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August 31, 2021(Tue)

We are pleased to announce that the Art Research Center's journal--ART RESEARCH--will be reborn as an online journal from volume 22-1.

The purpose of the journal is to widely publicize the results of the research projects and activities conducted by the Art Research Center and its partner institutions and collaborative researchers. As an academic journal specializing in arts and culture, it has received many contributions from industry experts every year.

Since its establishment in 1998, the Art Research Center (ARC) has been selected for several national grants as a center of excellence for research in culture, art, and information science. In FY2019, the center assumed the role as the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art & Culture (ARC-iJAC) upon its accreditation by the MEXT as an International Joint Usage/Research Center. The ARC is highly regarded as a leading hub for the digital archiving of Japanese art and culture.

Our online journal will be published several times a year, and at the end of the fiscal year, a print booklet summarizing all contributions will be distributed..

By accepting manuscripts any time from now, we hope to greatly increase the submission opportunities for researchers.

We look forward to receiving your manuscript submission.

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Tanabata 2021 is one of the largest cultural exchange events between Cambodia and Japan and will be held online from July 9 (Fri) to July 11 (Sun).

As part of this event, the video of the Japan Foundation "An Evening of Noh and Kyogen 2020"--produced in collaboration with the Art Research Center--will be screened. We warmly invite you to watch this video.

The event has attracted more than 6,000 people in the past, and has introduced Japanese culture from various angles through stage performances and traditional Japanese music.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, the program has been changed to an online format.

Dates: July 9-11

Organizers: Japan Foundation Asia Center Phnom Penh, Embassy of Japan in Cambodia, CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center)

<Related websites>
Facebook event page
Japan Foundation Asia Center, Phnom Penh

On June 10, 2021, the ARC-iJAC-funded research project of Professor Eriko Hata (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shizuoka Eiwa Gakuin University) on the primary sources related to the legend of Urashima in the collection of Itoi Bunko Library in Maizuru City was featured in the evening edition of the Kyoto Shimbun.

The article reported on a different and unexpected turn from the commonly known story on the legend of Urashima Taro from the Edo period that is introduced in an easy-to-understand way by Prof. Hata's research group investigating the Itoi Bunko Library in Maizuru.

On June 5, 2021, the research project on old colour photographs of Kyoto during the occupation period by Associate Professor and ARC member Naomi Kawasumi (College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University) was featured in the newspaper Kyoto Shimbun.

The article introduced how Prof. Kawasumi, a researcher in the field of Digital Humanities (DH), has deciphered colour photographs from the occupation period using overlay maps, which allow to see what buildings and houses were like before and after the war by overlaying old maps on current ones.

The article includes a photo of the Kyoto Hotel from about 70 years ago and a photo taken by US military in 1948 from near the west side of the Sanjo Bridge.

2021年度 立命館大学NEXTフェローシップ・プログラム
「アート・リサーチセンター フェローシップ生」 募集要項

 立命館大学では、学園ビジョン「R2030チャレンジ・デザイン」において、「新たな価値を創造する次世代研究大学」と「イノベーション・創発性人材を生み出す大学」を本学が将来あるべき姿として掲げ、深い専門性に加えて学際的な視点と社会実装能力をもった高度専門人財を組織的に育成・輩出することを目指します。その一環として2021年度より実施する「立命館大学NEXT (New Educational Xross-Training)フェローシップ・プログラム」では、優秀で意欲のある博士課程後期課程学生に対して、研究専念支援金・研究費の支給と学際的で先端的な研究に専念できる環境を提供することにより、後期課程修了時までに高度専門人財としての資質を獲得することを支援します。
 本プログラムは、文部科学省「科学技術イノベーション創出に向けた大学フェローシップ創設事業」の採択を受けて大学院キャリアパス推進室*が2021年度より実施・運営するものであり、学内の研究所、センターもしくはプロジェクト研究拠点が育成拠点として「立命館大学NEXT フェローシップ・プログラム生」(以下、フェローシップ生)を受け入れ、育成します。



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Accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC) in 2019, the Art Research Center at Ritsumeikan University is a leading hub for international joint research in Japanese art and culture with a focus on Digital Humanities.

As part of the ARC-iJAC research support activities, we are pleased to announce that we are going to hold a workshop and training course on deciphering early Japanese books written in Japanese cursive script (kuzushiji) using the ARC's Early Japanese Book Portal Database and transcription system, as well as to support projects aiming at deciphering early Japanese books.

The training course will be divided into the first and the second semester. The first semester will be focusing on basic knowledge of transcription and how to use the system, to enable students to obtain reading skills to some extent.

In the second semester, students at beginner and intermediate levels will transcribe literary works of their choice. Experienced staff will check the transcribed text and provide guidance through the system.

Furthermore, if you would like to use the transcription system as part of a research project with a specific theme, you are free to use the system after receiving instructions on how to use it.

All training is provided free of charge.

■ Registration

If you are interested in participating in our training course, please register by filling in our application form. (Applications will be closed when the maximum capacity is reached.)

Application Form

Phase 1: Training Course for Beginners and Intermediate Levels

This is a training course for deciphering kuzushiji using the ARC transcription system. It is slightly different from other kuzushiji courses that teach you how to read as you will train your ability to decipher the script while reading by yourself.

Details of Implementation:

1. How to use the ARC transcription system + training using the system

2. Date and time: May 14 (Fri), May 28 (Fri), June 18 (Fri), 2021 / Session A (starts at 9:00 JST), Session B (starts at 21:00 JST) ⇒ Each session will last for 90 minutes.

