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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Construction of Method of Studies on Asian Scripts 1



  • script
  • grammatology (studies of script)
  • Chinese character (ideograph) and scripts derived from Chinese character
  • Indic scripts
  • ancient scripts


  • Asia
  • China
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Mainland Southeast Asia
  • Japan



About the Project

Project term: April, 2017–March, 2020

Asia is a globally unique area in which various kinds and types of writing systems have been established and used from ancient times up to modern times. The studies on such Asian scripts contribute to general studies of scripts, one of the most unadvanced areas of linguistics. This project covers not only popular scripts such as Chinese character and Indic scripts, but also minor scripts such as Tangut, Khitan, Chu Nom and Tomba. It also targets ancient scripts, including cuneiforms, hieroglyphs and Chinese characters on bones and shells. The members of the project conduct multifaceted studies of the scripts, especially on the shapes of glyphs, to obtain a comprehensive understanding on principles of scripts. The project aims to produce not mere description and explanation of individual scripts, but materials available for more general studies, such as a glossary of the studies of scripts. It also plays the role as a successor of GICAS (Grammatological Informatics based on the Corpora of Asian Scripts) project (2001-2004, in ILCAA).

Shintaro ARAKAWA, Project Coordinator (Associate Professor, ILCAA)



  • Shintaro ARAKAWA (ILCAA)


  • Hideo SAWADA

Joint Researchers

  • Naomichi KUROSAWA
  • Kazuhiko MACHIDA
  • Wakaha MORI
  • Masakatsu NAGAI
  • Atsushi OCHIAI
  • Kazuhiro OKADA
  • Kenji OKANO
  • Masami OTAKE
  • Hiroyuki SASAHARA
  • Masaaki SHIMIZU
  • Masayuki YOSHIKAWA



The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(115KB)

  • Date/Time: Sat 3 Jun 2017 13:30–17:00,Sun 4 Jun 2017 10:00–16:00
  • Venue: Room 304, ILCAA
  • 3 Jun
  • Shintaro ARAKAWA (ILCAA)
    “On the joint-research project”
    Shintaro ARAKAWA (ILCAA)
    “Tangut script: Characteristics of the shapes and the structures”
    Kenji OKANO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
    “Burmese script found in (stone) inscriptions: its characteristics of the shapes and the structures”
  • 4 Jun
  • Masayuki YOSHIKAWA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, The University of Tokyo)
    “Writing Sinitic languages: Uniqueness of the Chinese character forms and the writing systems”
    Atsushi OCHIAI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Ritsumeikan University)
    “The shape change and abstraction of Chinese character”
    All members
    Scheduling and discussion for 2017 year

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