Collaborative Research (Joint Usage/Research Center Program)

Type A Seminars
Research Subjects Coordinator
Interdisciplinary Studies on the Historical Development of the Tibeto-Himalayan Civilization IWAO, Kazushi (2015.4-2018.3)
Reconstructing Post WWII Japanese Film History through Oral History Archives TANIGAWA, Takeshi (2016.4-2019.3)
Foucauldian Studies : Reassessment and New Developments in the Human Sciences KOIZUMI, Yoshiyuki (2017.4-2020.3)


Type B Seminars
Research Subjects Coordinator
What is the ‘Modern World’?: A Study from the Viewpoint of Humanities OKADA, Akeo
KOSEKI, Takashi (2015.4-2018.3)
A Study on "Wenshi Tongyi" KOGACHI, Ryōichi (2015.4-2018.3)
Brahmanism and Hinduism: Change and Continuity in South Asian Society and Religion FUJII, Masato (2016.4-2019.3)
Chain Reactions and Transformations in the Meanings of Racism in Asia TAKEZAWA, Yasuko (2016.4-2019.3)
Empirical Research on Digital Analysis of Classical Chinese Texts YASUOKA, Kōichi (2016.4-2019.3)
Social and Economic Institutions in China during the Periods of Transition MURAKAMI, Ei (2016.4-2019.3)
Interaction and Acculturation of Knowledge between the East and the West: A Pan-Asian Approach toward the History of Science in Asia TAKEDA, Tokimasa (2017.4-2020.3)
Exploring Life and Creation: The Studies of Umwelten FUJIHARA, Tatsushi,
ISHII, Miho (2017.4-2020.3)


Type C Seminars
Research Subjects Coordinator
A Study of the Vādhūla Śrautasūtra IKARI, Yasuke
FUJII, Masato (2015.4-2018.3)
A Perspective of Umesao Studies TANAKA, Masakazu (2015.4.-2017.3)
Studies on the Buddhist Cave-temples of the Northern Dynasties OKAMURA, Hidenori (2015.4-2018.3)
A Study on Frontiers and Trans-frontiers in Pre-modern Eurasia INABA, Minoru (2015.4-2018.3)
A Study on Mao Zedong from the Viewpoint of Humanities ISHIKAWA, Sadahiro (2015.4-2018.3)
Sources of Ancient Chinese History ASAHARA, Tatsuro (2016.3-2019.3)
Fundamental Research of the Kanseki Repository WITTERN, Christian (2016.4-2021.3)
Buddhist Sutras and Doctrines for Chinese Laity FUNAYAMA, Tōru (2016.4-2020.3)
A Bibliographic Research on Old Chinese Books Previously Housed in the Kyoto Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture YAGI, Takeshi (2016.4-2021.3)
Study on the Excavated Manuscripts of the Qin Dynasty MIYAKE, Kiyoshi (2016.4-2021.3)
Modern Kyoto and Culture TAKAGI, Hiroshi (2017.4-2020.3)



Type A

Interdisciplinary Studies on the Historical Development of the Tibeto-Himalayan Civilization

Coordinater: IWAO, Kazushi (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
This research team aims to re-evaluate the historical position of the civilization of Himalaya-Tibetan region in the context of Eurasian history. For this goal, The team accumulates latest academic knowledge of various aspects, such as a social system, religion, ritual and language, on historical and long-term cultural exchanges between the region and surrounding civilizations, and analyze its historical development from various angles. The Himalaya-Tibet region has developed its unique civilization under the influences of surrounding prior civilizations. Assimilating Buddhism in the society made Tibetan civilization more powerful and since then it has widely expanded its influence towards Mongol plateau and Eastern Asia. Even after the middle of the 20th century, when PRC annexed the region, it still remains its influence so as to to reach into Europe and the United States. One has to consider how the Tibetan civilization gained its powerfullness and flexibility, and also trace how it conflicted and found the way to be harmonized with surrounding civilizations. To make clear these issues, the project will analyze the various aspects of multi contact between Tibet and other civilizations.
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Reconstructing Post WWII Japanese Film History through Oral History Archives

