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F's Seminar 2022

  • Reona FUKUHARA  (M2)

  • Tomoki YOKOYAMA(M2)

  • Ayaka SAKAKIBARA (M1)

  • Hitomi SUZUKI(B4)

  • Kakeru KIKUCHI (B4)

  • Ren ARAI (B4)

  • Magda Yukari HAGIYA CORREDO (B3)

  • Observer Participation: UIPJ (B2/B1)






・令和4年度若手研究者奨励賞 宇都宮大学研究推進機構

・学長表彰 優秀賞【研究領域】

B4 Ren Arai

I went to a ballpark in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture, to watch an impressive baseball game on 9.8.2022. Actually, my older brother, Ryo Arai, belongs to one of the JABA (Japan amateur baseball association) league baseball teams called “Kirayaka bank”. Kirayaka bank is one of the local banks in Ymagata prefecture. In Japan, some companies have a baseball team, and the level of the baseball league is said next to the NPB, which is a professional baseball league in Japan. So, in short, my brother is an amateur baseball player in Japan.

His baseball team has decided to disband recently because of management difficulties. Kirayaka bank has suffered from deficits for a long time. To improve it, they decided to disband their baseball team to secure the banquet. Therefore, the game was the last baseball game for my brother as a baseball player. I went to watch it with my family.

My brother was a pitcher from Junior high school until two years ago. As a high school student, he pitched at an average speed of 140km and MAX 148km. He was a famous player in our region, but after entering a university and his current team, he had suffered control of his pitching. Finally, he decided to convert his position from pitcher to fielder just two years ago. He, himself, did not say that he put in a lot of effort, but I know that he did effort a lot after converting a position. Eventually, he grabbed a regular starting player at his last game!!!

The opponent of the game was one of the strong teams “TDK” in the baseball league. However, when the game started, the stream of the game was for Kirayaka. Then, Kirayaka got a chance to get the first point. In the bottom of the 2nd, with one out and a runner on second, a butter of Kirayaka was ………… an announcement said “Ryo Arai”. In fact, a starting pitcher of the team is paid attention to by NPB teams this year. I was really worried about my brother. “Can he hit from the pitcher??” but my concern disappeared when I saw his appearance on the field. His attitude was well-honed, like when a lion is waiting for prey. I thought that I had no reason to worry about him.

He looked for the ball and hit a foul tip several times. Then, finally, he carried an inside ball to the right fielder!! It was a clutch hit!!! Thanks to his clutch hit, Kirayaka took the lead at the beginning of the game. I cried at that time because I imagined his effort of two years. At the same time, I was extremely proud of my brother too much.

Unfortunately, his team lost in the end, but it was the best baseball game I have ever watched. After the game, his baseball team was disbanded as scheduled. Even though I was really satisfied with the game, if there is a possibility of watching his play again, I would like to see it. A few days ago, I had good news. According to the news, a company has been trying to make a team that takes over Kirayaka bank baseball team. It means that I might be able to watch my brother’s play again in the near future. I hope that it will be a reality.

Anyway, Well done, my brother!!! I got a lot of strength from watching you play. Thank you!!


From 6 to 7 November, I participated in “Capturing Communities through Quantitative Data: Understanding Distribution and Forming Hypothesis to Solve Community Issues” organized by the FASID: Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development. This course mainly included two contents. First, professor Tsuyoshi HAMANO (Kyoto Sangyo University) and associate professor Yoshiya SHIOTANI (Kyoto Sangyo University) introduced theoretical frameworks to conduct social surveys. Second, the participants created question forms practically.

The reasons why I participated in this course are to learn quantitative survey methods to understand the features of areas and get knowledge on implementing a reasonable project in my future community development career. I achieved my goal through the informative lectures and great cooperation with my group members. Therefore, this report shares its contents and fruitful activities.

Lectures: How to form a hypothesis in social inquiry?

The most exciting topic for me was the process of testing a hypothesis. The professors’ explanations of this process were so enlightening that I realized it was simpler and more enjoyable than I thought. I also believe that all of the tips from the lectures contributed to my research in the postgraduate course. The process mainly included three steps: i) setting a question ii) forming a hypothesis, and iii) testing the hypothesis.

i) Setting a question

Social inquiries start with setting a question. This process is familiar to me because I spend most of my research time finding an interesting questions. Professor Shiotani, who gave us a lecture on the 2nd day, recommended setting a question with ‘why’ and ‘how’ as my master’s course professors say.

ii) Forming a hypothesis

In the Next step, professor Shiotani introduced how to develop a hypothesis. It starts with considering the originally expected answer to the research question. For example, if I set a Japanese population as relatively happy, one expected answer is that the Japanese have healthy meals. A causal relationship connects the question and the answer in a hypothesis like ‘Japanese are relatively happy because they have a healthy meal’. The existence of a close or direct causal relationship is important. In this sense, the above hypothesis is not a good one!

A hypothesis is often too abstract and too difficult to understand. However, the abstractness and difficulty of the hypothesis are not a problem. The reason is that a hypothesis is just a theory, and concrete examples or numbers explaining it are considered in the next step.

iii)Testing the hypothesis

Before testing a hypothesis, the abstract hypothesis should be translated into a countable and concrete idea through an ‘operational definition’. It means a concise, detailed definition of a measure when applied to data collection. As a result of the ‘operational definition’, variables are given.

A hypothesis is composed of two related elements, ‘Japanese are relatively happy’ and ‘Japanese have a healthy meal’ in the case of the above one. The ‘operational definition’ is applied respectively. For example, in the case of measuring ‘happy’, the OECD provides several indicators for ‘operational definition’. They include the amount of income, the living environment, and subjective elements. After the ‘operational definition’, the OECD calculates ‘Better Life Index’ to translate ‘happiness’ into countable numbers (=variables).

With the variables, finally, a hypothesis is tested. Researchers conduct social surveys to verify the existence of a direct causal relationship between two variables. If the survey proves the direct causal relationship, the hypothesis is true. In contrast, if the survey does not show the relationship, the hypothesis is not accurate.

Activity: How to survey the number of high blood pressure patients?

After lectures, participants made groups of three people and designed a questionnaire to grasp realities in a fictional community in Japan. The given community has a lot of issues, including a high aging population rate, a high number of people with diseases, a lack of a local transportation system, and anxieties and loneliness caused by living alone. Our team focused on the number of high blood pressure patients since this disease is one of the major and common problems in the physical health of elderly people in real life and our team has a member with a medical background.

Our hypothesis is this: those who drink alcohol a lot are more likely to have high blood pressure. Even though we thought it was easy to complete group work just by following the lectures, we faced two problems in the process of creating a questionnaire to verify our hypothesis. The first problem we faced was how we counted the patients with high blood pressure accurately. Initially, we planned to use a dataset archived by the community administrator, but the administration office does not always have such personal data and, we needed another way to collect the data on the number of patients with high blood pressure. As a result, we designed a questionnaire asking, ‘have you ever had high blood pressure?’ This question is based on the fact that those who experience high blood pressure are more likely to have the same disease chronically.

The second problem was how to ask about the amount of alcohol the respondent drank on a daily basis. A questionnaire asking for a substantial amount or number should be avoided because respondents often do not know such information. For example, if you see such a question [Q. How much do you drink alcohol at one time?

( ml)], you cannot answer easily. Our group had many discussions to avoid a question that might lead the respondents to be confused. At last, we made a question asking the number of cans or bottles at one time.


In conclusion, I understood both theories of social inquiry and how it reflected in an implementation. The two-day course must contribute to my future career in community development. In wrapping up my essay, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers and professors who allowed me to participate in this course and give such wonderful lectures.

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