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Brief History of Activities

The starting point for our main project occurred in 1994, when Prof. Yasunori EJIMA (1937-1999) of the Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies at the University of Tokyo established the "Daizōkyō Text Database Research Committee" in order to implement a plan for the digitization of the full set of volumes of the Taishō shinshū daizōkyō. Based on the support of research grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, with matching funds from private organizations, about 600 million yen was used, along with the assistance of 226 collaborators. With the work spanning a 13-year period, the task of digitization was completed in July of 2006. During this period, with the aim of constructing a model for research in Digital Humanities, the Taishō Daizōkyō text database was taken as a foundation as an example of textual resource for the field of Evolving Humanities. In April of 2007, during the tenure of Masao TACHIBANA as Dean of research, the Database Platform of the Center for Evolving Humanities was established within the Humanities Division under the category of Exploratory Research.

Since then, this database platform has entered into collaborative research arrangements with a number of large-scale Buddhist research projects, including the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (administered by Charles Muller, who has brought more than seventy collaborators into the project from around the world to develop a comprehensive resource for Buddhist terminology), the INBUDS database of research articles (administered by the Japan Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, which includes articles going back a full century), the Pāli Text Society's public text database (London; administered by the Dhammachai International Research Institute), the Hamburg University India-Tibetan Studies Lexicon Project, the English Tripiṭaka Project (administered by the Numata Foundation/Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai). In addition to these, we have linked up with the National Institute of Informatics Scholarly and Academic Information Navigator (CiNii), a central hub not only for information in the field of Buddhist Studies, but an advanced fundamental source for humanities texts in all fields.