3. Number of participants: 8 per session (Those who will start at the 3rd phase of the project will be accepted separately.)

4. Target group: Beginners to intermediate learners who want to be able to transcribe early Japanese books by themselves.

5. Materials for the beginner to intermediate level will be provided by the organizer.

⇒ Held online via Zoom using the ARC Early Japanese Book Portal DB (with transcription and support system)

※You may also sign up if you would like to learn how to use the system to start from Phase 3 immediately.

Phase 2: Hands-on Experience in the Transcription System for Beginners and Intermediate Level

Participants will select the literary works they wish to decipher individually and carry out the transcription using the ARC transcription system. Results will be corrected by our experienced staff.

Furthermore, we will provide answers for undeciphered characters using the ARC transcription guidance function.

Participants will be able to proceed with the reading while receiving feedback and suggestions.

Details of Implementation:

1. Please participate in Phase 1 to understand how to use the system.

2. Please register for an individual project to start with.

3. Implementation period: From late September 2021 to March 2022

4. Number of participants: Approximately 5, on an individual or group basis

5. Target group: Those who have attended Phase 1 of the course

After a general meeting via Zoom in late September, transcription and correction will be carried out using the ARC Early Japanese Book Portal DB.

Phase 3: Research Project-based Usage

A research group led by a researcher who is already able to read kuzushiji to some extent can proceed with the transcription for a specific purpose.

In addition to the ARC transcription system, transcription support system, search function for transcribed text (display of search results with context) and the storage system for modern translations that are currently in operation, a comprehensive digital text utilization system will be available, including functions for annotating and translating texts that have been created (in preparation for full-scale operation starting from fall 2021).

Details of Implementation:

1. In Phase 1, you can start your project after receiving training on how to use our system.

2. For any questions and concerns about the system, support is available from the Technical Support Board of the International Joint Digital Archiving Center for Japanese Art and Culture (ARC-iJAC).

3. Implementation period: From June 2021 onwards

4. To start with, please register for the project category D. International Joint Research to Utilize the Center's Facilities and Equipment of the ARC-iJAC.

5. Target group: Anyone whose project comprises a large amount of material to be transcribed and who wishes to create a text of the transcription in the ARC portal database is welcome to participate.

In charge of the training course: Ryo Akama and Nozomu Ataka

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The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, has been actively promoting cooperative research between the humanities and cutting-edge information technology, with a strong focus on digital archiving of Japanese cultural properties, both tangible and intangible. The ARC has been selected as an International Joint Usage/Research Center Program by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, in October 2019.
With the establishment of the Digital Archive Research Center for Japanese Cultural Resources, we are pleased to invite researchers to submit joint research proposals to facilitate research and/or utilization of Japanese cultural resources through their digital archiving and database building.

Guidelines for FY 2020 Joint Research to Utilize the Center's Facilities and Equipment



The research leader of the joint research team should be a faculty member/researcher/curator who belongs to a university or a research institution within and outside Japan.
Note: a graduate student cannot be a leader.

The joint research team as an organization

1. A research team consists of a researcher (its research leader) or researchers (its research leader and co-researchers).

2. While it is recommended that the team include a faculty member of the Art Research Center* as its team member, you can apply without an ARC member, as well. If that is the case, we may assign a member to join the team as its coordinator.
*In this case, the ARC faculty does not include senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows, researchers, and visiting researchers.

3. You can recruit (an) additional member(s) after your proposal is selected. The ARC will assist the recruitment.

Research period

The date when your research proposal is accepted to the end of the fiscal year

Contact us

Office of the Art Research Center
Research Office at Kinugasa Campus
Ritsumeikan University
E-mail:r-darc (at) (change "at" to @)

A research project of the Shochiku Otani Library, adopted by the ARC-iJAC, to digitize and publish the pre-war programs of the Kabuki-za Theatre in Tokyo held by the library has been launched at the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University. These programs are also called ehon yakuwari (絵本役割) and sujigaki (筋書).

In preparation for digital photography, the bound programs are currently dismantled into single volumes by having their glue and fasteners removed. It is also a crucial part of the digitization process to examine the condition of the materials beforehand and to dismantle and repair them as necessary.

When a book is split into single volumes, it is possible to photograph the individual pages in a flat position by pressing them evenly against a glass plate from above, resulting in beautiful images with minimum distortion.

Please watch our video documenting this process on the ARC-iJAC's video platform ARCtube:

This digital archiving project is funded through a crowdfunding campaign launched by the Shochiku Otani Library in 2020.

Based on the agreement between the Shochiku Otani Library and the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, the digitized programs will be integrated into the Shochiku Otani Library's Shibai Banzuke Browsing System and made available online.

title01.jpg The cover of a dismantled Kabuki-za sujigaki from 1941.

title02.jpg Single volumes of the dismantled Kabuki-za sujigaki from 1941.

The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is delighted to announce the release of its PV, introducing the center's diverse international research activities in Japanese art and culture since its establishment in 1998.

Please enjoy the video and feel free to share it.

[Short version]

[Long version]

The database "RCGS Collection" of the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies (RCGS), established in collaboration with the ARC, has been awarded the "2020 Digital Archive Industry Awards (2020デジタルアーカイブ産業賞)".

Our warmest congratulations!

Please click here for details. (in Japanese)

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