TERM4 (FY2017-FY2019)

1.Joint Research and Compilation Project on "Multilingual Version of Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Medieval Japan"

Aim of the joint research project

Of the five volumes of “Multilingual Version of Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Medieval Japan", the first and second volumes were published in our project selected in the 21st Century COE Program,and the third volume was published in a first term joint research project of the Center. This research project is aimed at translating and publishing the remaining two volumes. We hope that overseas researchers in history,folklore,anthropology, literature and other fields of study will use these publications to learn about “everyday life" in medieval Japan.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader BOCCELLARI John
Joint researchers SUZUKI Yoichi
Research collaborators NAKAI Maki, LI Li, HE Bin, KIMI Yasumichi

2. City Life in 19th Century Europe as Seen in Paintings, Prints and Photographs


Wikimedia Commons

Aim of the joint research project

We will analyze how the lives of the people in several representative cities in Europe of the same period are depicted in paintings, prints and photographs produced in the 19th century.

Around the middle of this century, many European cities abandoned the forms they had preserved to a greater or lesser extent up to that point and went through major transformations. We will examine how the lives of the people in these cities were portrayed in the visual media, analyzing image data from the following two viewpoints: (1) comparison of the same city before and after its transformation; and (2) comparison among cities.

In the fourth phase, we would like to focus on “town squares.” Town squares are places for politics where people gather and express their views, as symbolized in revolutions. At the same time, they continue to be privileged spaces for commerce and for festivities. Many studies have considered the significance of town squares in the contexts of urban theory or social history. However, this is an inventive research program in that it will: (1) transect various cities in Europe; (2) follow the transformation of town squares with a view to urban renewal; and (3) incorporate representations of cities in the new medium of photographs, the function of which transcends mere testimonies.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader KUMAGAI Kensuke,
Joint researchers TORIGOE Teruaki, BUCHENBERGER Stefan,
KOMATSUBARA Yuri
Research collaborators TANAKA Rina

3.  Groundwork for the Second Phase Compilation of the “Pictopedia of Everyday Life in East Asia (Compiled on South of the Yangzi River, China)”

Bridge of Stone Lake in the suburb of Suzhou

Aim of the joint research project

Building on the compilation work for the “Pictopedia of Everyday Life in East Asia – Compiled on South of the Yangzi River, China” in the COE program, we will lay the groundwork for the second phase compilation work of the “Pictopedia of Everyday Life in East Asia – Compiled on South of the Yangzi River, China.” Specifically, we will focus on the comparison between “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” (the version created by Qing dynasty court painters in the Qianlong Period) owned by Taiwan and “The Prosperous Suzhou City.” We will also look at the Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls of the Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors to collect materials, select images, and narrow down the objects, events and activities to be included in the pictopedia and lay the groundwork for the production of the pictopedia on the south of the Yangzi River, China in the 18th century.

At the same time, as materials for scanning the iconography, we will collect, sort and scan 19th century iconographic materials that were influenced by Western culture as well as iconography with captions from newspapers and magazines.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader SUZUKI Yoichi
Joint researchers NAKABAYASHI Koichi, MATSUURA Satoko
Research collaborators CHEN Xiaofa, YAMAGUCHI Kenji, KIKKAWA Yoshikazu, WANG Jing, WANG Zicheng,
OKI Yasushi, YAN Ming, Zhang Tao

4. Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Early Modern Japan – Urban Living Environments as Seen through Processions

National Diet Library Digital Collections

Aim of the joint research project

The early modern period in Japan was an “Age of Processions,” with sankin-kōtai (a feudal lord's alternate-year residence in Edo) and Korean and Ryukyuan missions traveling through the archipelago at regular intervals. The picture scrolls owned by the Kagoshima University Library entitled “Ryukyu-jin gyosho no zu (Picture of Ryukyuan People in Travel Attire)” and “Ryukyu-jin orai nigiwai no zu (Picture of the Bustling Streets of the Ryukyuan Procession)” are depictions of processions in 1850 for the sankin-kōtai of the lord of the Satsuma Domain and the Ryukyuan mission. The scrolls show the streets of Edo and Osaka that were on their route. The artist is a feudal retainer of the Satsuma Domain who accompanied the processions. These scrolls are good material for the analysis and research of “the state of processions and the urban spaces where the processions were received,” which were a part of the everyday lives of the people in early modern Japan. At the same time, they are valuable materials for the continued development of the research accumulated through the compilation of the Amami, Okinawa and South Kyushu editions of the “Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Early Modern Japan.”

