Co-creation Research Projects

These projects promote joint research through co-creation with various organizations and people inside and outside NIHU as well as develop research in three ways.


Establishing Science for Universal Communication (S_COM)

The goal of this project is to establish a new research field for “universal communication” through which people can participate equally regardless of their attributes. In order for “people with communication difficulties” and “people with disabilities” to be able to participate in social activities to the same extent as other people, it is necessary to elucidate current mechanisms and conduct basic research to balance the differences in needs. This research will be advanced to facilitate changes on the hardware side of infrastructure development and the software side of general public perception. The National Museum of Ethnology and the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics are the main bases for this project.

MINPAKU [lead institute]


Building Digital Library for Humanities

This project, with help of digital technologies, intends more effective conservation and utilization of such research materials as photographs, videos, and audio materials accumulated through field surveys conducted by researchers and research institutes in Japan. Through collaboration among the National Museum of Ethnology, the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics, and the National Institute of Informatics, the fruits of past scientific expedition in various fields are to be reevaluated for future activities.

MINPAKU [lead institute]
X-DiPLAS Sub-project [Japanese only]
NINDA Sub-project


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

Early Diplomatic Japanese Collections Abroad: Contextualizing 19th Century Japanese Material Heritage in World History through On-site and Online Research and Use (REKIHAKU)

Focusing on Japanese collections (objects and related historical documents) in Europe and the United States built in 19th century, this project looks at the history of mutual relations by considering them not only as Japan historical and cultural materials but also as materials that have moved to their current locations and been given a new context. Multi-perspective research on Japanese materials abroad will be advanced to reframe them in a global context as well as develop projects that promote their local use remote environments, and online spaces.

Project Website

Study on the Construction of Archival Infrastructure for the History of Modern Japan-Vatican Relations (NIJL)

It is well-known that exchanges happened between the Vatican (the Holy See) and Japan during the Warring States period, but the relationship in modern times is actually important as well. In addition to missionary educational and social activities conducted in various places, the Vatican acted as an intermediary with the Allies during World War II. This project is a full-scale survey of archives (written records) related to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan in the modern era, which have not been well known in Japan, and will contribute to the future development of research on the history of Vatican-Japan relations by laying information groundwork on this topic.

Japan-related Documents and Artifacts in Hawai`i: Historical and Social Survey Interface (NINJAL)

Among the Japan-related materials scattered overseas, those created in Hawai`i since the 19th century are numerous and diverse, but there is a high risk of materials being discarded because fewer and fewer local staff can understand Japanese. With a starting point in advancing research based on local language history, social history, and life history, this project aims to give an overview of the current state and future prospects of materials management by investigating the materials collections, interviewing relevant persons, and collaborating with local communities.

Project Website