Media representatives view the inside of the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector during a special tour on Oct. 9. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)
Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector opened to media
HIDA, Gifu Prefecture--Imagine a vast underground cavern bigger than any wartime bunker. This is where Japanese scientists are doing research that left one of them as this year's co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Takaaki Kajita, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, discusses his research with The Asahi Shimbun. (Wataru Sekita)
Neutrino scientist overcomes doubters on way to Nobel Prize
For years, critics scoffed at Takaaki Kajita’s suggestion concerning neutrinos. After all, the elementary particles were and remain a mystery to some of the sharpest minds on the planet.
Takaaki Kajita, this year's co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, receives flowers after a news conference on Oct. 6 at the University of Tokyo. (Shogo Koshida)
Nobel Prize recipient carried on work of mentors at neutrino detector site
Takaaki Kajita’s long list of people who helped him win the Nobel Prize in Physics this year included colleagues, local residents and construction workers. But special emphasis was given to two mentors who made possible his prize-winning discovery of oscillations in ghostly particles called neutrinos.
Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences’ Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry where Satoshi Omura provided research guidance to students on Oct. 6 in Tokyo’s Minato Ward (Takuya Isayama)
Nobel laureate Omura still a big presence at laboratory he led
The laboratory where Nobel laureate Satoshi Omura led researchers as head about a decade ago is still a key hub for scientists dreaming of similar success in the same field.
Takaaki Kajita (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kajita, McDonald win Nobel physics prize for neutrino oscillation discovery
STOCKHOLM--Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada have won the Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.
Satoshi Omura, distinguished professor emeritus at Kitasato University and a co-winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, enters the venue for a news conference in Tokyo amid applause on Oct. 5. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)
Nobel laureate Omura’s roots as a scientist were planted as a night school teacher
When Satoshi Omura moved to Tokyo to teach night classes at Sumida Technical High School in Koto Ward, the experience changed his life, bolstering his desire to become a scientist.
Takaaki Kajita (Shogo Koshida)
Kajita wins 2015 Nobel physics prize for breakthrough in neutrino research
Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics on Oct. 6 for the discovery of oscillations in atmospheric neutrinos, which indicate that the elusive subatomic particles have mass.
Satoshi Omura during a news conference in Tokyo on Oct. 5 (Wataru Sekita)
UPDATE: Omura wins 2015 Nobel medicine prize for discovering anti-parasitic drug
Japanese scientist Satoshi Omura was named a co-recipient of this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Oct. 5 for his work to eradicate parasitic diseases.
Microscopic images of artificial cells undergoing the process of replication published in the scientific journal Nature Communications (Provided by Tadashi Sugawara)
Japanese scientists cast light on origin of life by forming self-replicating cells
A team of Japanese scientists has inched closer to figuring out how the first cells emerged from the primordial soup that gave birth to life eons ago.
A bridled tern (Provided by Yamashina Institute for Ornithology)
Dead seabird found in Okinawa had flown 7,500 km from Persian Gulf
A migratory seabird that turned up dead in Okinawa Prefecture had apparently flown 7,500 kilometers to Japan from a small island in the Persian Gulf, the first confirmed case of avian migration between the regions.
Skywatchers enjoy the harvest moon while sitting on a railing in Sapporo at 5:47 p.m. on Sept. 27. (Kotaro Ebara)
Light of the harvest moon offers 'E.T.'-like photo opportunities across Japan
Like a scene from "E.T.," the brilliant harvest moon offered a stunning backdrop for photographers and unforgettable nighttime views for skywatchers across Japan on Sept. 27.
Haruko Obokata speaks at a news conference in Osaka in April 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nature concludes: STAP cells do not exist
The prestigious Nature magazine slammed the door on any lingering notions that STAP cells could exist, citing multiple experiments that proved the novel cell reprogramming phenomenon was completely fake.
An artist's rendition of gas emission from the S235AB region (the central part of a disc near the top) (Provided by Kagoshima University)
Study: Newly detected gas 'tornado' from protostar may reveal how a star is born
KAGOSHIMA--A team of astronomers has detected "tornado-shaped" gas emissions coming from a protostar, which is expected to help lead to the unlocking of the mechanism of how stars are formed.
A Japanese macaque captures a ptarmigan chick on Mount Higashi-Tenshodake in western Nagano Prefecture on Aug. 25. (Provided by Hiroshi Nakamura)
Researcher photographs macaque attacking endangered ptarmigan chick
A nightmarish scenario for environmental researchers has been proven, as photographs of a Japanese macaque consuming a ptarmigan chick, a protected species, in the Northern Japan Alps were released Aug. 31.
Volcanic fumes rise from the summit of Mount Ontakesan. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan plans an eruption in number of volcanologists
Japan might lie on the explosive Pacific Ring of Fire but it boasts a pitiful number of volcanologists, so few that they have been described as an "endangered species."
A fir tree that isn't growing according to the established pattern (Provided by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences)
Morphological defects found in Japanese fir trees around Fukushima nuclear plant
Radiation spewed out by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may be responsible for differences in the growth of native Japanese fir trees in the area.
A high school student, back row, right, asks astronaut Kimiya Yui, middle on the monitor screen, a question on Aug. 26 at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo’s Koto Ward. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, front row, left, is also in attendance. (Sayuri Ide)
Astronaut Yui says ISS mission helping to foster world peace
Astronaut Kimiya Yui says his biggest accomplishment on the International Space Station is working with people of other nationalities and contributing to world peace.
The genome of the California two-spot octopus has been decoded by scientists. (Provided by Michael LaBarbera)
Quick-witted octopus's genome decoded as scientists search for signs of its smartness
An octopus has many tricks up its tentacles and scientists are starting to understand why after decoding the genome of this remarkably intelligent animal.
The Kounotori 5 cargo spacecraft is captured with a robotic arm on the International Space Station by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui on Aug. 24. (From Kimiya Yui’s Twitter account)
Astronaut Yui 1st Japanese to catch Kounotori cargo craft at ISS
Astronaut Kimiya Yui maneuvered a robotic arm to capture an unmanned supply spacecraft for docking with the International Space Station, making him the first Japanese to accomplish the feat.
Replicas of tiles made in Ningbo, China, right, and excavated from the Hakata ruins, top left, and the Hakozaki ruins, bottom left. Those tiles were made using the same molds, according to researchers. (Shunsuke Nakamura)
Study: Medieval tiles found in Fukuoka were made in China in 12th century
Twelfth-century tiles excavated in Fukuoka city were produced in a Chinese coastal region, a confirmation that sheds light on trade between the Chinese Southern Song Dynasty and the medieval Hakata area, researchers said.

More AJW