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Kokoro Interdisciplinary Research through Microculture Phenomena Analysis, Focusing on Visual Materials and Medical Journals

Project Leader
Keizo Miyasaka, Professor, Keio University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Miho Ishii, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University
Karl Heider, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina; Invited Professor, Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University

Collaborative Project Researchers
Ryota Yamaguchi, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Takanori Oishi, M.Sc., Researcher, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

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

Microculture phenomena analysis is a means of understanding the expression and cognitive processes of kokoro (mind and consciousness) in natural interactions. Gregory Bateson's ecology of mind grounds our analytical theories of visual materials expressing kokoro. Our approach to medicine focuses on recent cognitive psychological anthropology research on “culture immanent in kokoro.” Rapid advances in visual technology, combined with a deluge of visual images, complicate the relations between reality and images as well.
Researching visual academic visual materials expressing kokoro and “kokoro journal materials,” include: (1) collecting, classifying, and analyzing documentary visuals of possession, insanity, and psychological disorders, along with images drawn from anthropology, psychology, cognitive science, and other cross-cultural disciplines; (2) studying the relationships between photographers, the subjects, and viewers, considering cultural and cross-cultural ethics; (3) examining academic visual materials expressing kokoro, expanding to encompass kokoro journal materials of microculture phenomena.
In fiscal 2009, we focused on visual anthropology related to dependence in the London RAI materials, studying images expressing kokoro, as well as the anthropological research behind those conditions. At the end of fiscal 2009, our studies of visual records expressing human kokoro suggested targeting ethnological research into animal interaction, and the methods and characteristics of academic film records for such research. In March 2010, we visited Dr. Beate Engelbrecht and other visual anthropology scholars of the Referentin fur Ethonologie and IWF Wissen und Medien, viewing and discussing their visual archives. Karl Heider of South Carolina will keynote our research symposium in July, 2011.
In addition to our theme of pathological consciousness in visuals and medical journals, we are initiating unprecedented international studies of “jealousy” and of “deep depression” that we hope will deepen our understanding of human mind and feelings.