Go Forward

Outline of the Center

The Meiji University Center for Obsidian and Lithic Studies is unique and is the only research center concerning itself with the various aspects of obsidian issues, both in the natural and human sciences, in Japan. The center was founded in April, 2001, based on a long partnership between Meiji University and the town of Nagawa, Nagano Prefecture. After completion of the first MEXT-supported program (2000-2004), the Center was soon introduced as a branch of the University Museum in 2006. A few years later, in 2010, the center was newly organized for the further enhancement of obsidian studies and international research collaboration networks, as one of the research centers comprising the Organization for the Strategic Coordination of Research and Intellectual Properties at Meiji University.

Excavations at a huge-scale Jomon obsidian mining site, which is located in the Hoshikuso Pass, have been ongoing since 1984, conducted by the Nagawa Board of Education through a long-standing collaboration with Meiji University. This obsidian mining site is now designated as a registered national archeological site. Obsidian studies and “human-natural resource environment” studies comprise the core axis of this research center, and concern the elucidation of human-environment interaction together with archeological, geological, and paleoenvironmental studies. For the advancement of international obsidian research networks, an international workshop and symposium has already been held, in 2010 and 2011, in collaboration with Korean, Russian, American and Hungarian colleagues. The center includes an atrium, a research laboratory, archeological research rooms, collection rooms, a library and an office.