Research Objectives

artwork by: Takayuki Kuramoto

Integrated Research into the Processes and Mechanisms of Racialization

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's five races.
Purpose and Background of the Research

There exists a vast body of research in the field of race studies, but research has been primarily based in the internal and external colonial experience of Western nations. This project will bring together case studies from Japan and Asia, in addition to those from the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, with the goal of clarifying the processes and mechanisms of “racialization.”

This project will specifically encompass the following three topics:

  1. We will examine the principal investigator’s theory that racialization began in premodern times in the West and/or elsewhere.
  2. A consideration of the trans-national processes of continuity and rupture in the discourse surrounding race in Japan and Asia.
  3. We will undertake a consideration of the scientific discourse surrounding “group difference” in drug responsiveness and rates of morbidity in the post-genomic era, paying particular attention to social systems.
Research Methods

The principal investigator proposes research methods, a theoretical framework, and a research plan, for international cooperative research. In addition, the researchers from the various disciplines (history, cultural anthropology, science) will carry out case studies (data collection, field work). Further, we will put our efforts toward holding an international symposium and publishing the results of our research.

Expected Research Achievements and Scientific Significance

By bringing in this heretofore ignored vantage point, the current project will construct a new theory of race studies to replace the old Western-centric theoretical model.
We will also endeavor to return the benefits of the current project to the community, for example holding symposia aimed and promoting the creation of guidelines beneficial to genomic and post-genomic research.

Race is a topic given great weight internationally in both academia and secondary education. This project will be one step on the road to advancing social consciousness of the issues surrounding racism.

Blumenbach’s influence on Meiji textbooks (Takezawa 2015)
Blumenbach’s influence on Meiji textbooks (Takezawa 2015)
Race is a topic given great weight internationally in both academia and secondary education. This project will be one step on the road to advancing social consciousness of the issues surrounding racism.
Publications Relevant to the Project
  • Yasuko Takezawa ed. Racial Representations in Asia, Kyoto University Press, 2011.
  • Yasuko Takezawa ed. Is Race a Universal Idea? (in Japanese), Jimbun Shoin, 2005.
Term of Project

FY2016-2020