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A Word from the Director of the ARC




 The Art Research Center was established in 1998. Since then, the Center's mission has been not only to conduct historical and social research and analyses of both tangible and intangible human cultural properties such as visual and performing arts and craftsmanship, but also to record, organize, preserve, and disseminate the research outcomes. Since its establishment, the center has brought together the wisdom of researchers from different fields on the premise of integration of and collaboration between the humanities and information science. Moreover, we have been conducting joint research and project-based research -- a unique undertaking in humanities -- through external funds such as those from the Project for Promoting Advancement of Academic Research at Private Universities.

 Since the 2000s, we have been engaged in a number of projects, particularly being selected to conduct the Kyoto Art Entertainment Innovation Research (FY 2002-2006), a 21st Century COE (Center for Excellence) Program designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Under this project, we promoted Japanese culture research that integrates information science with traditional humanities. Based on the success of this project, the Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures (FY 2007-2011) was designated as a Global COE Program center by the MEXT. As a major hub for digital humanities in Japan, we have been engaging in the nurturing of young researchers while promoting international collaboration.
 In order to elevate and effectively utilize the vast amount of digitized data on tangible and intangible Japanese cultural resources, the techniques required, and the networking with people at related organizations in and outside of Japan we have acquired through our research efforts and educational activities, the Center applied to the MEXT to be accredited as a Joint Usage / Research Center, and was designated a Digital Archive Research Center for Japanese Cultural Resources (FY 2014-2019). Most recently, the Center has assumed its role as the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art & Culture (ARC-iJAC) upon being accredited by the MEXT as an International Joint Usage / Research Center (October 2019 - present).

Our specific goals are given as follows:

  • To make the vast amount of database of resources on Japanese culture kept at the Art Research Center available to joint researchers in and outside of Japan, while providing the hitherto accumulated digital archiving and database management technologies as the basis for research project activities to promote information archiving and the circulating of joint research on knowledge.
  • To widely implement public recruit in and outside of Japan for Digital Humanities research projects to contribute to the creation of a broader research community than conventionally available, while utilizing the network of people at overseas Japanese culture research centers established thus far (including art museums and museums).
  • To develop, propose and share practical methods in regard to the passing of highly specialized cultural resources database on to future generations.

 Through these undertakings, the Center aims to "become a world class research center" in the field of Digital Humanities by working with researchers at other universities and research organizations, collaborating with influential research organizations in and outside of Japan, training young researchers, effectively transmitting our research achievements, as well as giving back to the society. We look forward to continued support from everyone interested in the Center's research efforts.