Japan’s inter-university research corporations are associations of research institutes that serve as hubs of scholarly research for specialists at public and private universities throughout Japan. These institutes make such materials, and promote the advancement of Japanese scholarship and research.
The National Institutes for the Humanities was founded in April 2004, consisting then of five institutes engaged in research on human cultural activities and the relationship among humanity, society, and nature (the National Museum of Japanese History, the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, and the National Museum of Ethnology). In October 2009, the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics became the sixth institute to join NIHU.
Our world today in the twenty-first century faces many complexly intertwined problems on a global scale resulting from human actions vis-à-vis the natural world over the long course of history. The purpose of NIHU is to respond to these problems by developing new research paradigms at its member institutes through linkages that transcend the frameworks of previous scholarship and by building centers for comprehensive research on human culture taking into account the natural environment.
NIHU’s member institutes are national repositories of cultural materials. Utilizing the materials accumulated in their museums and archives, researchers within and outside our six constituent institutes carry out collaborative projects. NIHU seeks to compile and present the research results of these projects through exhibitions,rinted and online publications, databases, and other media, thereby making them widely available in and outside Japan and contributing to the broader advancement of scholarship.