18.Prof.Ryutarou OHBUCHI(Part2)


Conohana of the month September version (Part2)

 In the first part of this interview, we found out what a great househusband he was.   In  part 2, let’s ask more about “a work-life balance.”


◎Introduction of Prof. Ryutaro Obuchi

Major: perceptual information processing/intelligence robotics (pattern recognition, multimedia data mining), information and media science/database (multimedia data processing, multimedia data searching, three-dimension shape-similarity search)

Organization: Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, the Engineering Area Mechanical Electronic Information System Engineering Course (Computer Science and Engineering) in the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering


● You must be already very busy with classes and research.  In addition, you have laundry, cooking and everything else.  How do you balance all those tasks in work and a private life?

Hmmm, how I am balancing my work with my private life.  I don’t know actually (lol)

Honestly speaking, there are some occasions that I wish I had been able to assign more time to research and writing papers instead of housework and taking care of the children.  There are some moments of impulse that I wish I could devote myself to my research totally.  But once I go home, there are days when I feel like making more time with my children and show them a lot more pleasure of creation and how to do housework.

If it’s ever possible, I want to do everything perfectly, my work at university, tasks for my children, research and housework.  However, I can’t do them all in a perfect manner.  I wish I could teach my students more closely but they actually have to wait for me while I am away home making dinner for my children.  I wish I could maintain my home tidily but there is often unfolded laundry over the floor (lol)  That’s life.

So, I would say that the key to balanced work and life is “to give it up capably.”  You just need to be flexible with yourself that nothing has to be perfectly done and that it’s okay as it is.


●  “To give it up capably.”  The phrase has a deep meaning!  Let me ask you the same question as that one of your students asked in your class.  What drives your motivation in such a busy daily life?

The smiles of my children!  My children give me unpredictable surprises and small amusements every day.  I would have failed without them.


● Lastly, would you give a message to the students who are future workers in society who will aim for balanced work and private life?

Looking back on my own life, my mother was working when I was a child.  I also met many sophisticated women at my universities both in Japan and abroad.  My wife is also creative in balancing work with life in spite of long-distance commuting such as working on a commuting train.  Knowing those women, I wish that this society would become a place where women can play active roles without feeling different from men.  To realize such a society, what you can do now even as a student is to improve domestic skills no matter whether you are a man or a woman.

Think about what you will be doing and where you will be living at the age of 30.  I’m sure that you will have more options if you are capable of dealing with household tasks!


● Thank you very much!

I visited his lab after the interview.  As his research is programing oriented, the room is full of high-spec computers instead of typical experiment tools such as beakers and measurement devices.  To soften the barren atmosphere of the room(?) there were many stuffed toys on the computer stands.