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A special feature on the 10-year anniversary of the Ritsumeikan Center for Games Studies (RCGS) has been published in Ritsumeikan University's Research Report 'RADIANT', issue #18.

As part of the report, Professor Koichi Hosoi, Deputy Director of the Art Research Center (ARC), gave an interview reflecting on the early beginnings of his game research around 15 years before the RCGS was established, as well as discussing the social impact of games, the acceleration of the metaverse amid COVID-19, and future directions for game research.

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Professor Hosoi took on a pioneering role when he founded the Game Archive Project (GAP)--a collaboration between Kyoto Prefecture, Nintendo, and Ritsumeikan University--at a time when few people at university were interested in games as an industry. The purpose of GAP was to organize and digital archive games and game-related materials of the past, and the project paved the way for the establishment of RCGS.

Furthermore, Professor Hosoi draws on the significant role of the late Professor Masayuki Uemura, the lead architect of Nintendo's Family Computer and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Professor Uemura, appointed to Ritsumeikan University in 2004, not only served as the first director of RCGS in 2011 but also led research projects on Japanese traditional performing arts at the ARC, including a digital archive of Noh chants called 'yokyoku' that led to the creation of digital games.

>> Read full article on the RADIANT-website (in Japanese).

Related links:

1. In Memoriam of Professor Masayuki Uemura (1943-2021)

2. An Interview with Prof. Koichi Hosoi on Digital Game Research, Internationalization and Virtual Education (in English; published in the ARC Summer Newsletter, July 15, 2020)

[イベント情報]
September 21, 2022(Wed)

The ARC Days were held on Sep 16 (Fri) & 17 (Sat), 2022. It is an annual event where the faculty members of the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, and international collaborative researchers whose projects have been adopted by the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) introduce their research projects in Digital Humanities (DH) in individual presentations.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, this event was held online via Zoom and broadcasted live on YouTube.

Organizer: International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC), Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University and Program for Supporting Research Center Formation, Ritsumeikan University

Read more>>

日本学術会議近畿地区会議学術講演会「総合知をはぐくむ学び」

The Science Council of Japan Kinki District Conference Lecture on 'Learning that fosters Comprehensive Knowledge' will be held under the general chairmanship of Professor Keiji Yano (Faculty of Letters), Deputy Director of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University.

Date: September 19 (Mon), 2022, 13:00-17:00 JST
Venue: Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall , Sakyo-ku, Kyoto (online and face-to-face)

Anyone is welcome to participate (advance registration required).

Registration deadline: September 14 (Wed), 2022

For the registration and details, please refer to 日本学術会議近畿地区会議学術講演会「総合知をはぐくむ学び」.

[イベント情報]
September 6, 2022(Tue)

On September 6, 2022, the Mainichi Shimbun featured an article on the Kyoto News Archive, a digital archiving project led by Professor Keiji Yano (College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University), Deputy Director of the Art Research Center (ARC).

In collaboration with the Toy Film Museum in Kyoto, Prof. Yano and his team have been building a digital archive of Kyoto News--a series of newsreels produced by Kyoto City between 1956 and 1994 (Showa 31 - Heisei 6).

During that period, the newsreels were shown in movie theaters in Kyoto before the start of the main film. As one of the earliest regional newsreels, they are a valuable historical testimony of Kyoto City. They have recorded a wide range of topics in the city, including seasonal customs and festivals.

<See news article in the Mainichi Shimbun>

<ARC Virtual Institute: The Kyoto News Archive>

benkyokai_0829_1.pngThe Art Research Center (ARC) faculty members and deputy directors Professor Koichi Hosoi (College of Image Arts and Sciences, Ritsumeikan University) and Professor Keiji Yano (College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University) participated in the WEB 3.0/Metaverse Study Meeting organized by Kyoto Chiesangyo Sozonomori on August 29, 2022.

This event provided an opportunity to learn about research in academia and actual business case studies in the Web 3.0/metaverse field, which has been gaining momentum in recent years, to uncover Web 3.0/metaverse-related seeds through industry-academia-government collaboration, start-ups, and ventures, and to trigger new trends towards the creation of new businesses.

