Forma, Vol. 14 (No. 4), p. 267, 1999


It is the proceedings of the Interdisciplinary Symposium Katachi U Symmetry, 2, (KUS2) that was held in November 15-19, 1999, at University of Tsukuba, in Tsukuba Science City in Japan. It consisted of academic meeting and exhibition. The host bodies of the symposium were the Society for Science on Form, Japan (Katachi-no-kagaku-kai), the Form and Culture Society (Katachi-no-bunka-kai), the International Society for Interdisciplinary Study of Symmetry (ISIS-Symmetry) and University of Tsukuba. The first symposium was held in 1994, also in Tsukuba.
The series of symposia, Katachi U Symmetry (sometimes abbreviated as KUS), are organized by the cooperation of two interdisciplinary activities, Katachi and Symmetry, covering really wide fields, arts and sciences. The symbol U in the title of the symposium stands for the union of sets or concepts. Katachi is a Japanese word for form, shape, figure, pattern, etc. as described in "Preface" and "Introduction: The concept of the symposium" in the proceedings of the first symposium in 1994 (see the reference below). It is naturally regarded as very important in Japanese culture to connect disciplines of intellectual activities. No disciplines are excluded by the use of the word Katachi. Furthermore, some hidden relationship, otherwise implicit, between subjects in different disciplines may be illuminated.
The symposium and exhibition in 1994 was organized not as the first one of a series but as a single event. For our delight, many participants requested to organize a second symposium. By the success of KUS, there are obviously many foreign people who have understood what was intended by the Japanese word Katachi. Nevertheless, the first symposium was not enough for this purpose, because only a part of the katachi-related topics was covered. The Japanese organizers felt that the second symposium should be held also in Japan, otherwise the concept of Katachi as an international word might be misunderstood. Now, we think that many of the participants felt what was our intention. The organizers are indebted to Prince Takahito Mikasa who organized a session for the symposium.
Future symposia in this series may be held in other part of the world outside Japan. As a Japanese proverb says: "A pampered child learns little; the best education is to be forced out into the world." To Japanese side, it is a valuable experience in order to know more about ourselves and to find our identity in the future global society. Moreover, the concept of Katachi may contribute to the global society. The cooperation of two interdisciplinary movements, Symmetry and Katachi, may make important contributions to the culture of mankind.
This issue is the first part of the proceedings and there will be the second one in the next volume. All the contributors were invited to submit a paper. The papers that are received before the deadline were referred as in regular issues. The papers arrived after the deadline may be treated as a regular submission.

Tohru Ogawa, Tsutomu Kaneko, Shunsuke Mitamura,
Denes Nagy, Ryuji Takaki

OGAWA, T., HUSIMI, K., MIURA, K., MASUNARI, T. and NAGY, D. (1996) "Introduction: The concept of the symposium" in Katachi U Symmetry (eds. T. Ogawa, K. Miura, T. Masunari and D. Nagy), pp. V-VI and pp. 3-6 Springer Verlag, Tokyo.

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