SPIRITS : Supporting Program for Interaction-based Initiative Team Studies  2020-2021 Interdisciplinary type project, in the priority area of humanities and social sciences


Kyoko Amano

Associate Professor, Institute for Research in Humanities / Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University

Obtained her MA (Indian Philosophy) in the Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University in 1996. Obtained her Dr.phil. in Indo-European Historical Linguistics at Freiburg University in 2001. After working as an assistant in the Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University, she took time to raise a family, then worked as a Restart Postdoctoral fellow (RPD) of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, an invited researcher in the Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University, and an adjunct lecturer in the Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University. She assumed her current position in October 2017.

She researches one of the Vedas—the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā. She has explored and written about the language, particularly related to syntax, occurring in this text. In 2009, she published a partial German translation of this text with linguistic annotations, but aims to complete the unfinished portions of this translation as well as publish a revised edition utilizing newly-discovered manuscripts. She began her exploration of the linguistic layers inside the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā from 2012, and continues her research into explicating the formative process of that text. She focuses on societal groups with cross-cultural elements at the time, and believes that they were particularly important for the societal conditions during that period to serve as the background to the composition of the text.


  1. Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā I-II. Übersetzung der Prosapartien mit Kommentar zur Lexik und Syntax der älteren vedischen Prosa. Münchner Forschungen zur historischen Sprachwissenschaft Bd. 9. Hempen Verlag. Bremen (2009).
  2. "What is ‘knowledge' justifying a ritual action? Uses of yá evám véda / yá evám vidvan in the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā." In: Aux sources des liturgies indo-iraniennes, ed. by Redard, C. / Ferrer-Losilla, J. / Moein, H. / Swennen, P., Collection Religions, Comparatisme - Histoire - Anthropologie 10, 39-68. 2019. Liège: Presses Universitaeire de Liège. (PDF 2.6MB
  3. "The Development of the Uses of ha / ha vái / ha sma vái with or without the Narrative Perfect and Language Layers in the Old Yajurveda-Samhitā Texts." Lingua Posnaniensis 61, ed. by Chandotti, M. P. / Pontillo. 2019. T. Sciendo: Warszawa. 11-24. (PDF 716KB
  4. “A Non-Śrauta Ritual in the Oldest Yajurveda Text. Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā IV 2 (Gonāmika Chapter). In Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 1: Veda, ed. bh Bahulkar, Sh., Jurewicz, J., (2019), 1-27. Published by the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, on behalf of the International Association for Sanskrit Studies. DOI: 10.14288/1.0379840. URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/70986. UBC cIRcle Online Digital Repository (https://circle.ubc.ca).
  5. “Indication of Divergent Ritual Opinions in the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā”. Houben, Jan E. M., Rotaru, Julieta, and Witzel, Michael, Vedic Śākhās: Past, Present, Future. Proceedings of the Fifth International Vedic Workshop, Bucharest 2011, (2016), 461-490.
  6. “Ritual Contexts of Sattra Myths in the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā”. Pontillo, Tiziana, Dore, Moreno and Hock, Hans Heinrich, Vrātya culture in Vedic sources. Select Papers from the Panel on “Vrātya culture in Vedic Sources” at the 16th World Sanskrit Conference (28 June – 2 July 2015) Bangkok, Bangkok, (2016), 35-72.
  7. “Zur Klärung der Sprachschichten in der Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā”, Journal of Indological Studies vols.26/27, 2014-2015, 1-36.
  8. “Style and Language of the Agniciti Chapter in the Maitrāyaṇī Samhitā (III 1-5)”, Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies. Vol. 63, No. 3, March 2015, 1161-1167.

amano.skskrt -at- kcn.jp

Personal Website:

Hiroaki Natsukawa

Kyoto University, Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Visualization Laboratory
Program-Specific Junior Associate Professor / Senior Lecturer

Obtained his PhD in the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University in 2013. He worked as a JSPS Research fellow (DC1), as a Program-Specific Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Program-Specific Assistant Professor at the Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University (K-CONNEX), then as a guest researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. He assumed his current position in April 2019.

He works on research in visualization & visual analytics to support understanding of big data and multivariate data. He has worked on data-driven visual analytics that integrates dynamic network analysis and information visualization technology in the field of neuroscience, ecology, and biology. He aims to promote data-driven science utilizing data analysis, data transformation, modeling of visual perception, visualization, and visual analytics.

Selected publications

  1. Hiroaki Natsukawa, Ethan R. Deyle, Gerald M. Pao, Koji Koyamada, George Sugihara. A Visual Analytics Approach for Ecosystem Dynamics based on Empirical Dynamic Modeling. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol.27, No.2, pp.506-516 (2021)
  2. Hiroaki Natsukawa, Tetsuo Kobayashi. Cortical Activation Associated with Determination of Depth Order during Transparent Motion Perception: A Normalized Integrative fMRI−MEG Study. Human Brain Mapping, Vol.36, No.10, pp.3922-3934 (2015)

natsukawa.hiroaki.3u -at- kyoto-u.ac.jp

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Oliver Hellwig

Department of Comparative Language Science, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Oliver Hellwig studied Classical Indology, Religious Studies and Chinese in Berlin and Heidelberg. After graduation he worked at the FU Berlin, where he also completed his PhD (character recognition of Devanagari) and his habilitation on the history of Indian alchemy, at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” (Heidelberg) and at the HHU Düsseldorf (SFB 991, “The Structure of Representations in Language, Cognition, and Science”). Currently, he is member of the project “Online Edition of the Paippalāda Recension of the Atharvaveda” at the University of Zurich. His research interests include the computational processing of Sanskrit, developing quantitative models of diachronic language change and the history of early Sanskrit literature.

