On the morning of December 8, Ohsumi visited the Nobel Museum to follow the tradition of laureates signing a chair in the museum cafe.
Exhibition to commemorate Ohsumi
He signed his name, in both English and Japanese, on the same chair signed last year by Distinguished Emeritus Professor Satoshi Ōmura of Kitasato University, the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
Ohsumi's signature (bottom)
Chairs signed by Nobel Laureates
The professor also donated two items, which he had received as gifts from people affiliated with his laboratory, to the Nobel Museum. One of them, a figurine of himself using a microscope, was given to him in June 2015 to celebrate his seventieth birthday and to congratulate him on winning the 2015 Canada Gairdner International Award. The figurine depicts Ohsumi observing autophagy in yeast cells for the first time in history. The other item was a molecular structure model related to his Nobel Prize-winning research theme of autophagy, which was he received at a celebratory reception when he won the Kyoto Prize in November 2012.
Items donated to Nobel Museum
In the museum shop, a silver necklace resembling the molecular geometry of an autophagy-related protein (which was determined by a researcher who worked in collaboration with Ohsumi) was on sale for about 30,000 yen. Visitors from Tokyo Tech, including the professor himself, bought chocolate Nobel medals as souvenirs.
Silver necklace with autophagy design
Chocolate Nobel medals — a popular souvenir
Ohsumi's speech after his Nobel Lecture
In the afternoon, the professor attended a celebratory reception held at the Embassy of Japan in Sweden. Ohsumi and his wife looked like newlyweds when they made an appearance on a terrace opposite the main stage. The professor gave a speech to an excited audience about his feelings following his Nobel Lecture.
After exchanging greetings, Ohsumi handed a bottle of Japanese sake to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr. Jun Yamazaki. The label on the bottle incorporates illustrations of autophagy.
Guests from Japan and other countries then congratulated Ohsumi and waited in line for a photograph with him.
Note: To view the sake bottle label design, see Tokyo Tech News: Honorary Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi pays a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe.
Following the reception, Ohsumi and his wife attended a press conference for Japanese journalists. At the conference the professor explained, "I talked about autophagy in the lecture, but it was very difficult to cover everything in the limited time frame, because the research area is so wide." He added, "I'm very fortunate to have wonderful lab mates, and I'm still learning a lot from 'lessons from yeast' — my research credo." Commenting on the future, he said, "We won't make progress in science if the number of young researchers who surpass their seniors doesn't increase." Mariko Ohsumi said she was relieved her husband had finished his lecture and that she was looking forward to enjoying the rest of the Nobel Week festivities.
In the evening, Ohsumi attended the Nobel Prize Concert held at Stockholm Concert Hall. The audience was enthralled by the performance, dynamic conducting, and beautiful violins. The professor also seemed to have enjoyed the concert, commenting, "I had a wonderful time."
Stockholm Concert Hall illuminated
Nobel Laureates enjoying the concert