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Brief History of Activities : The Digital Humanities Initiative [DHI] was established in 2013 for the purpose of developing methods of research and teaching that embrace and utilize digital technology and web systems. It is our aim to revolutionize the way of preservation of knowledge as well as the methods of transmission in the Humanities, and to open up to a broader public information previously held only in the universities, libraries, and museums. For the areas of the humanities and sociology which are based on to various, huge cultural resources received from the past, how will it be possible to respond to the rapid changes occurring in the digital realm? This is an important matter that will determine the future course of learning.

The DHI is an outgrowth from the Creation Section, which was established under the auspices of the "Death and Life Studies Base" in 2005. The death and life studies that developed greatly through the activity of research base formation program COE and the succeeding program GCOE became independent of the department, integrating relating projects and establishing an endowed chair as the center for death and life studies and practical ethics in 2012. ( )

Our team of DH researchers expanded and became further organized based on five years of activity supported by a Challenging Exploratory Research Grant with the title "Data Base Hub Daizōkyō" (a database that has the Taishō canon at its center; see ), established in 2008. The center of this research project became the headquarters of the initiative. The present members of the initiative are: two dedicated faculty — Prof. Masahiro Shimoda (section chief) and Prof. Charles Muller, along with six affiliated faculty members, including Prof. Hiroaki Nagashima (Japanese Literature), Prof. Shōgo Takegawa (Sociology), Prof. Yusuke Nakamura (Cultural Resources), Assoc. Prof. Masato Kobayashi (Linguistics), Assoc. Prof. Akira Takagishi (Art History), and Assoc. Prof. Noriyuki Takahashi (Japanese History).

Concerning education, in addition to offering introductory courses and special lectures within the program, the DHI serves to guide the interdisciplinary educational program in Digital Humanities in the graduate school, offering the core subjects, thus contributing to general education at the University of Tokyo. Furthermore, through our participation in the Japanese Association of Digital Humanities (JADH), the Digital Humanities Initiative is playing a major role in introducing Japanese culture to an international scholarly audience. In terms of research, taking as a base the project of digitization and web implementation of the digital text corpus of the Taishō canon (which contains the vast body of systematic Buddhist knowledge), we have been developing an interoperative knowledge base in collaboration with research projects at the Humanities Institute of Kyoto University, the National Institute of Informatics, as well as various universities in the U.S. and Europe. ( This project provides a cutting-edge model for collaborative digital research. (