Coordinater: TANIGAWA, Takeshi (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
Film Studies in Japan tends to focus on textual analyses performed by researchers from various fields of the humanities, such as aesthetics or literature. The approach to films from the point of view of social sciences, such as studies of film industry, cultural systems, cultural policies, or the effect on the audience, is currently lacking. Nevertheles, before film started being understood as art, it developed as “show business” or as entertainment, and how a film was made, how it was shown to the audience, and how that audience received it are matters of equal importance to the textual analysis of the film. Researchers from the humanities usually focus on the film director or cinematographer, but there are many other types of staff in film business whom the researcher should focus on, such as scripters, sword fighting choreographers, production designers as well as distributors, publicity staff, theater staff, etc. The existence of the “movie fan,” as the subject at the receiving end of the film, is also important. This research project aims to shed light on the characteristics of the development of film culture, focusing on its social and economic aspects , through archiving the experience of the people who participated in the creation of film culture in various forms.
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Foucauldian Studies : Reassessment and New Developments in the Human Sciences

Coordinater: KOIZUMI, Yoshiyuki (2017.4 - 20209.3)
Outline of the Research
At the center of Michel Foucault’s colossal work, whose corpus is nowadays almost completed, one finds his attempts at a historical criticism of the “human sciences” originating in Western modernity. Foucault’s work, which lies at the intersection of reviews of empirical research and philosophical speculation, has a wide political and practical range, which is not reducible to simple epistemology; it constitutes an indispensable reference in human and social sciences, the value of which is more and more important in today's world.Yet, among the attempts to apply Foucauldian methodology in one’s own field by either adopting or criticizing Foucault’s position, those that analyze in depth the changes as well as the inherent consistency of his work are not numerous. Moreover, while Foucault’s work is mainly examined from within the framework of the history of philosophy or the history of ideas, attempts at determining the significance of Foucault’s own reexamination of the historical and contemporary movements in the different fields of “human sciences” remain rare.The objective of this research seminar is to enable leading researchers in various fields of the “human sciences" to work together in order to bring out the significance of Foucault’s work in its totality, and to determine the historical value and actual potential of Foucault’s criticism of the “human sciences”.
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Type B

What is the ‘Modern World’?: A Study from the Viewpoint go Humanities

Coordinater: OKADA, Akeo; KOSEKI, Takashi (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
This project intends to further the academic achievements of the previous project, ‘”A Trans- disciplinary Study of the First World War”’, and to examine them in the larger context of modern/twentieth century history. As a foundational moment of the ‘’modern world’’, the First World War brought about various ‘’modern’’ questions, some of which have been answered, while others remain unresolved. Some of them have changed their appearance, keeping their essence intact. Topics to be examined in our project are: the transformation of democracy, the changing relationship between globalism and localism/nationalism, the rise of paramilitary violence and terrorism, the rise and decline of ‘modern’ arts, the continuity and discontinuity between ‘kindai’ and ‘gendai’, and so on. The subtitle of the project, ‘’from the viewpoint of humanities’’, implies an ontological question, that is: in the age following ‘the ‘crisis of European sciences’’ (Edmund Husserl), can humanities effectively tackle the questions posed by the ‘’modern world’’?
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A Study on "Wenshi tongyi"

Coordinater: KOGACHI, Ryūichi (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
Zhang Xuecheng (1738–-1801) was an eminent Qing Dynasty historian especially famous for his historical theory expressed in his magnum opus, On Literature and History. The book clarifies the meaning of philological writings and historiography in the Chinese culture from the ancient time to the Qing dynasty; thus, it should be read more closely and from the standpoint of various disciplines. To clarify the framework of On Literature and History, we shall employ a multifaceted approach and thoroughly translate its “Inner part” into Japanese, with precise annotations. This series of translations will be published in the Tōhō gakuhō (journal of the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto Universities).
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Brahmanism and Hinduism: Change and Continuity in South Asian Society and Religion

