The framework

The project is a research unit of the Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University.

The unit analyzes cross-cultural networks. In a highly connected world, personal, political, or economic networks are often assumed (with suspicion) but seldom studied cross-culturally. The unit collaboratively investigates a set of models for prosopography and network analysis that consider groups as elements in society. The focus is not on the individual but on the individual within the context of family, work, and leisure. In other words, the research unit highlights the importance of the places and temporal plane in which an individual is active and the function he performs within society.

The research project is an ongoing one with various time periods and regions as its concentration.

As a start-up project we discuss the available methods and models for our network analysis. This knowledge serves as a foundation for our first focus, on the early modern period in Japan, an understudied era in regards to network analysis. The project "Intellectual Networks in Early Modern Japan and Beyond" focuses on various groups with an integrative analysis of a wide variety of writings. The conclusions will enhance our understanding of both the ideological realm, which informed policies ordered by the shogunate and the domains of the regional rulers (daimyo), and the practical realm of how these networks operated. The results will emphasize the traffic of ideas and endeavors among people from various backgrounds and stations in life beyond narrow geographic borders.