Program Outline

Program Outline

Objectives and Framework

Kanagawa University 21st Century COE Program
Systematization of Nonwritten Cultural Materials for the Study of Human Societies

The 21st Century COE Program launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in fiscal 2002 is a measure for supporting universities in the building research centers of global caliber. Universities offering doctoral courses have come to compete for their eligibility for the program. Our project “Systematization of Nonwritten Cultural Materials for the Study of Human Societies” was selected in fiscal 2003 into the program’s interdisciplinary, combined fields, new disciplines category. The project was to be developed in an interdisciplinary manner by Kanagawa University’s Graduate School of History and Folklore Studies, the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture and scholars in the Course of Chinese Language and Culture at the Graduate School of Foreign Languages. In implementing the program, we established a system composed of the program representatives, the COE faculty and COE associated researchers. Furthermore, we invited a myriad of academics from inside and outside the university who were involved in the research topic and had them engage in joint research, in order to achieve the objective.

Existing studies on culture have mainly focused on phenomena recorded in writing. Nevertheless, human conception, knowledge and behavior are far more diverse and significant in quantity and quality. They are incomparable to the aforementioned phenomena. Among such phenomena, we chose (1) pictorial materials, (2) physical techniques and (3) the environment and scenery, and strived to devise methods to organize them into materials. The resulting data was to be accumulated, analyzed and disseminated. A few specific topics were chosen for each category and organized as follows

In an attempt to develop ways to integrate these three types of nonwritten materials and disseminate them globally, the following study groups were formed:


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