The Center, which operates under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture of Kanagawa University, was established in April 1st, 2008. Its aim is to build on the results of the five-year research project conducted in the university's 21st Century COE Program titled “The Systematization of Nonwritten Cultural Materials for the Study of Human Societies.”
The 21st Century COE Program was initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to promote the formation of research bases capable of global-scale projects. In its application to the ministry, Kanagawa University announced the establishment of the “Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials” to succeed the program after its term, and of maintaining its focus on global research.
The Center inherits all research materials, books, and facilities, including the administration office, accumulated during the COE Program. It conducts its own operations under the newly established regulations of the Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials. By doing so, the following projects will be promoted to further build on research conducted in the field.
- Collect, organize, and preserve nonwritten cultural materials, and study and develop systems for the disclosure and dissemination of information.
- Cooperate with research institutions and researchers involved with nonwritten cultural materials around the world, promote the sharing and exchange of information, and establish a leading global role in the field.
- Focus on specific research themes related to "illustrated materials", "physical techniques", and "environment and scenery", which were set as the targets of the 21st COE Program, and Conduct joint research projects on the chosen themes.
- Set new research themes suitable for the study of nonwritten cultural materials, and conduct joint research on those themes.
- Promote measures to sponsor research projects that contribute to the growth of young researchers, and provide occasions for them to cultivate their abilities for international success.
- Promote the continual disclosure and dissemination of research results by hosting seminars, publishing various reports and newsletters, and constructing databases.