User Interview

As the third User Voice, we interviewed Mr. Noguchi from the Yumekiko Co., Ltd. and Mr. Nonoyama from Nonoyama-touya, both of whom are conducting research with Nagoya University.

Mr. Noguchi from Yumekiko Co., Ltd.

―You are currently conducting research on cypress deodorant. What kind of work does your company do?

We offer the design and construction of log cabins. All of our employees love wood. I love wood and want people to learn of the good points of wood, so the deodorizing and antibacterial activities of cypress caught my eye. That is why I began the development of deodorant sprays.

―Were you advancing research on cypress deodorant sprays before that?

At first, I was providing analyses of odors to the analysis center. I achieved some outcomes, but I was not able to solve the central question about what was going on.

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Thanks to the connection with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), I was referred to the Nagoya University when I instantly came up with the combination of science and cypress for the first time.

―How did you feel when you used the Nanotechnology Platform?

I have a background in liberal arts and bought reagents for experiments for the first time. However, I was reassured because everyone, such as Mr. Sakaguchi, helped me advance my experiments.

―It is a very novel idea to observe deodorizing with Raman spectroscopy, isn’t it?

―(Sakaguchi) Since he had some data from the analysis center, I got the feeling there would be chemical interaction in deodorizing. I am not an odor expert, which is why I’ve come to handle experimental values obtained from studies to discover the Raman spectroscopy.

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―Please let me know about the market for cypress sprays and your future prospects from the research.

Actually, cypress is very popular in China and South Korea. Since the early stage, I started taking into consideration overseas sales. In addition, I hope that I will futher advance research together with Nagoya University and continue further studies in the mechanism for deodorizing and the interaction with other odorous components through the Nanotechnology Platform.

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Mr. Nonoyama from the Nonoyama-touya

―Mr. Nonoyama, your company specializes in rattan products. What is the advantage of rattan products?

Rattan is a plant that grows in Indonesia. It has also been imported into Japan since long ago and processed into rattan products. Rattan was being laid on the floor of kimono fabric shops. The advantage of rattan is its deodorizing effect. I didn’t notice it until several decades ago, when I went to a hot spring to change the old rattan mat in the changing room. I found that it appeared worn and tattered but didn’t smell at all. I thought this was amazing and started working on the application of this finding deodorant products.

 

―What made you start using the Nanotechnology Platform?

We were working on the design of our new self-developed products in coordination with JST. The relationship made me aware of the Nanotechnology Platform. I thought that it was necessary to thoroughly investigate the deodorizing effect of rattan so that people would learn about the good points of rattan.

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―How did you feel when you actually made an observation with an electron microscope?

I was impressed at seeing the structure of rattan for the first time. Regarding tobacco smoke absorption, I could clearly observe the particles of tobacco smoke. It means I had credible evidence other than a sensory test, so I was very satisfied.

 

―(Hayashi) Since it was the first time to observe natural materials like rattan using scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), the work was very interesting from the perspective of the technical staff. The structure was unique. In the tobacco tests, we did all kinds of things for absorption. Being able to observe even the particles was a good experience for us.

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―Are the scientific data helpful to you?

We showcased the products at exhibitions in the United States, where we gave explanation by using the SEM images. Everyone seemed interested.

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―Please let me know of your future prospects.

To let more people to know about the good points of rattan—we hope to conduct scientific investigations by continuing the use of the Nanotechnology Platform and seeking support from Nagoya University.

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For this research, please contact:Nagoya University

 

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