My first impression when I arrived in Japan was that the cities were clean, comfortable, and the public transportation was convenient. I came firstly to Hokkaido on August 2001 to take examination and secondly on early October. It was very cold. I knew that Sapporo is colder than Indonesia but it was more than what I expected. It was 7 years ago when I entered into Plant Ecology Lab at Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University and started the challenging journey, which is out of my comfort zone. Since there, everyday was new adventure.
I still remembered, my sensei, Takashi S. KOHYAMA had picked me up at Sapporo airport while my lab members have been waiting at Sapporo station, carrying banner with "Yokoso Japan". At that time I was touched by the warmth of my lab friends, how attentive they were. I had no idea initially how to operate something in Japan since I could not speak Japanese. Frequently, I had to seek help from the people around me. Friends and my sensei supported me well so my life in Japan was going smoother than I thought. So whoever will be going to Japan, I think you should study Japanese in advance and do not hesitate to interact with local people to improve your Japanese language skill.
Since I came back to the Indonesia, I returned to my previous work at the Research Center for Biology. Currently, I have a good career as researcher and also member of PME (Planning Monitoring and Evaluating team) in my office. I realize that studying abroad for some years at Hokkaido University Japan is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. It brought me out of my nest. My experiences studying in Japan made me grow into more confidence, open minded, and be an independent person. The person who influences me the most is KOHYAMA sensei. He assisted, encouraged me, provided a good atmosphere for study and research and also motivated me to be a good researcher. It completely changed my perspective on life. Overall, I want to apply the learning during study in Japan into my current career. I am also blessed that I still have good communication among the lab members. In the future I wish that I have opportunities to collaborate with them on some projects etc.

1/2. GSES- The Shaper of Environmental Scientists

Md. Tajuddin Sikder, PhD
(Graduated from Division of Environmental Science Development
in March 2013)

In a snowy afternoon 8 years back, I entered into the Graduate School of Environmental Science (GSES), Hokkaido University for the first time, and started a terrific journey with new hope, challenges and better expectation. Now, when I reflect on my three years of PhD program in this graduate school, I conclude that the experience not only made me an environmental scientist, but also contributed in unpredictable ways for my career. Having been shaped by my graduate school, I achieved a rewarding career as a faculty member in the 2nd largest University, Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. I now teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, work on the thesis of my students, carry out my own researches and deem for a changing future. When I look back to find out the sources of spirit on which I am now standing on, I uncover nothing but the support and encouragement of my professors and peers who are nothing short of champions; incredibly supportive lab and lab-mates; a few awards, couple of fellowships and recognitions of my research endeavor; few internationally flavored projects implementation; a healthy research environment of this graduate school, and my best efforts. I was lucky to have an outstanding supervisor, Maasaki Kurasaki Sensei, who assisted, encouraged, pushed, challenged and nourished me till to date. I learnt to be motivated and dedicated in researches from here and in return, GSES honored me by nominating for the Matsuno award in 2016.
I do recall my PhD tenure which always seemed to me like a puzzle to solve. Only they are the winners who can solve it within the given time with perfection. Being an international student, I never felt it an easy task. To make it easygoing, one international student should do few things one after another. Firstly, to adjust with the new environment quickly; secondly, to learn Japanese language, customs, etiquette and culture sharing as much as possible; thirdly, ‘determination’, ‘dedication’ and ‘hard working’ the most three important things in research and finally, a good understanding and trustworthiness relation with the supervisor. If one can materialize these attributes then PhD puzzle will become water like simple. This graduate school will surely provide you the friendly and stimulating intellectual environment to cross every hurdle and to reach you in your desired height.
My experiences at GSES shape everything I do now at both Bangladesh and Japan. It was a wonderful time in my life, and the best educational experience I’ve had. The relationship with this graduate school brought me again here in the same platform with new identity, 'foreign researcher' in GSES and JSPS post doctoral fellow in Faculty of Health Sciences. I am looking forward to being more deepened and enriched with new knowledge, insights and a sustainable relationship with my loving graduate school.

Feedback from Home-Coming Day

From Dr. Dhananjay Regmi (October 26, 2021)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with the students and everyone else via the Alumni lecture platform, it was a pleasure interacting with all. Throughout my academic and professional career, I have had the opportunity to attend prestigious universities as a scholarship student, such as Hokkaido Graduate School of Environmental Science, and meet people encouraging Professors such as Teiji Watanabe. These encounters and experiences, I believe, have played a significant role in shaping me into the person I am today.
To all the students reading this, I want you to know that life as a student is difficult and full of pressure, but you should always use that as a fuel to propel you forward. Regardless of how difficult things appear, maintain your composure because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Be inquisitive, positive, and always work for the betterment of others since true learning allows one to give back to the community, country, and world.
Best wishes for the future of the institution and to all the students. I am grateful to Hokkaido University, Professor Teiji Watanabe, the Alumni, Alumnae Association, and everyone else who invited me to give this talk, express my thoughts, and I look forward to similar collaborations in the future.
Dr. Dhananjay Regmi
Chief Executive Officer
Nepal Tourism Board

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