NIHU Transdisciplinary Projects

The NIHU Transdisciplinary projects, run by the Center for Transdisciplinary Innovation (CTI), is a six-year ongoing program launched in 2016. It collaborates with universities, research facilities, and communities in Japan and overseas to examine and analyze modern-day issues to create new value systems for human cultures. Research results from this project are provided to the academic communities as well as to the general public through publications, databases, images and exhibitions. The fruits of research are also used to develop new educational programs in universities.

There are three types of NIHU Transdisciplinary Projects: (I) Institute-based Projects, (II) Multidisciplinary Collaboration Projects, and (III) Network-based Projects (NIHU Area Studies, and Japan-related Documents and Artifacts Held Overseas: NIHU International Collaborative Research and Utilization).



  Institute-based Projects

NIHU’s six institutes have established priority research themes in accordance to their respective missions. They collaborate with Japanese and overseas institutions and researchers to conduct research that advances each institute’s specialist areas.

  Multidisciplinary Collaborative Projects

NIHU’s six institutes contribute their specialist expertise (history, literature, language, regional research and the environment) to develop new methodologies for human culture research and to grow new disciplines. The project is carried out in cooperation with universities, research institutions and local communities in Japan and overseas.

Change of Local Communities
and Reconstruction of Community
Cultures after Disasters
in Japanese Archipelago

  Network-based Projects

Network-based projects examine critical issues about Japan from a global context by exploring societies and cultures. A wide network of universities and research institutions in Japan and overseas collaborate on comprehensive research programs that incorporate a vast array of fields. Network-based Projects consist of two themes; “Area Studies” and “Japan-related Documents and Artifacts Held Overseas.”

NIHU Area Studies

This project focuses on three regions that are significant to Japan from cultural, social, political, economic and environmental perspectives but that are currently lacking in comprehensive research. The program aims to advance mutual understanding between Japan and each of the relevant regions.

Japan-Related Documents and Artifacts Held Overseas: NIHU International Collaborative Research and Utilization

Countless invaluable resources relating to Japan in Europe and the Americas exist, however, due to the small number of researchers specializing in Japanese culture, and because many resources are held in private collections, information on whereabouts of these resources are not easily accessible. In many cases, detailed research to determine the value of the relevant resources is yet to be carried out. This project conducts research on a wide range of resources such as documents, audio and artifacts. We encourage and support overseas researchers who wish to specialize in Japan and who will endeavor to promote better understanding of Japanese culture by making our results available across the globe.


Inter-University Research Institute Network Project to Preserve and Succeed Historical and Cultural Resources

We promote document survey and data recording, the establishment of a wide support system, historical and cultural materials conservation projects that preserve materials and study preservation methodologies. Furthermore, we aim to inherit and build historical cultures within local communities by making use of materials, developing educational programs, and disseminating information in Japan and overseas. This program is run by NIHU (lead organization, Rekihaku), Tohoku University, Kobe University at the core, and in cooperation with “Shiryo Net,” a university based research activity to preserve old historical documents.

To find out more about the project see here