The purpose of this research project is to use these pictures to compile the “Pictopedia of Everyday Life in Early Modern Japan – Urban Living Environments as Seen through Processions (tentative title).” In addition, we will consider producing pictopedias of other pictures of processions as needed.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader OGUMA Makoto
Joint researchers KOMABASHIRI Shoji, WATANABE Miki,
TOMIZAWA Tatsuzo
Research collaborators TOKUNO Toshimi, KOJIMA Mabumi,
HASHIGUCHI Wataru, UEHARA Kenzen,
TAKATSU Takashi, NIWA Kenji

5. Various Activities and Industries of the Japanese People at Open Ports (International Settlements and Foreign Concessions) in East Asia

Aim of the joint research project

Late 19th century to the early 20th century, Western Countries and Japan established various facilities at open ports (International Settlements and Foreign Concessions) in East Asia, including Consulates, Oil Companies, Education Facilities, Racetracks, Department stores, Spinning and Weaving companies, and Hospitals. The countries were all aiming to extend their influence, constantly clashing with each other or forming alliances. In the fourth phase research, we would like to build on research on the history of systems related to Open Ports (International Settlements and foreign concessions) in East Asia accumulated through previous conventional research and approach the mutual relationships among these various facilities from the point of view of industrial networks. As materials for this research, we will uncover and utilize a vast amount of related Nonwritten materials included in the large volumes of administrative documents produced by government offices of the various national governments and settlements (Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Shanghai Municipal Archives, Taiwan, Academia Sinica), annual reports of the various facilities (Municipal Government reports, Municipal Council Annual Reports), and the various Newspapers (North China Herald, Shen Bao), Magazines (Far Eastern Review, Sinajihen Gaho支那事変画報,The Young Companion良友, Shashin Shuho写真週報), Picture Postcards (Kondo Tsunehiro Collection owned by the Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials, Kanagawa University) and other publications that advertised these facilities as symbols of civilization and enlightenment.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader SON An Suk
Joint researchers UCHIDA Seizo, MURAI Hiroshi, PENG Guoyue,
NAKAMURA Midori, KIKUCHI Toshio,
SUZAKI Fumiyo, OSATO Hiroaki
Research collaborators TOMII Masanori, KURIHARA Jun, TAJIMA Natsuko,
SAITO Takio

6.The Reorganization of Religious Services and Shrines in Modern Okinawa

Seiden, Shurijo Castle   Okinawa Shrine

Aim of the joint research project

Japan in modern times established overseas shrines starting from Taiwan, which it acquired in the Sino-Japanese War. The prehistory to these overseas shrines in colonies is the religion policy in Okinawa and Hokkaido.
In the Ryukyu Kingdom of the early modern period, there was a religious services system that was headed by the Kikoe Okimi (chief-priestesses). Moreover, Japanese shrines were linked to the royal government. Furthermore, because of the Ryukyu Kingdom's participation in the Chinese tributary system, Confucianism was also widespread. The Meiji government, which established Okinawa Prefecture in 1879, promoted the reorganization of the local religious services, the utilization of Japanese shrines, and the establishment of new shrines such as prefectural shrines. Some of these facilities still serve as places of worship today.
Due in part to destruction during the Battle of Okinawa, not many written materials exist today. Furthermore, there have not been many comprehensive studies because shrines, sacred sites and temples have different historical backgrounds and foundations. We can expect to gain various results by approaching the matter from the point of view of nonwritten cultural materials by presenting Okinawa as the intersection of “naichi (inland)” and “gaichi (overseas)” and show its transformation in the prewar and postwar periods in a concrete manner.
Although the subject of the joint research is Ryukyu/Okinawa, in consideration of the prehistory of overseas shrines, we will continue as a supplemental study the research on overseas shrines that was started during the COE program. In particular, we will publish the past results on a database (building a new database on “Sites of Overseas Shrines”) and in publications (photo collections and collected papers on the joint research).

