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Research in Waza (Skills and Techniques) Linking Kokoro and Mono
(Views of Kokoro Research Domain)

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

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Ken-ichiro Umehara, M.A., Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design (Aesthetics, Art Studies)
Michio Okada, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate School of Toyohashi University of Technology (Ecological Psychology, Cognitive Science, Robotics)
Hideyuki Fujii, Chief Researcher, Research Center for Performing Arts Monodukuri Center, Kyoto University of Art and Design (Study of Mannequins)
Soichiro Kanbayashi, M.A.(Art Studies), Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design (Design)
Vimala Inoue, Associate Professor, Koyasan University (Spiritual Care Studies, Method of Meditation, Techniques of the Body)
Akira Kurashima, Associate Professor, Kwansei Gakuin University(Sociology and Theory of Body Techniques)

Collaborative Project Researchers
Ayumi Matsuike, M.A. (Art Studies), Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Japanese-style Painter
Yoshihito Sudo, M.A. (Art Studies), Associate Professor, Department of International Communication, Okinawa University (Visual Anthropology, Okinawa Folklore)

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

We intend to focus on waza (skills and techniques) as one perspective in the pursuit of kokoro (mind and consciousness). Waza refers to the various skills and techniques that humans have developed, passed on to others and modified. Waza range from breathing and meditation techniques to skills and techniques of martial arts, the performing arts, the fine arts, and human communication. By focusing on waza, it becomes possible to more precisely scrutinize the interrelationships between the human kokoro, the objects and tools that humans have created, and the conceptual world. Waza acts as a mediator between kokoro and mono (objects). Objects are normally visible to the eye, while kokoro is not. However, kokoro has given form to the world of objects that instill the world of humanity with greater depth and breadth. In ancient Japan, waza for invoking and interacting with the gods and for enhancing and strengthening the life force was known as Waza Ogi. Waza includes various ceremonies, performing arts, fine arts, martial arts, technology, academics, and lifestyles; humans seek to achieve fulfillment in their lives by creating a fertile culture through the force of waza.

Like kokoro, waza consists of words that have breadth and diversity. “Waza ari” is a term used in the sport of judo, which has now been adopted in international judging. By pursuing the world of waza as a term shared worldwide and researching the essence and meaning as well as the variations of waza, we may ascertain the richness, fascination and joy of both kokoro and of life, and make use of it and apply it in our own everyday lives. That would then lead to the renewal of kokoro, which has secured individuality and freedom, and renewal of the world.