Oliver has published extensively on Indian alchemy, the textual history of Indian epics and in the field of Computational Linguistics. He has built the Digital Corpus of Sanskrit which is under active development, and he was responsible for designing and implementing the frameworks of IndoSkript (http://www.indoskript.org) and of the project “Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal”

Hellwig, Oliver, Salvatore Scarlata und Paul Widmer (to appear in JAOS). “Assessing Rigvedic Strata”. In: Eingereicht bei JAOS.
Hellwig, Oliver (2019). “Dating Sanskrit Texts Using Linguistic Features and Neural Networks”. In: Indogermanische Forschungen 124, S. 1–47. Hellwig, Oliver (2010a). “Etymological Trends in the Sanskrit Vocabulary”. In: Literary and Linguistic Computing 25.1, S. 105–118.
– (2009). “A Chronometric Approach to Indian alchemical literature”. In: Literary and Linguistic Computing 24, S. 373–383.
– (2008). “Frequent phrases and their Application to Text Segmentation”. In: Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 25, S. 55–72.
– (2003). “Automatisierte Suche von Wortgruppen in Sanskrit-Texten”. In: Berliner Indologische Studien 15/16/17, S. 251–263.

Conference Proceedings:
Hellwig, Oliver, Salvatore Scarlata, Elia Ackermann und Paul Widmer (2020). “The Treebank of Vedic Sanskrit”. In: Proceedings of the LREC. Hrsg. von Nicoletta Calzolari, Frédéric Béchet, Philippe Blache, Khalid Choukri, Christopher Cieri, Thierry Declerck, Sara Goggi, Hitoshi Isahara, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Hélène Mazo, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk und Stelios Piperidis, S. 5139–5148. Hellwig, Oliver und Sebastian Nehrdich (2018). “Sanskrit Word Segmentation Using Character-level Recurrent and Convolutional Neural Networks”. In: Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. Brussels: Association for Computational Linguistics, S. 2754–2763.
Hellwig, Oliver (2015). “Morphological Disambiguation of Classical Sanskrit”. In: Systems and Frameworks for Computational Morphology. Hrsg. von Cerstin Mahlow und Michael Piotrowski. Cham: Springer, S. 41–59.
Hellwig, Oliver und Sven Sellmer (2015). “Frame Semantic Annotation of Sanskrit Texts”. In: Proceedings of the SALA-31, S. 30–33.
Hellwig, Oliver (2013). “Googling the Rishi. Graph Based Analysis of Parallel Passages in Sanskrit Literature”. In: Recent Researches in Sanskrit Computational Linguistics. Hrsg. von Malhar Kulkarni und Chaitali Dangarikar. D. K. Printworld, S. 172–190.
– (2012). “Computational Processing of Sanskrit – Challenges and Perspectives”. In: 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Proceedings of the Linguistic Section. Hrsg. von Jared S. Klein und Kazuhiko Yoshida. Bremen: Hempen Verlag, S. 37–48.

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hellwig7 -at- gmx.de

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Yuki Kyogoku

Doctoral candidate of Indology, Leipzig University
Research Associate in Institute of Computer Science, Leipzig University

After obtained his MA at Graduate School of Humanities and Human Sciences, Hokkaido University in 2013, he worked as a system engineer at Accenture PLC. In 2016, he studied in the Institute of Indology and Central Asian Studies, Leipzig University. He is currently enrolled in a PhD program. Beginning in October 2018, he also begun to work as a research assistant in Institute of Computer Science, Leipzig University.

He specializes in the two differing fields of Buddhist studies and Information Science. In Buddhist studies, he researches epistemology and philosophy of language centered on the works of Dharmakīrti, a Buddhist philosopher of the 7th century. For his doctoral dissertation, he is currently working on creating a critical edition of a Sanskrit text known as the Pramāṇavārttika. In the field of Information Science, he works in the field of natural language processing that uses computers to process natural language. He specifically analyzes the information content of words and sentences using Claude Shannon’s information theory, and applies this to automatic summarization and keyword extraction in the German language. He also engages in the comparative research of distribution of information content in German, Tagalog and the Indonesian language.


  1. Michael Richter, Yuki Kyogoku and Max Kölbl (2019), “Interaction of Information Content and Frequency as Predictors of Verbs’ Lengths,” Business Information Systems – 22nd International Conference, BIS 2019, Seville, Spain, June 26-28, 2019 Proceedings, Part I, Springer. 271-282.
  2. Michael Richter, Yuki Kyogoku and Max Kölbl (2019), “Estimation of Average Information Content: Comparison of impact of contexts,” Intelligent Systems and Applications – Proceedings of the 2019 Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2019, London, UK, September 5-6, 2019, Volume 2, Springer. 1251-1257.
  3. Max Kölbl, Yuki Kyogoku, J. Nathanael Philipp, Michael Richter, Clemens Rietdorf and Tariq Yousef (2020), “Keyword Extraction in German: Information-theory vs. Deep Learning,” Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, ICAART 2020, Volume 1, Valletta, Malta, February 22-24, 2020, Volume 1, 459-464.
  4. Max Kölbl, Yuki Kyogoku, J. Nathanael Philipp, Michael Richter, Clemens Rietdorf, and Tariq Yousef (2021), “The Semantic Level of Shannon Information: Are Highly Informative Words Good Keywords? A Study on German.” (to appear in the Springer series Studies in Computational Intelligence (SCI)).

kyogoku11 -at- gmail.com