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Basic Research into Mono and Sensation Value

Project Leader
Hiroshi Onishi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Michio Okada, Ph.D., Professor, Toyohashi University of Technology
Ken-ichi Harada, Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design
Shigemi Inaga, Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies

Collaborative Project Researchers
Hideyuki Fujii, Chief Researcher, Research Center for Performing Arts Monodukuri Center, Kyoto University of Art and Design
Soichiro Kanbayashi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design
Takahiro Kondo, Ceramic Artist
Junji Watanabe, Post Doctoral Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Faculty Staff Responsible for the Project
Toji Kamata, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

The Japanese word mono (object or thing) figures in terms like monogatari (thing told = tale or narrative), mononoke (thing sensed = ghost or specter), and mononoaware (a thing's pathos = aesthetic sense). Such terms connote immaterial presences or feelings connected to other people or spirits. But how do humans acquire such awareness of pathos or spirits? Mono involve not only sensation, but also truth, goodness, beauty, and values (that certain things outrank others). Our research project approaches sensation and axiology from two perspectives: of those who create mono (things or artworks), and of those who perceive mono.
In fiscal years 2006 through 2009, Professor Kamata advanced the “Mono Science and Sensation Value Research Group” to study “Formulating Mono Science--Verifying the Mono-Oriented Creative Power and Sensation Value Flowing through Japanese Civilization from Mononoaware.” Our March 2010 symposium advocated a new cross-dimensional frame of reference to deepen discussion on mono and sensation, to establish new foundations and research methodology. Our results will advance a new field of research, relating existing research domains from a broader perspective.