The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, signs Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Akita International University (AIU)
The Art Research Center (ARC), Ritsumeikan University, is pleased to announce the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Akita International University (AIU), a leading institution in international liberal arts education in Japan.
On November 28, 2022, a signing ceremony for the MoU was held at Akita International University and attended by Professor Ryo Akama (College of Letters), Director of the ARC, and Professor Koichi Hosoi (College of Image Arts and Sciences), Deputy Director of the ARC.
Akita International University was represented by Professor Monte Cassim, President of AIU, and Professor Yoshitaka Kumagai, Vice President of AIU. As former President of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) and former Vice-Chancellor of the Ritsumeikan Trust, Professor Cassim has been pivotal in bringing about this partnership.
The MoU provides a stable framework to advance collaborative projects in digital humanities, in particular, with regards to the building of a digital archive database of materials related to traditional art and culture of the Tohoku region by integrating AIU's Akita Folkloric Performance Art Archives in the ARC Portal Database System--hence, facilitating the dissemination of such materials worldwide.
The Akita Folkloric Performance Art Archives comprise audiovisual records of more than 300 folkloric performance arts in Akita Prefecture held by AIU.
In addition, the MoU shall strengthen academic research on both sides through the organization and participation in joint research programs and events as well as the exchange of researchers from both institutions.
Following the signing ceremony, a round-table discussion was held where Professor Kumagai introduced the Akita Folkloric Performance Art Archives and Professor Akama explained how the integration of the archives into the ARC Portal Database System works. Furthermore, both parties shared their thoughts on preserving Japanese cultural heritage.