Coordinater: FUJII, Masato (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
Brahmanism and Hinduism, although the latter succeeded the former historically, have coexisted, mingled, and influenced each other as two fundamental religious and social systems in India. The present three-year research project intends to shed fresh light on change and continuity in South Asian society and religion by studying the diachronic and synchronic relationships between Brahmanism, Hinduism, and other religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, which have kept a certain distance from these two mainstreams.
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Chain Reactions and Transformations in the Meanings of Racism in Asia

Coordinater: TAKEZAWA, Yasuko (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
Most of the existing literature on racism has dealt with people of color as research subjects. However, racism in Asia cannot be explained within such a color-based paradigm. For example, racism exercised by “Japanese” people, who are non-“whites,” involves the process of racialization of physically invisible, marginalized groups, by the distinction between the self and the other through political, economic, and legal systems. Furthermore, this intersects with the ambivalent gaze towards “white” Westerners, making racism in Asia multi-layered and complex. In this collaborative research project, we study the reception and transformation of racism in Asia, by examining intellectual and scientific discourses, popular culture, and other related materials from a cross-regional perspective.
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Empirical Research on Digital Analysis of Classical Chinese Texts

Coordinater: YASUOKA, Kōichi (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
In our recent research we have developed a method to analyze classical Chinese texts. In our method, we use an original morphological analyzer based on MeCab. We proposed an original four-level word-class system for classical Chinese on the MeCab-based analyzer. We designed the top level of the word-class system to represent the predicate-object structure of classical Chinese. The second level is the ordinary word-class of classical Chinese, consisting of: “nouns,” “pronouns,” “numerals,” “verbs,” “prepositions,” “adverbs,” “auxiliary verbs,” “particles,” and “interjections.” The third and fourth levels are word-subclasses describing the detailed behavior of the words in classical Chinese texts. In other words, we excluded the “adjective” from the second level of our word-class system, without precisely examining the effect of the lack of the category “adjective” would have on our morphological analyzer. In this research we will examine the effectiveness of our four-level word-class system,focusing on the categories of “verb,” “preposition,” “adverb,” and “auxiliary verb” in the second level. We will also examine the validity of the third and fourth levels of our word-class system.
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Social and Economic Institutions in China during the Periods of Transition

Coordinater: MURAKAMI, Ei (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
In this study, we examine how institutions such as customs, common sense, rules, orders, and behavioral patterns regulating Chinese society and economy, were preserved or transformed during periods of transition, i.e. from late Ming to early Qing, from late Qing to early Republican, or after the 1980’s. The economic developments that have taken place in China during the last 20 years have attracted many foreigners seeking business opportunities. As the contact opportunities increased both in and out of China, various conflicts arose because of cultural and behavioral differences between the native Chinese and the foreigners. Thus, it became important for us to understand the social and economic institutions in China. On the other hand, recent studies about global history have contributed to the advancement of comparative historical studies, mainly in the English-speaking world. However, these studies do not fully explain the “great divergence” between Western Europe and China, or the “small divergence” between China and Japan since the nineteenth century. This is because they do not properly understand the regional differences in social and economic institutions”. This project aims to carefully investigate Chinese social and economic institutions from various angles, in order to address the issues mentioned above.
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Interaction and Acculturation of Knowledge between the East and the West: A Pan-Asian Approach toward the History of Science in Asia

Coordinater: TAKEDA, Tokimasa (2017.4 - 2020.3)
Outline of the Research
In the pursuit of understanding nature, texts, artefacts and cultural knowledge from foreign lands often play a stimulating role and, in some cases, bring about major conceptual breakthroughs. In the case of China, the science and technology introduced from the "Western world", i.e., India, the Islamic world and Europe, had a profound, revolutionary effect. Via China, this body of scientific and technological knowledge was further transmitted to Korea, Japan and Vietnam, where it underwent different forms of indigenization. In pre-modern Japan, while the influence of new culture from China continued to be felt, scientific knowledge from the Jesuit missionaries and the Dutch was also directly introduced. Thus, a unique hybrid of pre-modern Japanese scientific culture was formed. This research project focuses on the Buddhist astronomy exemplified by texts such as the Xiuyao jing 宿曜經, and the reception of "Western knowledge" during the late Ming and early Qing periods. By examining the formation and transformation of cosmology and theories on nature and life, we hope to shed light on the interaction between, and the acculturation of, knowledge from the East and the West, and to ultimately reveal the underlying structure of traditional Asian science from a pan-Asian perspective.
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Exploring Life and Creation: The Studies of Umwelten