Professor Hosoi held a keynote speech on the next generation internet world as seen through the XR/metaverse. Professor Yano introduced the research case study on the construction of Virtual Kyoto using GIS.

The full event video is available below.

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Based on the research cooperation agreement of the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, with Nara Prefecture, a digital archiving project on Taimadera Temple in Katsuragi, Nara, has been conducted by the ARC faculty member Prof. Tanaka (College of Information Science and Engineering, RU) and his team for the purpose of preserving cultural heritages.

On August 21, 2022, Prof. Tanaka presented the research outcomes of his project on the ultra-high-quality see-through 3D visualization Taimadera Temple--a national treasure-- at a roundtable event at the Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex that was held as part of the special exhibition 'Researching Cultural Heritages' (「文化財研究中!―なら歴史芸術文化村×連携4大学―」). 3D measurements of the entire Taimadera Temple precincts, mainly the Kondou Hall and the West Pagoda, have been taken, with the number of laser-scanned point cloud data exceeding several billion points.

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Furthermore, Prof. Tanaka introduced the ARC-iJAC international joint research project on the digital archiving of the Borobudur Temple Compounds in Indonesia--a UNESCO World Heritage Site--to the audience. This project has been conducted in cooperation with the Research Center for Area Studies, National Research and Innovation Agency (PRW-BRIN), Indonesia (previously: Research Center for Area Studies, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2W-LIPI)).

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Research outcomes of the ARC, as well as those of three other universities researching various cultural heritages in Nara, are showcased as part of the special exhibition held at the Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex between July 23 and September 19, 2022.

Related article: An Interview with Prof. Satoshi Tanaka (College of Information Science and Engineering) on Visualizing Large-Scale Cultural Heritage

Related event: Special Exhibition 'Researching Cultural Heritages' at the Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex

Read more>>

DAJ_Award_1.jpgOn August 25, 2022, the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, received the Digital Archive Japan Award (DAJ).

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The Digital Archive Japan Award (DAJ) is an award system newly established by Japan Search, a national platform operated by the National Diet Library, Japan, for aggregating metadata of digital resources of various fields, including Book/Publication, Official Documents, and Humanities and Art.

The DAJ Award has been designed to widely introduce to society the initiatives that integrate digital archives into daily life, such as the promotion of digitization, open content, and the provision of new services using digital technology to create momentum for their utilization. The ARC is honored to be the first recipient of this award.

The award ceremony was held at the Digital Archive Fest 2022 (「デジタルアーカイブフェス2022」)--hosted by the National Diet Library and the Cabinet Office--where industry, academia, and government officials gathered to discuss cutting-edge case studies and commended good practices for promoting digital archiving in Japan.

The ARC received this award for its role as an international link for Japanese art and culture by publishing online databases--including ukiyo-e, early Japanese books, and banzuke-related contents--while collaborating with various domestic and international institutions and individuals to enhance the discoverability of such contents and presenting a model in this field of the art and culture. Furthermore, the ARC was recognized for its efforts in developing metadata and providing access to pages containing terms and conditions of use for each institution.

8_1.pngIn his acceptance speech, Professor Ryo Akama, Director of the Art Research Center (ARC), expressed that, for a quarter of a century since its establishment in 1998, the center has been working with digital archives as the foundation for its research activities. On the day, Associate Professor Takaaki Kaneko delivered the award acceptance speech in Prof. Akama's place.

He highlighted that the center has been accumulating a vast amount of contents while mainly targeting overseas museums. "The excellent mechanisms of Japan Search have allowed us to clearly position ourselves as an international link", said Professor Akama.

He expressed his intention to take the Digital Archive Japan Award (DAJ) as an opportunity to further respond to the needs of users worldwide by disseminating information on cultural resources in Japan which go beyond areas such as ukiyo-e, early Japanese books, and banzuke-related contents.

