Vision, Mission and History

Vision and Mission

We believe that humanities research potentially holds answers that will help solve critical issues humankind faces in the 21st century. Questions about how humans can coexist with nature and how they should interact with each other in the global context cannot be answered by science and technology alone. We need to examine and assess our approaches to human cultures and, in doing so, we believe we will find paths toward healthier and wealthier societies. NIHU strives to play a leading role in that process.

Our goals are to innovatively rebuild knowledge and traditions that transcend boundaries between academic fields, societies and customs. We endeavor to create new paradigms in humanities research that genuinely enrich lives through solving problems together.

NIHU’s six institutes share these four missions: Excellence in research and education; Integration; Advancement of joint use and collaborative research; Social collaboration and contribution.

Excellence in Research and Education
We shall be a central global facility and contribute toward the creation of educational and research organizations that are responsive to social and cultural changes.

Advancement of Joint Use and Collaborative Research
We shall endeavor to strengthen international research capabilities of universities and improve research environments that will facilitate academic mobility for its faculty.

We shall recognize a diverse range of values, apply methodologies that allow for comprehensive understanding of humanity and its cultures, and contribute toward social progress and creative development.

Social Collaboration and Contribution
We shall strengthen our information and promotional capabilities and disseminate the results of our humanities research. We shall make our information accessible to the world, collaborate with industries and other entities on projects, and contribute to society.


The National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU) is one of inter-university research institute corporations. Founded on April 1, 2004, NIHU was initially made up of five inter-university research institutions in the humanities: 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.

On October 1, 2009, the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics became the sixth institute to join NIHU. While conducting basic research to fulfill their respective founding purposes, these institutes interact in a complementary fashion, transcending the frameworks of previous scholarship. They make up a comprehensive interuniversity research complex in which study in the human sciences is informed by the perspective of study of the natural environment.


History of the Presidency

Term of office: April 1, 2022~
KIBE Nobuko

Term of office: April 1, 2018~March 31, 2022

Term of office: April 1, 2014~March 31, 2018

Term of office: April 1, 2008~March 31, 2014
KINDA Akihiro

Term of office: April 1, 2004~March 31, 2008