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“Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures” Project

 The “Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures” project is an undertaking by Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto that stems from the 21st COE Program Kyoto Art Entertainment Innovation Research project which has resulted in digital archives and databases of tangible and intangible cultural assets related to Kyoto and Japanese culture with the aim of integrating humanities and information technology. The project has already achieved top national level with over 1 million data entries, and with information technologies such as multimedia digital archiving greatly enhancing research environments and methods and acting as information and social portals, the project shown that our Center has the potential to become a hub for institutes of Japanese research worldwide.

 In the west the academic field called Digital Humanities has been established to harness digital technologies in humanities research. This is precisely what we aim to develop through the activities of the Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures. Currently, research on Japanese culture overseas is heading further towards network-oriented undertakings, greatly dividing Japanese and overseas researchers in terms of research methodology and objectives.

 With such world cutting-edge research trend in mind, the ARC focuses on becoming an educational center based on the graduate school and nurturing researchers of Japanese culture who are competent to conduct research overseas with a global viewpoint. Through this concept, we are literally developing globally with plans to collaborate with top-class research institutes and museums, including the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, the British Museum, and the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies at Columbia University.