Coordinater: FUJIHARA, Tatsushi; ISHII, Miho (2017.4 - 2020.3)
Outline of the Research
By focusing on the lives, skills, interactions, and boundaries of both humans and nonhuman beings, this research explores a new field in the humanities. Jakob von Uexküll, a German biologist, has proposed the idea of Umwelt, i.e., the unique and entwined relationship between a creature and its environment. This notion presents a novel perspective by which to pluralize the ‘natural worlds’ of creatures, thus criticizing the anthropocentric idea of a sole ‘world’. The notion of Umwelt has provoked broad arguments in both the natural and the human sciences. The influence of Uexküll’s work can be found, for instance, in Viktor von Weizsäcker’s influential book Der Gestaltkreis, and also in the work of Bin Kimura. Moreover, since the 1990s, we find an interesting common trend in various fields of the humanities: studies of the environment are flourishing in history, new research in human-nonhuman relations is developing in anthropology, and inquiries into human-animal relations and ethology are evident in philosophy. This development shows that the humanities have now broadened their reach beyond anthropocentrism and are now aiming to expound new approaches to the exploration of the lives and lived worlds of both human and nonhuman beings. This research project, which is based on both philosophical arguments and concrete case studies, investigates the comprehensive issues concerning life and Umwelt. It tackles various critical topics, such as agriculture, natural and man-made disasters, mining developments, religious practices, illness and care, and scientific technology. Through a thorough investigation of the lives of, and the interaction between human and nonhuman beings, as well as of their unique Umwelt, this project seeks to understand the ‘worlding’ of human beings as a part of life on the planet.
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Type C

A Study of the Vādhūla Śrautasūtra

Coordinater: IKARI, Yasuke; FUJII, Masato (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
The main purpose of this joint study is the examination of the ritual manuals of the Vādhūla school of the Yajurveda, whose original manuscripts were discovered by the coordinator of this joint study in the Kerala State of South India. The texts of the Vādhūla school had been taken up by the scholars with the secondary defective manuscripts only available back at the time. The discovery of the new original manuscripts has drastically changed the situation and we are now in a far better position to get almost the full picture of the original texts of this Vādhūla school. We have been preparing the editions of the fundamental texts of this school which have been requested by the scholars of Vedic philology. In this joint study, we proceed to take up the texts of two significant rituals of the Vedic Śrautasūtra, and conduct comprehensive examinations of them. They are the rituals of the Soma (Agniṣṭoma) and the Construction of the Fire-altar (Agnicayana). The former is the central core of the entire Vedic ritual tradition starting from the Rig Veda, the oldest Vedic literature, and the latter represents the culmination of the history of Vedic culture, the reformation and restructure both social and cultural of the middle Vedic age. Our researches will be carried out by combining two types of studies: one is joint reading and examination of the manuscripts of the concerned portions of the Vādhūla Śrautasūtra (6th, 7th and 8th Chapters) by all the members, and the other one consisting of the respective reports of important topics from the concerned rituals by the coordinator and the members. Our plan at the end of the joint study is to publish a critical edition and an annotated English translation of the three chapters of the Vādhūla Śrautasūtra.
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A Perspective of Umesao Studies

Coordinater: TANAKA, Masakazu (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
This three-year long project focuses on the works of the late Tadao Umesao and his colleagues. Umesao's major articles and books are found in his Collected Works published by Chuokoron-shinsha, but there are many published articles not included in the above collection, which we will focus on. We will also study his dialogues and discussions with other academics published in books and journals. The Institute for Research in Humanities has numerous recorded tapes of his seminars, and this project is the first attempt to analyze them in a systematic way. In addition, we will try to understand the mutual influences among Umesao and his colleagues. This project will be developed in close collaboration with the National Museum of Ethnology, where Umesao became Founding Director in 1974.
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Studies on the Buddhist Cave-temples in the Northern Dynasties

