Topic: Japan/Science and technology

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Karōshi, death by overwork

Medicine Death Health and fitness Japan Medicine/Society and Medicine Japan/Culture Japan/Science and technology

Karoshi (過労死, Karōshi), which can be translated literally as "overwork death" in Japanese, is occupational sudden mortality. The major medical causes of karoshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress and a starvation diet. This phenomenon is also widespread in other parts of Asia.

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Poka-yoke

Business Engineering Japan Japan/Science and technology Japan/Business and economy

Poka-yoke (ポカヨケ, [poka yoke]) is a Japanese term that means "mistake-proofing" or "inadvertent error prevention". A poka-yoke is any mechanism in any process that helps an equipment operator avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka). Its purpose is to eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur. The concept was formalised, and the term adopted, by Shigeo Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System. It was originally described as baka-yoke, but as this means "fool-proofing" (or "idiot-proofing") the name was changed to the milder poka-yoke.

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Seki Takakazu

Biography Mathematics Astronomy Japan Japan/Science and technology Japan/Biography

Seki Takakazu (関 孝和, 1642 – December 5, 1708), also known as Seki Kōwa (関 孝和), was a Japanese mathematician and author of the Edo period.

Seki laid foundations for the subsequent development of Japanese mathematics known as wasan; and he has been described as "Japan's Newton".

He created a new algebraic notation system and, motivated by astronomical computations, did work on infinitesimal calculus and Diophantine equations. A contemporary of German polymath mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and British mathematician Isaac Newton, Seki's work was independent. His successors later developed a school dominant in Japanese mathematics until the end of the Edo period.

While it is not clear how much of the achievements of wasan are Seki's, since many of them appear only in writings of his pupils, some of the results parallel or anticipate those discovered in Europe. For example, he is credited with the discovery of Bernoulli numbers. The resultant and determinant (the first in 1683, the complete version no later than 1710) are attributed to him. These achievements are astonishing, considering that Japanese mathematics before his appearance was at such a primitive stage. For example, comprehensive introduction of 13th century Chinese algebra was made as late as 1671, by Kazuyuki Sawaguchi.

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Utau – a Japanese singing synthesizer application

Software Software/Computing Musical Instruments Electronic music Japan Japan/Science and technology

UTAU is a Japanese singing synthesizer application created by Ameya/Ayame. This program is similar to the VOCALOID software, with the difference being it is shareware instead of under a third party licensing.

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