In 2005, Doshisha University established the "Faculty of Culture and Information Science" to study "culture" as human activities using "data science". Aiming to create “comprehensive knowledge” through the learning of

In the first place, data science is an academic discipline that utilizes knowledge such as statistics and informatics to derive new value from data.Taking advantage of the fact that the amount of data to be researched is increasing at an accelerating pace and that it is developing in collaboration with various fields, the Faculty offers data science and philosophy, history and subculture, fashion, media, cognition, psychology, and education. By linking it with various cultural aspects such as , language, etc., we have developed data science as an academic discipline and pursued human understanding.

This time, we interviewed Associate Professor Rapo Gaetan of the Digital History Laboratory, who is in charge of "Introduction to Historical and Cultural Information" and "Outline of Historical and Cultural Information".

How to study history in the digital age

In recent years, a research field called "digital humanities" (humanistic informatics) has been expanding as a field of humanities research that utilizes digital technology.Such digital technology is also actively used in historical studies, and research is progressing in the field of "digital history."

“I myself have identified the authors of religious texts from the Middle Ages in Japan using text mining, which extracts purpose-specific information from a large amount of texts, and published a paper on them.

Specifically, we analyzed a large amount of data and text strings, analyzed how many of the same characters appeared, how many of the same quotations were used, and whether there were any similarities in style. I was able to prove that it was most likely made by a 14th-century monk, which I had originally hypothesized, or someone very close to it.

In this way, by incorporating digital technology into historical studies, the most obvious use is to 'solve historical mysteries' that could not be proven in the past," says Associate Professor Rapeau.

“The field of 'digital history', which is the name of my laboratory, actually has a surprisingly long history. There are three directions in this digital history. discover".By creating new data, organizing it, and putting it into a database, it mainly provides data to researchers to make it easier to conduct research.

The second is "analysis of data."This is a technology that analyzes the target data from various directions and obtains new knowledge, like the text mining I mentioned earlier.

And the third is "visualization of history", in other words, technology that makes history more understandable and visible, or new possibilities created by it.For example, creating a digital map to show long-term demographic changes in a place, or showing where in the West the most books mentioning Japan are published. is taking place. ”

By incorporating digital technology and statistics into history, it is possible to instantly obtain accurate data from databases via the Internet without having to read large amounts of literature as in the past, or to relive past events. It may be possible to reproduce things that are closer to the real thing, and history is becoming more accessible.

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Doshisha University

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In 1875, Doshisha English School, the predecessor of Doshisha University, was founded by Joseph Hardy Neesima. We have practiced conscience education with the educational principles of "Christianity," "liberalism," and "internationalism."The virtue of loving the truth and making humanity serious, the spirit of respecting individuality and valuing each person, the power to grasp the world from a broad perspective, these […]

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