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Establishment
The Socio-cultural Research Institute (SCRI or Shabunken) is an integral part of Ryukoku University, a university which traces its roots back to 1639 when an educational institution for priests of the Honganji Temple was established. However, the university in its existing form, was achieved gradually after the Second World War. The university is now made up of the Faculties of Letters, Economics, Business Administration, Law, Science and Technology, Sociology and Intercultural Communication. It also includes research institutes for Buddhist Cultural Studies, Social Sciences, Science and Technology with the High-tech Research Center to be completed in the near future.
Socio-Cultural Research Institute
The Socio-cultural Research Institute is the most recently established institute (1997), replacing its predecessor the Center for Regional Studies which was attached to the Faculty of Sociology. This previous Center concentrated on sociological studies including social surveys of local regions, whilst activities included individual and team research as well as publication of findings.

With the establishment of the Faculty of Intercultural Communication in 1996, it was to decided to exresearch members of the Institute come from the Faculties of Sociopand the functions of the Center to include more research from an international perspective, in an interdisciplinary atmosphere. Thus, the Socio-cultural Research Institute was established. Key logy and Intercultural Communication but members from other faculties as well as other universities, both within Japan and abroad, are often included in team projects.
Aims Socio-Cultural Research Institute
With the collapse of the Cold War power structure and the 21st century soon at hand, Japan is experiencing many social, economic and environmental upheavals. Problems faced include: the rapidly aging society, instability of financial institutes and the bureaucracy. Moreover, internationalization and the borderless age have forced Japan to become more aware of her own position in the world while, at the same time, become more informed about her neighbours in the global community.
The Socio-Cultural Research Institute is committed to advancing both research in regional studies within Japan and international interdisciplinary studies. At present, reform is a key word in Japanese society. The role of religion, education, mass media and intellectuals is being scrutinized but because thorough objective analysis of the problems at hand has yet to be conducted, necessary drastic reforms have yet to be formulated. It is thus imperative that researchers and educators take on an active role in society through robust research. On an international level, it is imperative that we further our knowledge and understanding of the politics, economic climates and socio-cultural backgrounds of our global neighbors if Japan is to function effectively in the new world order. To this purpose, SCRI hopes to encourage imaginative academic research that will contribute to our knowledge about Japanese society in relation to other societies in order to promote solutions for problems faced by our rapidly changing world.
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Research projects
Research is funded on a one-year basis Individual research & Team research The organization of research activities is flexible. Team leaders are chosen from the Faculties of Sociology and Intercultural Communication but other members may be chosen from staff within Ryukoku University or from other institutions both within Japan and abroad. This flexible structure allows for research to be conducted on an interdisciplinary and international basis.

A wide range of areas are covered by members of SCRI: community issues, families, social theory, social welfare, religion, education, theatre, international politics, international law, ODA, economics, energy, the environment, and many other areas.
Publications
SCRI publishes a Bulletin annually in order to make public the findings of research conducted during the previous year. An occasional monograph series is also planned. Use of the Internet is also being examined to provide both the Bulletin and other information online, thereby making the Institute accessible on a world-wide basis.

Symposia, meetings
SCRI also holds occasional public lectures, symposia and research meetings in order to maintain an open academic forum. Such forum are attended by university staff, students, the general public and other interested people. Research findings from projects carried out in the previous year are also presented at occasional meetings that are open to all interested.
Journal of the Socio-Cultural Research Institute
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Other activities
In order to maintain an open forum, the Institute endeavours to maintain links with not only academic institutions but also with a wide range of both public and private institutions. SCRI is thus willing to conduct research for public or private bodies and welcomes contract research. Such research can be conducted by a single researcher or make use of the wide range of academic expertise available throughout the University. The University undertakes such research requests from government bodies and private enterprise in order to participate directly in society and make new knowledge available on a much wider basis.
Ryukoku Extension Cente
The Ryukoku Extension Center (REC) acts as the liaison between outside bodies and the University whilst also keeping direct contact with the community. REC ensures that feedback on research is made available to those who have participated in research, especially when social surveys are conducted with the cooperation of the community. REC also maintains contact with private and public bodies, collecting relevant information whilst, at the same time, works to disseminate information for the University as a whole. REC acts as the gateway point for SCRI.
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Socio-Cultural Research Institute
Ryukoku University Seta Campus
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