Current Research

Core to Core Programme

This is a challenging academic project to produce a new perception of world history through discussions with people of the world. The University of Tokyo, Princeton University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales at Paris and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in collaboration with Freie Universität Berlin form bases for making an international network of historians interested in world and global history and developing joint research and education programs on methodology, interpretation, understanding and description of world and global history. Through this project, we would like to make world’s intellectuals known achievements of high standard and various knowledge of humanities and social sciences in Japanese.


Completed Research

Eurasia in the Modern Period:Towards a New World History

This research project seeks a methodology through which to look at Eurasia and the rest of the world as one, rather than depending on existing modes of historical description that are based on nation states and a duality between Europe (the Occident) and Asia (the Orient). It has received a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences (Scientific Research S) to run for five years between 2009 and 2013. The question of how to write a world history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will be pursued through joint research.

Securalization, Religion and State

A mid-term programme of the University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP), one of the international education and research projects being carried out through the University of Tokyo Global COE. Students will consider ways of understanding the relationship between secularization, religion and the state in the world today together with the postdoctoral fellows and research associates affiliated with the Center. It forms part of the project reconsidering “modernity” since I published the book Creation of the Islamic World (in Japanese). See the programme’s website for a detailed description.

Comparative Studies of Asian Maritime Worlds

One of the study groups of the large-scale joint research project “Maritime Cross-Cultural Exchange in East Asia and the Formation of Japanese Traditional Culture” (2005-2009, supervised by Kojima Tsuyoshi, Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, University of Tokyo), supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences (Scientific Research on Priority Areas). It compares Asian maritime regions with other specified maritime regions (Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea) as historical space with the aim of bringing their particular characteristics to light.

Comparative Studies of Cross-cultural Exchange at Port Cities in Asia

A multi-faceted investigation of cross-cultural contacts at port cities in various parts of Asia where factories of the European East Indian Companies were located in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Six points for comparison were set up for comparative study, with the aim of clarifying through joint research characteristic features of the port city and the society of its surrounding environment. The programme was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences (Scientific Research A) and ran from April 2005 to March 2009.

Studies on Daniel Chardin's Documents at Yale University

The Chardin Correspondence and Documents collection is kept at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. It contains 708 personal letters and other documents belonging to Daniel Chardin, a merchant in Madras between 1687 and 1709, and his wife. This was a personal project that aimed to put these materials onto a database. The project was completed with a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences (Scientific Research C) in 2003-2004. The finished database is available to the public.

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