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader SHIITADA Atsushi
Joint researchers OGUMA Makoto, SUGA Koji, TSUDA Yoshiki,
NAKAJIMA Michio, MAEDA Takakazu, SAKAI Hisanori ,KAJI Yorihito
Research collaborators INAMIYA Yasuto, WATANABE Natsuko, MATSUYAMA Hiroaki

7.An Experiment in Medieval Landscape Restoration-Somuta Village in Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City as a Case Study

The village of Somuta, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City

Aim of the joint research project

In this research, we will study landscapes/environments, which is one research area in the study of nonwritten cultural materials, by conducting a joint research project for the field study and restoration of the landscape in the village of Somuta in Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City, which is believed to date back to medieval or early modern times. In the village of Somuta, the subject of the study, typical yatoda (rice terraces in valleys) topography from medieval times still exist today, as well as houses with thatched roofs (now covered with galvanized iron) and old style masonry that supports the houses. These are essential conditions that make the area an ideal research subject for the restoration of medieval landscapes.

Furthermore, landscapes that show the links between the village and worship have been preserved in the village of Somuta. An example is the tombstone of Seizaemon Sadayuki, the son of Takemori Iwami Tsugusada, one of the 24 elite vassals of Kuroda Yoshitaka (also known as Josui or Kanbei). Moreover, there is a gateway and an approach leading to the Ishimine Jinja Shrine on Ishimine Mountain, the highest peak in Wakamatsu and an object of worship. There is also a “mountain god” and other stone Buddhist statues by a three-way junction at the top of a separate mountain path along the village. Therefore, it will be possible to conduct an interdisciplinary research on subjects such as topography, buildings and religion, and we can introduce “the study of medieval landscape restoration” as a new genre in nonwritten cultural materials research.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader TAGAMI Shigeru
Joint researchers SANO Kenji, KON Masaaki, UCHIDA Seizo,
MIKASA Tomohiro
Research collaborators WAKAMIYA Koichi, NAKAMURA Satoshi, ISHII Kazuho

8.Research on Efficient Searching and Safe and Secure Distribution of Information and Services in the Nonwritten Cultural Materials Research Community

Aim of the joint research project

《Distribution and Value Exchange of Information, Services and Things》

Based on the game theory, we will conduct modeling studies for the exchange of information, services and materials among scholars and general users with respect to nonwritten cultural materials. Moreover, we will utilize the blockchain technology in order to build a system in which value exchange can be conducted in a safe and secure manner. The technology has been gathering attention with the introduction of the Bitcoin and can be used to record the transfer of matters and value in an autonomous and decentralized manner.

《Searching and Mining Information and Services》

When nonwritten cultural materials databases or scholars search for materials, we will focus on one aspect of the context in the workflow to provide the user with the most suitable information through the self-organization of files and other processes based on the degree of similarity of the information and other factors.

《Management of Personal Information, Critical Information and Copyrights》

By conducting access history management with blockchain technology, we will facilitate the implementation of systems to detect inference attacks on personal information using hypergraphs. In addition, we will propose methods for efficient rights management through the transfer of value using blockchain technology.

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader KINOSHITA Hirotsugu
Joint researchers NOTO Masato, SANO Kenji, MORIZUMI Tetsuya,
MIYATA Sumiko
Research collaborators KOMATSU Daisuke

9. Research on Popular Media in Wartime Japan (1937-45)

Aim of the joint research project

This study will focus on the Japanese Popular media during Wartime Japan(1937-45), a topic becoming increasingly popular in the field of modern Japanese history. We will explore the media’s structure and distinctive features by revealing its propaganda-related functions. To be precise, materials on war-propaganda kamishibai, or paper theater, housed in the Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials will be analyzed to discover more related materials and share our views on analysis of the materials.

Our work in the fourth phase will be built on the fruits of our previous study in the third phase so that this joint research will become more extensive and comprehensive. First, kamishibai in Hokkaido will be closely examined since the region served as a hub for kamishibai culture, followed by an analysis of those in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule. The research will then be extended to include Korea and China at the time, leading to a comparative study of kamishibai in East Asia. Awareness of the conflict between the power of the government’s war propaganda and indigenous culture in both Japan and East Asia is important, and must be taken into account in examining relationships between kamishibai and other materials of the time such as movies, popular songs, plays, pictures and cartoons.

The previous study revealed that kamishibai researchers in the U.S., Canada and South Korea have published outstanding studies. In the fourth phase we will strive to work closely with such researchers abroad and broaden the international view on the study of mass culture during Wartime Japan(1937-45).

Task assignment for the joint research project

Research leader YASUDA Tsuneo
Joint researchers OKAWA Hiromu, Moriyama Atsushi, OGUSHI Junji,
Research collaborators KOYAMA Ryo, ARAKAKI Yumeno,
MATSUMOTO Kazuki, HARADA Hiroshi,
SUZUKI Kazufumi