What Is the International Center for Folk Culture Studies (ICFCS)?

Objectives and Outline

The objectives of ICFCS are to make the historical materials and databases housed at the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture (ISJFC) and the Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials (RCNCM) available to the research community and to further expand and deepen related fields of research. To that end:

  • (1) ICFCS will pursue joint research on a project basis by soliciting research topics in the following four areas:
    • ⅰ. Research on the history of maritime areas and people
    • ⅱ. Research on mingu materials
    • ⅲ. Research on the material collections of the ISJFC
    • ⅳ.Research on folk culture
  • (2) Against a background of increasingly diverse scientific approaches to the study of the lives of ordinary people and proliferation of research institutes in the field, ICFCS will serve as a joint research center for these institutes involved in folk culture studies.
  • (3) Further, ICFCS will promote interdisciplinary, international joint research that can concretely envision new areas and perspectives for research.

In pursuing these three objectives, the work of ICFCS will also serve to make Japanese scholarship known internationally by proposing perspectives and methods for analyzing the culture of everyday life using "Jomin" as a universal concept, and by such undertakings as presenting a theoretical basis for World Intangible Cultural Heritage listing that will valorize the culture of different ethnic groups, thereby concretely demonstrating the need for cross-cultural understanding as a means of deterring conflict and war in keeping with the spirit of UNESCO.

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Kanagawa University
International Center for Folk Culture Studies