English Welcome - The Daizokyo Database, Center for Evolving Humanities
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Greeting (Daizōkyō Database Hub Representative: Masahiro Shimoda)

Photo of Prof. Shimoda

 The Internet, which links the computer terminals of individuals around the world, processing a huge amount of calculation in high speed, and allowing these individuals to cooperate in the exchange of information instantly, has as come to thoroughly penetrate our daily lives, becoming a basic component of the present-day intellectual society in less than 20 years, To make the fullest use of this social infrastructure in the area of research, the entirety of the research material and findings of research must be appropriately digitized, and to this end, it is necessary to prepare and maintain a new kind of knowledge-base that corresponds to the distinctive needs of each field of research.。

 Especially in the case of the vast and diverse realm of the Humanities disciplines, which are based on cultural resources inherited from the past, the accomplishment or not of this conversion of the medium is a vitally important matter that cannot but end up determining the future of the study of letters. The move is from the paper medium to the electronic medium and from analog to digital; the task is to convert both the medium and the form of description. Once this is properly done, we can receive and transmit the fruits of traditional Humanities research, and with its profound insights as the basis, the practical wisdom of information science can be applied in an eminently useful manner. To this end, the promotion and development of the new field of Digital Humanities is urgently needed.

 In order to confront this problem, the direction to be pursued by Evolving Humanities should be searched out and opened up. After constructing and securing a large-scale database of research materials that can serve as the basic resource for a given pioneering field, we can begin our work, while continually analyzing carefully and learning from the various problems and issues that arise.

 This "Daizōkyō Database Platform" takes as its central focus and starting point the Taishō Tripiṭaka, the digital text corpus in which all the vast wisdom of Buddhism is contained, having reached its consummation in East Asian after a two thousand year history. Thus it the Daizōkyō has been established as a veritable laboratory to search for the image of the future of the Humanities fields within a new medium, by taking the vast knowledge of Buddhism inherited by every region of Asia, and juxtaposing this with the fruits of modern-day research in every region of the world.