about GICAS

GICAS logo

GICAS logo

GICAS logo is designed after the character "a" of the Brahmi script

GICAS(Grammatological Informatics based on Corpora of Asian Scripts) has been launched as a COE (center-of-excellence) formation project in 2001, funded by the grant-in-aid for scientific research (COE). GICAS now resides in the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), TUFS.


Asia is the only region in which all of the world's major written scripts, such as Indic, Arabic, Chinese, Latin, and Cyrillic scripts, are used.

It is also the region where the printing technology was born; even now, its written culture is extremely refined, with multiple languages, and being at the pinnacle of page composition technology, etc. Attempts at the academic study of the characters themselves, however, and the Asian scripts in particular, have been insufficient. This is mainly because linguistic studies have been centered on language sounds, putting written languages aside, as the linguistics have been driven by researches on western languages and the latin alphabet.

Recently, as a result of the explosive development of the Internet, diffusion of the Anglo-centric information is remarkable, whereas on the other hand, the demand for information concerning the native characters and written methods of the Asian languages has also increased. Concomitantly, a strong awareness has arisen of the lack of basic reference data and the absence of a common academic base, which are necessary when considering the written scripts and their applications as media for communicating information.

This research aims to establish a fresh academic territory that adds to the viewpoint of information theory as well as the basics of the humanities regarding the computerization of Asian written culture.

The majority of GICAS activities make it well-positioned for its thoroughgoing formation as an international reference center for scripts and the history of scripts. The basis of this will be the gathering of visual data using fieldwork in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Sinai Peninsula, etc., to reconsider scripts from their historical basis, and to reprint and annotate closely the concomitant academic papers, as well as to be a corpus created through the addition of careful selections. Fieldwork came with various problems, but we dared to persevere in order to collect clear images of original manuscripts and original inscriptions.


Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA)
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies(TUFS)


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