You Can Eliminate Loneliness

by Kentaro Yoshifuji

ISBN978-4-7631-3566-7 C0030

271 pages / March 2017 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)

There is no correct way to live life. After three-and-a-half years of not attending school, author Kentaro Yoshifuji earned an accolade at the world’s top science contest, jump-starting his career in robotics research. This book is about his fight to eliminate loneliness.


From 11 to 14 years old, he was a social recluse tormented by loneliness, keeping him from being able to attend school. During the summer of what was supposed to be his first year of junior high school, he participated in a robotics contest on a whim and miraculously won first prize.


After meeting a teacher who would become an important mentor for Yoshifuji, he enrolled in high school. At this time, he invented a groundbreaking wheelchair design that earned him praise at a world-renowned high school science contest called Intel ISEF. However, despite his great achievements, and with his dark past still lingering over him, he felt uneasy and unsure of what his purpose in life was.


This is the first book telling the true story of the robot communicator in a black coat, an internationally renowned researcher of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient communication who invented the “OriHime” robot.


Kentaro Yoshifuji is making a breakthrough and challenging common knowledge with his methods, studying robotics using “sense” rather than “theory.” He shares his thought processes that have opened doors to the possibilities of human achievement.

From the table of contents

– Avatar robot “OriHime”

– Things that can be done alone are best done alone

– What I learned from just getting my feet moving

– Why are my working clothes black?

– My childhood when I couldn’t get along with others

– Nobody will complain to you if you’re at the top

– Escape from social withdrawal

– Go to school when you want to

– Becoming a teacher’s apprentice

– Compensate for a lack of social skills with other skills

– Challenging myself to enter Japan’s top science contest

– Meeting high school students from around the world in an international competition

– Facing the problem of loneliness

– What is the cure for loneliness?

– Outdoor activities taught me important lessons

– Why do we sometimes anthropomorphize things?

– I couldn’t find a laboratory I wanted to join, so I made my own

– Developing a robot by myself

– Eliminate loneliness in ALS patients

– As days go by, strong supporters reveal themselves

– Challenging myself

  And more…

From the editor "Naoki"

02hen_naoki   Kentaro “Ory” Yoshifuji’s fascinating research and career have gained him respect and support from people in various fields, such as  doctors, presidents of brokerage firms, CEOs of venture companies, researchers, authors and engineers. He researches diligently into how to eliminate human loneliness, something that any one of us could fall victim to. This book on how to eliminate loneliness took two years to write, and I truly hope it finds those who need it most.    


Kentaro Yoshifuji

Kentaro Yoshifuji was born in Nara Prefecture, Japan, in 1987. He is the representative director of the research establishment OryLab Inc. He didn’t attend school from the 5th grade in elementary school to the 2nd grade in junior high school. He later attended industrial high school where he invented a new mechanism for electric wheelchairs and won the Ministry of Education Award at the Japan Science & Engineering Challenge (JSEC). He then went on to win the Grand Award 3rd Prize at Intel ISEF, the largest pre-college scientific research event in the world. His own healing experience and the voices of the many people who asked him for advice influenced him to make “eliminating human loneliness” his life mission. With this goal in mind, from 2009 he devoted himself to robotics research and development at Waseda University. He established OryLab Inc. in 2012. He won the Most Outstanding Young Person’s Awards, is the Japanese representative for Stanford University’s E-boot Camp, was recognized in AERA magazine as a top promising young leader, and was listed in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 2016 Asia.