Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (2019-2023)

Integrative Human Historical Science of "Out of Eurasia"
Exploring the Mechanisms of the Development of Civilization


A02 How art and technology connect mind, body, and society


Principal Investigator
Naoko Matsumoto (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Okayama University)
Tomo Ishimura (Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Independent
Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)
Yoshifumi Ueno (National Museum of Japanese History)
Etsuo Sato (Faculty of Contemporary Society, Toyama University of
International Studies)
Yuichiro Kudo (Faculty of International Studies, Gakushuin Women’s College)
Makiko Kuwahara (Faculty of Humanities, Kinjo Gakuin University)
Satoru Nakazono (Faculty of Intercultural Studies, The International
University of Kagoshima)
Yuichi Matsumoto (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Yamagata University)
Takumi Ishii (National Museum of Japanese History)
Ifurai (Ifurai Museum)
Miyuki Kamachi (Faculty of Informatics, Kogakuin University)
Liliana Janik (Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge)
Hiromi Hirakawa (Faculty of Intercultural Studies, The International University
of Kagoshima)
Maki Taroura (Faculty of Intercultural Studies, The International University
of Kagoshima)
Joseph Ryan (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Okayama University)

Research outline

In order to examine how material culture influences humans, it is necessary to make an integrative analysis of “art” as the technological aspect which extends human physical functions, along with the artistic aspect which manipulates the heart by evoking symbolism and metaphor and engaging emotion. This project aims to elucidate the nature of the generation and transformation of “art” by comparing their processes among the Japanese archipelago, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and Oceania, with a specific focus on how the two aspects of art are integrated through the body. Through archaeological, anthropological, and psychological analyses of the phenomenon by which the environment is humanized and humans are artificialized through art (technology, fine art), the historical process by which unique social realities (subjective realities that serve as norms for behavior) are formed will be clarified, providing new understandings of man and culture.

In order to consider how culture is produced through the interaction of mind and matter, which until now have been conceptually treated as distinct, research perspectives are needed which place the focus on the human body and behavior, and (1) while falling into neither biological determinism nor an extreme cultural relativism, take man, the living organism, plus humanly produced cultural variability as a single entity, and (2) overcoming the dualistic mind–body and mind–matter frameworks that have formed the basis of modern science, consider the transformation of matter, mind, and body as a single, tightly integrated system. Through close collaborations with other projects, we analyze “art” as an extension of both body and mind with various methods and techniques, including 3D models and XRF analysis, to clarify how material culture exerts its force on us.