The Advanced Research Initiative for Human High Performance (ARIHHP), an affiliate of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, is advancing next-generation health and sport science that aims to optimize human performance.
Utilizing the University of Tsukuba’s outstanding research base in health and sports sciences, ARIHHP is engaged in the promotion of next-generation sports sciences through the introduction of cutting-edge life and cognitive science research, and innovative sports technologies. Based on the results of these activities, we are working to help optimize the total human performance, which is achieved by the integration of mind, technique and body (shin-gi-tai), through a program consisting of exercise, nutrition and rest (sleep), as well as sports techniques and equipment, which we are integrating to develop and apply comprehensive exercise and training programs. We also aim to contribute our results not just to athletes but to society at large by proposing policies and engaging in public physical education programs and training of human resources.
The logo of ARIHHP represents “Supercompensation”, a theory that describes the fundamental process of exercise training on the human body.
Up to now, science and technology research has assumed human physical performance to be low, and has developed by supporting, expanding, and supplementing performance. However, although human performance may have been low, sports science has proven that it can be enhanced with the proper training. Human performance is determined not only by physical strength such as muscle strength and endurance, but also by a variety of other factors such as cognizant performance (techniques, equipment, metabolism, resistance to stress, attention, and judgment), and communication abilities. The aim of the Center is to promote physical and mental activities at the individual and societal levels by making a comprehensive, multi-faceted verification of these performances based on mental, physical and technical aspects, in order to optimize physical activities and performance (Human High Performance: HHP) in a comprehensive manner to make people healthier and more robust.
For the past 15 years, we have worked to bring physical education and sport sciences up to international standards, and to contribute to society by building a core of instructors at our institute. We have also acquired and promoted major governmental projects such as the 21st Century Centers of Excellence Program by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and special research projects for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Now that the Japanese government has drawn up a plan for promoting sports activities as a foundation for helping our aging society to stay healthy, it is time for us to use our prowess as an academic institution to advance these policies. The worldwide spread of hypodynamia, the lack of mental and physical stamina, is becoming a serious problem. Up to now, associated science and technology has developed on the assumption that humans have weak abilities that should be supported, enhanced and supplemented. However, we believe our next-generation sport science research has demonstrated that people have naturally high potential that can be maximized through innovative training with an optimized balance of exercise, nutrition, and rest (sleep). To achieve this mission, we at ARIHHP will continue to carry out robust basic research in collaboration with numerous universities and research institutes from Japan and around the world that share our concepts.
The director of ARIHHP supervises the organizational operations, holds meetings of the Review Board for Research Proposals, and coordinates internal and external organizations. Important matters of administration and management are discussed and decided by the steering committee, which also deliberates on and selects research topics submitted by the public. ARIHHP has its own administrative organizations, including General Affairs, Accounting and Budget Management, and Public Relations to support collaborative research, and a Research Support division to handle the procurement of external funds, maintenance of facilities/infrastructure, and collaborative research operations. A portion of the expenses for joint research activities and organizational activities is distributed to research representatives based on decisions of the Steering Committee. The Review Board for Research Proposals classifies and examines the applications, and reports to the Steering Committee.
In response to requests from the nation, the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Tsukuba has taken a leading role in physical education, health and sports sciences in Japan, promoting physical fitness and health of the general public, and contributing to the training of athletes in competitive sports. Since the time when Jigoro Kano was the principal of Tokyo Shihan Gakko, the school has accepted many students from overseas, and has nurtured leading physical education personnel both at home and abroad, in Asia and elsewhere. ARIHHP was established with its roots in the National School of Gymnastics, National Institute of Health and Physical Education, and Tokyo University of Education’s Institute of Sport Sciences (1960-1977). Despite the changes in name and location, we will carry on the spirit of the “paulownia leaf” emblem by leading the next-generation health and sports sciences through collaboration with industry, academia, and government.
the “ Five-and-Three Paulownia” Emblem
Supporting Health and sport Sciences
in Japan and Asia
– From “Supo-Ken (Institute of Sport Sciences)” to ARIHHP –
The Path toward the Advanced Research Center of Sport Sciences
Institute of Sport Sciences at Tokyo University of Education, or “Supo-Ken” as it was popularly known, came into being in 1960, four years before the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo (1964). Sport Physiology, Coaching Studies, and Kinematics were the main areas of specialized study, and research flourished. Many of the research results were published in academic journals in such related fields as physical education and physical sciences, as well as in our original journal, “The Bulletin of the Institute of Sport Science” (vol.1-14), which published a total of 76 original papers and 12 research documents. After seventeen years of research activities, Supo-Ken was integrated into the University of Tsukuba and closed in 1977. Half a century after Supo-Ken’s opening, we celebrated the birth of ARIHHP. As it grows to become one of Japan’s leading research centers in the 21st century, we hope that ARIHHP will continue to improve and develop through such activities as conducting cutting-edge research, nurturing human resources and broadening the scope of international exchanges.
Organization and Research Themes
|(1) Exercise Physiology||exercise and physical functions, energy metabolism, tiredness, nutrition|
|(2) Sports Biomechanics||motion analytics, physical analysis of sporting equipment, mechanics of sports skills|
|(3) Coaching Studies||sports suitability, sports psychology, management, training, coaching|
Number of staff
Professors: 3, Assistant Professors: 3, Research Associates: 2, Office Assistant: 1
When the application was first made to establish Supo-Ken with the Education Ministry, the plan was to have 5 departments (Sport Psychology, Sport Medicine, Kinematics, Coaching, and Statistical Research) and 39 staff members (5 professors, 5 assistant professors, 10 research assistants, 5 teaching assistants and 14 others, i.e., administrative staff, nurses, etc.). However, what actually materialized were 3 departments and 9 staff members, most of whom were also working in other departments.
The Faculty of Health and Physical Education at Tokyo University of Education was a three-story building, the top floor of which (white colored section in the building) was an addition to the two-story building of the former National Institute of Health and Physical Education. The building on the right edge of the picture is Supo-Ken. Unfortunately, that building was demolished when the facility was relocated to the University of Tsukuba, and the site is now the home of the Shibuya Sports Center. The main entrance of the Physical Education Department (photo provided by the Tokyo University of Education Newspaper Alumni Association)
The Bulletin, vol. 1 p. 1, 1961 (“Integrated Research” beyond the boundaries of research sections)
The first director of Supo-Ken was Reiji Natori, a renowned physiologist internationally known for his “Natori fiber.” In the first issue of the Institute of Sport Science Bulletin (1961), Professor Natori and his collaborators developed a “comprehensive research” approach intent on overcoming the boundaries between academic divisions to work together for a common purpose. He and 15 of his colleagues took an extremely multidisciplinary approach to analyzing motor skill mechanisms such as the crouching start in short distance races, table tennis strokes and hip throwing techniques in Judo. Each division conducted a wide range of research, from basic research in exercise and physical strength to practical research in sports such as track and field, judo, sumo, skipping rope and mountaineering. The institute made a substantial contribution to physical education and competitive sports, fostering a large number of sports researchers and coaches, and supporting the Tokyo Olympic games in 1964. In the final issue of the “Institute of Sport Science Bulletin,” (vol.14, 1976), Professor Takeo Tawa (soccer, coaching), then director of Supo-Ken, shared his thoughts on the University of Tsukuba and the closing of the institute.
Reproducing contents of this site is prohibited without permission form ARIHHP.© 2016 Advanced Research Initiative for Human High Performance All rights reserved.