Let us think about achievements in humanities based on our unit’s research.
1 To learn about ‘intellect/reason’
Human society and culture have been created through our act of ‘knowing and thinking’ using language. Every discipline regardless of whether it is in humanities or natural sciences is based on this act. The aim of humanities is to learn about this act itself. In humanities, we reflect on the function of and knowledge by language, and explore the relationship between mental activities and body or emotions on the other hand. In the modern age, we can also look into comparison with artificial intelligence. What makes human beings human? In particular, philosophy, ethics and religious studies propose insight into this question.
2 Building knowledge foundation
Furthermore, research in humanities aims to know what human beings have created. It explores thoughts, history, literature and language which have been created by human action and mental activities in various regions and time periods in order to explain what human beings are from their creation. The ingredients are texts and artefact left by human beings. These would be relics of the past or dead bodies if no one pays attention to them. However, humanities makes contribution by restoring and translating them and by creating opportunities for all people in modern society to meet them; this will then produce the driving force to create new knowledge and culture in modern society and lead to the cultivation of a perspective that enables human beings to carry out critical interrogation about ethics, the use of science and technology, and religious issues, in light of human beings’ spiritual happiness. Humanities will have achieved its aim if it can provide the foundation to learn about human knowledge innovation so far and to produce new knowledge innovation in the best form possible.
3 Sharing knowledge
We preserve and restore texts and artefact which are evidence that people of the past lived in this world; we translate them into a form that is accessible for people in modern society. By doing so, we transform our asset – knowledge – into something that can be shared and we hand it down to the next generation. Transmission of intangible intellectual heritage. In our unit, we first restore the content of manuscripts, the primary source, in the form of annotated texts. We then translate them into modern languages such as English and Japanese. We add notes in difficult places. We make them accessible to everyone regardless of time and space. We compare multiple texts and present changes in them as history or history of thought. Everyone can read works from various regions and time periods in his/her mother tongue and learn from them – the creation of such rich culture in modern society is one of achievements in humanities research.