About Us

About Us

Working under the aegis of the National Institutes for the Humanities, the project is a collaboration of

       • the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature,

       • the National Institute of Japanese Literature, and

       • the National Museum of Ethnology.

The three institutes bring unique perspectives, expertise and approaches to the project and engage in their own fieldwork and/or historical research. At the same time, the broad Ecohealth concept provides a conceptual umbrella and the partners regularly convene in workshops and seminars on topics of common interest. Overall coordination is provided by the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature.

Research Units

(1) New Developments in Ecohealth Research in Asia

Institution: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto

PI: Hein Mallee

Through historical examination of health concepts and practices in East Asia and contemporary fieldwork in communities in Laos, China and Japan experiencing rapid demographic change, this strand of the research aims to move beyond disease-oriented understandings to a holistic and positive appreciation of health in specific contexts and places.

(2) Historical Japanese Books in Asia – Medicine, Science and Agronomy

Institution: National Institute of Japanese Literature, Tokyo

PI: Iriguchi Atsushi
In the early modern period, a rich body of publications on medicine, science and agronomy, emerged in Japan. Such publications have close relationship with modern social life. This research focuses on these books and compares them with those in China, South Korea, Ryukyu and Vietnam, etc. The research examines all the problems relating to the process of production, circulation, and reading experience and explores the characteristics of Japanese medicine, science and agronomy books in terms of content and form.


(3) The Constellation of Food in Civilization

Institution: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka

PI: Nobayashi Atsushi
Taking the perspective of the cultural apparatus which supports civilized society, this research investigates the food concept and its practice system, clarifies its cultural function and social dynamics, and explores the principles of social coexistence and conflict concerning food. At the same time, this research strengthens the research of Japanese cultural anthropology in this field, and promotes the research results to go international.


Project members
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The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
National Institute of Japanese Literature
National Museum of Ethnology
National Institutes for the Humanities