An award based on the donation for the purpose to nurture junior scientists.


“Kohsuke Yagi Quark Matter Award” (Yagi Award) is based on the donation to iTHEMS from bereaved family of late Professor Kohsuke Yagi who was a renowned Japanese nuclear physicist. Responding to the family request, the award aims to support early career scientists with Japanese nationality, to promote and expand country's nuclear physics research field. It will be awarded to junior Japanese physicists under age of 40 who give plenary talk at the “Quark Matter: International Conference on Ultra-relativistic Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions” held in every 1.5 years.

Steering Committee

  • Tetsuo Hatsuda (Director, RIKEN iTHEMS), Chair
  • Shoji Nagamiya (Professor Emeritus, KEK)
  • Tetsufumi Hirano(Professor, Sophia Uinversity)
  • Yasuo Miake(Professor, University of Tsukuba)

Supported by

  • QCD Matter Open Forum (QCDMOF)


2019 Yagi Award

Yukinao Akamatsu (award winner, right), Tetsuo Hatsuda (left)

Dr. Yukinao Akamatsu (Assistant Professor, Osaka University)

Thank you very much for choosing me as the first recipient of the prestigious Yagi Award. In awarding this prize, I would like to thank all of my collaborators, especially Tetsuo Hatsuda, Tetsufumi Hirano, Alexander Rothkopf, Chiho Nonaka, Derek Teaney, Aleksas Mazeliauskas and Masayuki Asakawa.

In accepting this award, I was very much impressed by Prof. Kohsuke Yagi's story of his significant change of research theme from low-energy nuclear physics to high-energy heavy-ion collisions. I was given the opportunity to give a talk at Quark Matter 2019 on a different topic from what I considered my specialty. I remembered those days when I saw this as both a pinch and an opportunity to renew the direction of my research. Although my efforts have not yet been accomplished, the award ceremony this day has strengthened my feeling. I look forward to working with all of you in our future collaborations.

Dr. Yukinao Akamatsu at Quark Matter 2019 on Nov. 7, 2019
Dr. Yukinao Akamatsu at Quark Matter 2019 on Nov. 7, 2019

2022 Yagi Award

Toshihiro Nonaka (award winner, right), Tetsuo Hatsuda (left)

Dr. Toshihiro Nonaka (Assistant Professor, University of Tsukuba)

It is a great honor for me to receive the Yagi Award. I had known Prof. Kohsuke Yagi as a professor emeritus at the University of Tsukuba and through his famous books on nuclear physics, but I never dreamed that I would receive an award bearing his name.

I am grateful to all the wonderful researchers I have met in Japan and abroad. In particular, I would like to thank my supervisor when I was a graduate student, Shinichi Esumi at the University of Tsukuba, Nu Xu at LBL, and Masakiyo Kitazawa at Osaka University, with whom I have had many collaborative research projects.

I am still an inexperienced researcher, but with the help of many people, I will continue to push forward with my research, aiming to find the QCD critical point.

Dr. Toshihiro Nonaka at Quark Matter 2022 on April 9, 2022

2023 Yagi Award

Yuuka Kanakubo (award winner, right), Tetsuo Hatsuda (left)

Dr. Yuuka Kanakubo (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

I am deeply grateful, first and foremost, to the bereaved family of Prof. Kohsuke Yagi and the steering committee of the Yagi award for providing me with the opportunity to receive this prestigious award. 

I received the award being selected as a plenary speaker at the Quark Matter 2023, and I attribute this honor to the warm support of those who kindly watch over young scientists like me in the research field. The topic on which I delivered the plenary talk was "Collective Dynamics." It initially seemed like a vast and challenging subject, especially for me as a first-year postdoc. Therefore, it was a tremendous honor for me to provide an overview of such a topic. It also afforded me a valuable opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current situation of dynamical modeling of relativistic nuclear collisions.

Looking ahead, I aspire to be even more active and contribute to fostering the activities of young scientists. I believe that such contributions will play a significant role in advancing the understanding of the physics of quark gluon plasma. 

Dr. Yuuka Kanakubo at Quark Matter 2023 on September 9, 2023
Dr. Yuuka Kanakubo at Quark Matter 2023 on September 9, 2023

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