Coordinater: OKAMURA, Hidenori (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
The Yungang Caves, located near the city of Datong in Shanxi province in China, are a group of Buddhist cave-temples excavated (built?) in the second half of the fifth century by the Northern Wei dynasty. Between 1938 and 1944, following the investigations of the Xiangtangshan Caves in the Hebei province and the Longmen Caves in the Henan province, the Research Institute of Oriental Culture, the predecessor of the Institute for Research in Humanities at Kyoto University, carried out investigations of the Yungang Caves and the neighboring sites. A report of these investigations was published by Mizuno Seiichi and Nagahiro Toshio, in the form of the voluminous Yunkang (1951-1956) in 16 volumes and 32 fascicules . This research seminar sets about researching the visual materials and field notes collected during these investigations with the goal of systematically digitizing them and actively promoting their further use by making them available to the public.
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A Study on the Frontier and Trans-frontier in Pre-modern Eurasia

Coordinater: INABA, Minoru (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
Eurasia has been divided into several historical/ cultural spheres since ancient times. We can, however, observe considerably vigorous interactions and exchanges across the frontiers/ boundaries of these spheres in the pre-modern period. It is almost certain that the trans-frontier activities, namely the activities which brought various people, objects, and notions from beyond the frontier, provided each sphere with historical and cultural dynamism. However, it is not at all an easy task to address questions about the reasons why these spheres were essentially divided and have been maintained as separate, as the answer may be deeply related to the fundamental subsistence of human society and culture. In this research seminar, issues such as the physical background of the emergence of each historical/ cultural sphere in pre-modern Eurasia, as well as how trans-frontier activities were made possible, are to be addressed, employing various viewpoints and methodologies, in order to contribute to the general understanding of the frontier.
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A Study on Mao Zedong from the Viewpoint of Humanities

Coordinater: ISHIKAWA, Yoshihiro (2015.4 - 2018.3)
Outline of the Research
After his death in 1976, Mao Zedong's importance has, at least on the surface, been wearing thin all over China. In contemporary China, however, his legacy remains significant, affecting the patterns of thinking of the people in general, and has become a kind of icon of the anti-inequality sentiment among the people. On the other hand, the image of Mao as a commanding leader is shared by the current political leadership of China and determines the discourse about the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Although it seems that much ink has been spent on Mao, there are still many unanswered questions. In this research seminar, we shall investigate various aspects of Mao, mainly from the viewpoint of humanities, focusing on his image in history, literature, art, and so on.
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Sources of Ancient Chinese History

Coordinater: ASAHARA, Tatsuro (2016.4 - 2019.3)
Outline of the Research
This is an introductory seminar for interested members who wish to study ancient Chinese history, especially that of the pre-Qin period. By reading basic articles and historical sources, participating members will be able to develop their understanding and increase their knowledge on the topic. They are also expected to help each other to this end.
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Fundamental Research of the Kanseki Repository

Coordinater: WITTERN, Christian (2016.4 - 2021.3)
Outline of the Research
The research seminar “Fundamental Topics in Digital Humanities” held from April 2013 to March 2016 produced as one of its results a first preliminary release of a comprehensive repository of premodern Chinese texts based on clear philological principles called “Kanseki Repository” (www.kanripo.org). However, due to the limited time, only a very rough draft could be produced and some important texts are still missing. This seminar will follow up on these results by improving the scope and descriptory depth of the texts and by developing exemplary methods for using the repository for answering specific research questions. Among these, support for the creation of text-critical editions and a general survey of the characters used in the Repository are on the agenda, but the actual plan will be developed by the members upon start of the seminar.
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Buddhist Sutras and Doctrines for Chinese Laity