Related links:

Japan Search: https://jpsearch.go.jp/

・shiRUto「文系学問の未来を担う「デジタル人文学」(前編) 知られざる価値を見出す仕事」https://shiruto.jp/culture/1799/

・【大学院生の挑戦】空白の江戸中期・天明歌舞伎の実態を解明する~デジタルアーカイブを駆使し、全世界に散らばった浮世絵を統合的に分析~ http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/news/detail/?id=2694

On August 8, 2022, the Tokyo Shimbun featured an article on the release of the pre-war programs of the Kabuki-za Theatre in the Shochiku Otani Library's Shibai Banzuke Browsing System (松竹大谷図書館所蔵・芝居番付検索閲覧システム).

As part of the FY 2022 ARC-iJAC project of the Shochiku Otani Library and based on an agreement between the library and the Art Research Center (ARC), the digitized programs have been integrated into the Shochiku Otani Library's Shibai Banzuke Browsing System (松竹大谷図書館所蔵・芝居番付検索閲覧システム), developed and made available to the public by the ARC.

Shochiku Otani Library <Shibai Banzuke Browsing System>
< https://www.dh-jac.net/db1/ban/search_shochiku.php?enter=shochiku&lang=en >

Related article>>

[イベント情報]
August 1, 2022(Mon)

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3rd Online Summer Programme in Japanese Cultural Studies: "Tourism and Heritage in Post-Lockdown Japan", 1 - 12 August 2022 / <Applications now closed.>

Organized by the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) in partnership with Toshiba International Foundation and the Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, the 2022 Online Summer Programme in Japanese Cultural Studies will be held online from August 1 to August 12.

This programme is free for all attendees, requiring no prior training in Japanese or Japanese Studies. Now in its third year, the programme was conceived as a temporary replacement for in-person summer schools, which were prevented due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the programme has attracted incredible interest from across the globe, demonstrating a strong appetite for Japanese Studies internationally.

This edition of the programme considers directly the impacts of the Coronavirus on Japan. The curriculum will be based around the theme of "Tourism and Heritage in Post-Lockdown Japan". Throughout the world, tourism has been one of the industries most profoundly affected by the pandemic. For Japan in particular, which has sought to become a "Tourism Nation" and was host for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, the consequences have been significant. At the time of this announcement, while Japan has begun to gradually open to overseas tourists, the strict tour group system is a far cry from the experiences of the 34 million who visited in 2019. It therefore seems appropriate that we take this time to reconnect with Japan and explore what tourism in Japan will mean post-COVID-19. We will also consider Japan's cultural heritage, too, and how COVID-19 has affected the heritage industry, exploring the uses and value of heritage in the absence of international tourism. Over the two-week period, we will be joined by world-leading scholars, practitioners, and industry professionals based in Japan.

No prior knowledge of these fields is necessary, and with the variety of topics and interests represented by our speakers, we hope that there is something for specialists and non-specialists alike.

Over two weeks, we will be holding panels with experts based in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka to discuss "Responding to Tourist Practices", "Heritage Without Tourism" and "Local Heritage, Global Heritage":

OSP_map.pngIn addition to live virtual talks, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in asynchronous activities, join networking sessions, and will be issued a Certificate of Participation on completion of the programme. Participation is free of charge.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 30th June 2022 (Applications now closed.)

For more details, please visit: https://japaninnorwich.org/2022/05/31/tifo-osp-22-applications/

nara-1.pngBased on a research cooperation agreement with Nara Prefecture, the project on the digital archiving and 3D visualization of Taimadera Temple in Nara--a national treasure--has been conducted by the ARC faculty member Prof. Satoshi Tanaka (College of Information Science and Engineering, RU) and his team.

Their research results, along with those of three other universities, will be showcased as part of the special exhibition 'Researching Cultural Heritages' at the Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex between July 23 and September 19, 2022.

Special exhibition ''Researching Cultural Heritages--Cooperation of Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex with 4 Universities'

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Date: July 23 (Sat) - September 19 (Mon), 2022

Time: 9 am - 5 pm (entry until 4.30 pm)

Location: Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex, Exhibition Room (B1 floor)

Entrance fee: Free entry

Organizer: Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex

Co-organizers: Tenri University; Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University; Nara Prefectural University; Tokyo University of the Arts

>> See official website of the Nara Prefecture Historical and Artistic Culture Complex for details.

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