リサーチユニット総覧(Research Unit Magazine)

人文知を結集して祈りの文化史から 「日本」を読み解く
新研究領域創出型日本研究リサーチユニットIntegration of knowledge obtained from various fields of humanities to analyze “Japan” through the cultural history of prayers

中核研究者 : 沼田 善子  谷口 孝介  
他のメンバー : 小野 正樹  藤川 昌樹  平石 典子  
キーワード: 日本研究、祈り、宗教文芸、法会、比較研究











●筑波大学東京キャンパスにて、第5 回東アジア宗教文献国際研究集会「玄奘フォーラム」を、国内外の研究者を招いて開催(図1)
●根津美術館にて説話文学会シンポジウム「 女院と尼僧の信仰の軌跡―根津美術館蔵「 春日若宮大般若経」をめぐって―」を開催(図2)

図1:「玄奘フォーラム」における阿部龍一ハーバード大学 教授による基調講演

図1:「玄奘フォーラム」における阿部龍一ハーバード大学 教授による基調講演




Integration of knowledge obtained from various fields of humanities to analyze “Japan” through the cultural history of prayers

Core researcher : Numata, Yoshiko  Taniguchi, Kousuke  
Unit members : Ono, Masaki  Fujikawa, Masaki  Hiraishi, Noriko  

Unit name: Innovative Research Unit of Japanese Studies

Key words: research on Japan, prayer, religious literary, houe gathering, comparative studies 



  09chikamoto01     What is “research on Japan”? Specialists from many different fields collaborate with each other to take on the challenge of acquiring a better understanding of “Japan” from various perspectives, including “time”, “space”, and “subjects”. Researchers usually hold academic conferences in each specialized field. What chemical reaction occurs, if researchers from various fields take on the same subject that can be an interface between different fields? “Innovative Research Unit of Japanese Studies” is a research unit organized to generate research results based this approach.



Cultural history of prayers that transcends time and space

       The core theme of the research unit is the “cultural history of prayers”. The history of prayers in Japan is characterized by the maturation of its culture since the pre-modern period and a large number of exchanges with foreign countries since the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. To understand the meaning of the history of prayers, it is necessary to explore the origins of cultures brought to Japan from other countries or areas, and conduct comparative studies. Based on the awareness of the issue, we held an interdisciplinary, international forum to review Genjo-Sanzo, a Buddhist priest, from various perspectives, including those of India and Japan (Figure 1).

       Let us discuss “houe”, a type of gathering, to review the cultural history of prayers. When “houe” is held in a temple, it will be turned into a place for symphony, decorated with Buddhist images and mandala patterns, in which music and entertainment are performed, and the remarks of priests will increase its magnificence. To conduct research on such a subject, it is necessary to combine expertise obtained from the fields of humanities with knowledge from temple construction and other scientific fields.

       The research unit aims to conduct innovative research to analyze the core essence in understanding Japan through thrilling exchange of knowledge.


Cross-disciplinary studies based on varieties of knowledge that inspire each other

       When conducting collaborative research in interdisciplinary fields, researchers from different specialties tend to discuss only the superficial aspects of their specialized research.

       The research unit encourages its members to conduct in-depth analyses based on their specialties, rather than dissolving their specialized fields or compromising. The members conduct collaborative research to generate research results beyond the frameworks of existing academic societies. Although researchers often become surprised at unexpected discoveries and feel uneasy when debates make unanticipated turns, during discussions, their views are based on in-depth knowledge obtained from their specialized fields, and the discussions are opportunities for exciting academic research in a true sense.




Social contributions and achievements

– Held international forums in Harvard University, the SOAS of the University of London, the University of Illinois, University of Helsinki, Tallinn University, National Chengchi University, University of Ljubljana, and Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies

– Held the 5th International Research Meeting for East Asian Religion and Literature: “Genjo Forum”, on the Tokyo Campus of the University of Tsukuba, inviting researchers from across Japan and other countries (Figure 1).

– Held a narrative literature symposium in Nezu Museum: “Histories of the Nyoin system and beliefs among nuns – A study of ‘Kasuga-wakamiya-daihannyakyo’ stored in Nezu Museum” (Figure 2)

図1:「玄奘フォーラム」における阿部龍一ハーバード大学 教授による基調講演

Figure 1: Keynote lecture delivered by Professor Ryuichi Abe of Harvard University at the “Genjo Forum”


Figure 2: A poster of the narrative literature symposium held under the theme of the transcription of Buddhist sutra

Interviewed on September 10, 2015