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ILCAA Joint Research Project

The Origin of Human Sociality: Towards New Perspective on Hominization

The origin of human sociality: Towards new perspective on hominization


  • sociality
  • human evolution
  • hominization
  • anthropology
  • primatology


  • Southeast Asia
  • Africa
  • Oceania
  • Arctic Circle
  • Japan



About the Project

Project term: April, 2018–March, 2021

Homo sapiens is the only species with highly evolved cognitive ability and sociality. In recent years, researchers have made rapid advances in studies of monkeys and apes, which have a close genetic relation to humans. In particular, laboratory research into cognitive abilities from the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and comparative cognitive science has achieved significant results. In this joint research project, we approach the origin of human sociality from an empirical perspective based on field data from such disciplines as anthropology (mainly social/cultural anthropology and ecological anthropology) and primatology (mainly wild primate ecology and wild primate sociology). We aim to achieve a comprehensive understanding of hominization — the epoch-making event in the history of human evolution — in addition to the latest knowledge about cognitive ability.

Kaori KAWAI, Project Coordinator (Associate Professor, ILCAA)



  • Kaori KAWAI (ILCAA)


  • Ikuya TOKORO
  • Ryoko NISHII

Joint Researchers

  • Kaoru ADACHI
  • Shinichi FUJII
  • Takeo FUNABIKI
  • Shunkichi HANAMURA
  • Noriko ITO
  • Naoki KASUGA
  • Naofumi NAKAGAWA
  • Michio NAKAMURA
  • Hitonaru NISHIE
  • Keiichi OMURA
  • Toru SOGA
  • David S. SPRAGUE
  • Masakazu TANAKA
  • Hideaki TERASHIMA
  • Takumi TSUTAYA
  • Motomitsu UCHIBORI



The 3rd meeting

  • Date/Time: Sat 19 Oct 2019 13:00–18:45, Sun 20 Oct 2019 9:30–16:00
  • Venue: Room 306, ILCAA
  • Jointly Sponsored by: ILCAA, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) “The Origin and Evolution of Sociality: Developing new theories of human evolution based on collaboration between anthropology and primatology” (Principal Investigator:Kaori KAWAI (ILCAA) Project Number:17H02328)
  • 19 Oct
  • 1. Michio NAKAMURA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “What is “sociality” and what is its “origin”?”
    2. Takeo FUNABIKI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Professor emeritus, Tokyo University)
    “The Positive feedback between Body Front and Sociality:Upright position makes human front body communicative and social”
  • 20 Oct
  • 1. Hideaki TERASHIMA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kobe Gakuin University)
    “Pair bond, family, band”
    2. Shin'ichi FUJII (ILCAA Joint Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology)
    “Manners of the Coexistence: Competition and Symbiosis in the Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands”

The 2nd meeting Report (Japanese)(1.6MB)

  • Date/Time: Sat 16 Feb 2019 13:00–19:30,Sun 17 Feb 2019 9:30–17:00
  • Venue: Room 306, ILCAA
  • 16 Feb
  • Takumi TSUTAYA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, JAMSTEC)
    “Self-introduction & Practices of cooperative breeding in modern Japan society”
    Naofumi NAKAGAWA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University )
    “Evolution of tolerant society and its behavioral traits in nonhuman primates”
    Lecture by a guest speaker: Ayaka TAKIMOTO (Hokkaido University)
    “The emergence of morality in tufted capuchin monkeys:prosocial behavior, inequity aversion and social evaluation”
  • 17 Feb
  • David SPRAGUE (ILCAA Joint Researcher, NARO)
    “Measuring the logic of spatial position for human and nonhuman primates”
    Keiichi OMURA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, The Open University of Japan)
    “The Ontology of co-operation: The dramaturgy for sociality in the Inuit worlding”
    Shunkichi HANAMURA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “The behavior of waiting and the force to elicit a reaction: focusing on the way of moving together and the interactions involving sick individuals in chimpanzees”

The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(465KB)

  • Date/Time: Sat 23 Jun 2018 13:00–19:30,Sun 24 Jun 2018 13:00–19:30
  • Venue: Room 306, ILCAA
  • 23 Jun
  • Kaori KAWAI (ILCAA)
    Introduction of the project
    All members
    Trends of three study fields on human sociality
    Kaoru ADACHI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto Sangyo University)
    Koji KITAMURA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Okayama University)
    Ecological Anthropology
    Motomitsu UCHIBORI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Hitotsubashi University / The Open University of Japan)
    Social/Cultural Anthropology
  • 24 Jun, Lectures by guest speakers
  • Yuriko IGARASHI (Nihon University)
    “The human evolution from the view point of fertility”
    Ryo ODA (Nagoya Institute of Technology)
    “Evolutionary cognitive bases of altruism”

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