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Nowadays, material civilization has been progressing remarkably through outstanding improvements of science and its techniques.
Although philosophy had the advantage in olden times, science has the advantage these days and the study of every field has been specialized, subdivided and fragmented. This is a distinctive feature of scientific study and makes it possible to achieve high progress. Whether those specialized studies are valuable should not be a question. However, it can be said that it is becoming difficult for one specialty to connect with the other.

Dr. Hiroshi Takashima

First Chairman of JSHA
Dr.Hiroshi Takashima
Furthermore, there might be a danger of conducting studies without the human element. Especially, in the medical field which is human science, it is said that the time has come to be able to research the human heart at a material level by analyzing both body and spirit, reducing the human heart to a memory and replacing it with a computer. It is known that computers can think, make decisions, deal with numerical values, detect fixed numbers, and analyze tendencies, but their analyzing abilities are conditioned by an extended line of programs that were imagined and created by humans.

Needless to say, memory and analyzing abilities are important, however, they do not include emotion, intuitive or creative powers. It could become possible to develop and use a so called computerized anger device to explain changes in emotions such as anger or sorrow. However, without the inclusion of the human factor, it would be impossible to define a clear line between animals and human beings, of which are driven by impulses and environmental factors.

We must especially think of the domain of the heart. Within the human heart lies the search for meanings, independent determination, responsibility, creation, creativity, deep impressions, discernment, faith, general understanding, and judging value. This is the essence of true humanity.

With such thinking, we cannot deny the tendency of scientific research to subdivide human existence. Therefore, we must go back to the dimensions of human beings which are the natural or existence realm and the spiritual realm.

There are various ways to approach educational, medical, law studies, economics, etc., all of which have commonalities in the spiritual dimensions of human beings. Specialists can also take the position of generalists in the dimensions of human beings. This is common ground for each and every research field.

The subject of the existence of human beings is difficult to be completely apprehended by each of the specialized sciences. Therefore, we have reached an agreement to establish a society of humanistic anthropology in order to discuss and study the spirit of human beings or the subject of human existence at the interdisciplinary level. Professionals and specialists from various fields of study and research agree that the issue of existence and it relationship to humanity is common and should be observed in depth.

(Excerpted from Dr. Hiroshi Takashima’s work in Journal of Japan Society of Humanistic Anthropology, volume 1, March, 1998 issue)

Hiroshi Takashima
First Chairman of the Board of Directors
Japan Society of Humanistic Anthropology Association