Coordinater: FUNAYAMA, Tōru (2016.4 - 2020.3)
Outline of the Research
Various developments of Chinese Buddhism achieved during the 4th-7th centuries were led not only by monastics but also by the laity, for example emperors and literati. Questions such as: "How should we evaluate the quality of lay understanding of Buddhist doctrines?” or “What limitations did the laity’s understanding of Buddhist doctrine have?” can prove surprisingly difficult to answer. Building on the achievements of research seminars on Chinese religion formerly conducted at this institute, the present research seminar aims at a careful reading of materials such as The Expanded Collection for Glorifying and Elucidating the Law (Guang hong ming ji, 7th c.), in order to come up with a clear picture of lay Buddhism.
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A Bibliographic Research on Old Chinese Books Previously Housed in the Kyoto Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture

Coordinater: YAGI, Takeshi (2016.4 - 2021.3)
Outline of the Research
The Kyoto Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture was established in 1929 using a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and it has hence developed into the Department of Oriental Studies of the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University. The Institute has inherited all the old Chinese books that were once housed in the old one, and the details of the collection can be seen in the Catalogue of Old Chinese Books housed in the Kyoto Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture, published in 1938. This collection is well known and highly valued in the academic world, particularly because it contains a series of books that once belonged to Tao Xiang, a famous bookkeeper in Tianjin, China. Our research project reexamines the information in the Catalogue and attempts to enhance the accuracy of the Kanseki database, an online resource based on the Catalogue. The project involves the creation of an additional database on the prefaces and postscripts of the books. It will also involve the collection of information about Ex-libris Ownership Stamps and their publication in pictorial books. In the near future, as part of the celebrations of the 90th and 100th anniversaries of the institute, exhibitions will be held with the objective of reviewing and restructuring oriental studies in Japan.
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Study on the Excavated Manuscripts of the Qin Dynasty

Coordinater: MIYAKE, Kiyoshi (2016.4 - 2021.3)
Outline of the Research
In 2002, city remains dating from the Zhanguo to the Han period were excavated near the village of Liye, Longshan, Hunan province, and over 38,000 strips and boards were discovered. These strips comprise administrative documents dated from 222BCE to 208BCE. This suggests that the area around Liye, a small mountain village located near the boundary of Hunan, Hubei, and Chongqing, was incorporated into the Qin administrative system after the unification carried out by the First Emperor. In this project, we will examine these manuscripts closely, in order to shed light on the political system of the early Chinese emperor. In addition to the Liye discoveries, we will also analyse several Qin strips of unknown origin, which had been smuggled to Hong Kong and recently (in 2003) repatriated by the Yuelu Academy of Hunan University. Several parts of this material, including calendars and records of judicial processes during the Qin, have been already published. Photos and transcriptions of the Qin statutes and ordinances that were found among these strips will also appear soon. Utilizing this material, we intend to achieve our above-mentioned goal.
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Modern Kyoto and Culture

Coordinater: TAKAGI, Hiroshi (2017.4 - 2020.3)
Outline of the Research
This research project will look at modern Kyoto and modern culture, examining them in relation to each other. Kyoto, nowadays visited by more than 55 million people every year, is the most popular tourist city in the world. The city has been often described with expressions reminiscent of an elegant, aristocratic culture, such as “Kyoto, where the Japanese culture was born,” “the culture of hospitality”, which have also become the promotional lines for the relocation of the Agency of Cultural Affairs to Kyoto. Such images of Kyoto were clearly constructed politically and socially during the modern period. With this in mind, we would like to reconsider several topics concerning the culture of modern Kyoto, including the issue of marginality, the life of the common people, sexuality in the red-light districts and the problem of discrimination, etc. We will also investigate the political significance of culture and its relations to local communities. The project members, specialists in various fields such as history, politics, education, social movements, economy, society, religion, knowledge, arts, cinema, literature, architecture, and garden design, among others, will step outside their areas of expertise to rethink the culture of modern Kyoto in a broader framework. Based on the results of collaborative research projects that we have conducted so far, i.e., "Research on Modern Kyoto" (2003-05), "Research on Modern “Old Capital”" (2006-10), "Modern Emperor System and Society" (2011-16), we plan to initiate a joint research project, where we will approach the topic of locality from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective..
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