Born in Ehime Prefecture in 1957. After graduating from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, he worked at the Nissan Motor Design Center. Since 1987, he has been working as a freelance designer, designing a wide range of industrial products from wristwatches to railroad cars, and from 1991 to 1994 he was an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. In 1994, he founded Leading Edge Design. As an engineer as well as a designer, he has developed humanoid robots and Japanese input device as self-funded projects. He has also contributed to the development of communication infrastructure technologies such as the Willcom W-SIM core module and NTT DoCoMo’s “Osaifu-Keitai”. In the development of the Suica automatic ticket checker, he dramatically improved the recognition rate based on experiments and became a key person in its practical application. He has been a professor at Keio University since 2008 and at the University of Tokyo since 2013. In the Yamanaka Laboratory at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, he is promoting projects that suggest the future relationship of humans and advanced technology, such as beautiful prosthetic legs for athletes and creature-like robots using additive manufacturing technology (3D printing).
He has received many awards, including the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Ars Electronica STARTS, the Japan Good Design Award (in 2006, he won two Gold Awards and the Ecology Design Award simultaneously), the iF Design Award, the Mainichi Design Award, and the Innovation Design Award (Red Dot), A’Design Pratinum Awaords and many others.