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Basic Research in the History of and Comparative Cultural Theory relating to kokoro (How has Humanity Conceived of kokoro?)
(Views of Kokoro Research Domain)

Project Leader
Toji Kamata, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Juichi Yamagiwa, D.Sc., Professor, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University (Primatology, Evolutionary Studies and Gorilla Studies)
Naoko Matsumoto, Ph.D. (Literature), Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters, Okayama University (Cognitive Archaeology)
Takakazu Yumoto, D.Sc., Professor, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Plant Ecology)
Satoji Yano, Ph.D. (Pedagogy), Professor, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University (Clinical Pedagogy)
Atsushi Iriki, MD, Group Leader, Riken (Brain Science)
Toshihiko Hasegawa, MD, Professor, Nippon Medical School (Medical Anthropology, Public Health)
Humihiko Sueki, Ph.D. (Literature), Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Buddhism)

Collaborator from the Kokoro Research Center
Takanori Oishi, M.Sc., Researcher, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Examining how humanity has conceived of kokoro (mind and consciousness) from the perspectives of religion, philosophy, the arts, and science, and highlighting the diversity of views of kokoro, we seek to identify basic shared principles within that diversity. In addition to speculation in the history of thought and comparative cultural theory, we seek to overview transitions and diversity in the views of kokoro. Using an evolutionary perspective from primates to humans, we shall extract views of kokoro from scientific research as well. More specifically, we will undertake a macro-historical examination of the nature of kokoro as manifested in the people who have lived on the Japanese archipelago. We will publish papers regarding (1) kokoro as evidenced in prehistoric Japanese Jomon relics, (2) kokoro as evidenced in relics of Japanese Yayoi and Kofun (burial mound) periods, (3) views of kokoro of the Japanese people evident in the myths of ancient Shinto religion portrayed in the Kojiki, Nihonshoki, Kogoshui and other ancient documents, (4) views of kokoro evident in Buddhism, (5) views of kokoro evident in Confucianism, (6) views of kokoro evident in Kukai’s Ten Abodes of Mind of the Mysterious Mandala, and Saicho’s Doshin (Sangegakushoshiki), (7) views of kokoro of the present-day Japanese people (the novel Kokoro by Natsume Soseki, the views of kokoro of Miyazawa Kenji, etc.). At the same time, we will also engage in discussions of similarities and disparities between kokoro in monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans, regional cultural disparities and secular changes (views of kokoro of ancient and modern humans), as well as connections to mental disorders. Through this research in the views of kokoro, we will confirm the philosophical assumptions required for kokoro research, encourage the creation of a shared playing field and self-awareness of the position held by each of the researchers, and confirm diversity while analyzing and organizing a kokoro model.