As the current Japan-based research lab for the University of Oxford’s international Ritual, Community and Conflict project, members of our lab recently traveled to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, to gather data from Daisho-in’s mass fire-walking event.

Photos by Chris Kavanagh (unless indicated otherwise).




Led by Oxford PhD student Chris Kavanagh (currently on a long-term research posting here at our lab), grad students Rob Thomson and Shuhei Tsuchida joined research assistants from Hiroshima University to capture insights from both participants and observers of this twice-yearly ritual.

We are greatly indebted to the cooperation of Bishop Yoshida and priest Sakai; without their help we would not have been able to conduct our questionnaires designed to explore how taking part in the ritual impacts community and interpersonal relationships.



Photo above by Rob Thomson.

A big thanks also to our great team of research assistants from Hiroshima University.



Keep on top of our lab’s work by signing up by email here, or subscribing to our RSS feed on your favorite feed reader.


October 1st, 2018

Ms. Wen-Qiao Li has joined the lab!

Ms. Wen-Qiao Li, a new MEXT research student who completed her master’s degree at Sun Yat-sen University has joined our […]

July 1st, 2018

New special website for the relational mobility project launched

We have launched our new special website for the relational mobility project. The content is RICH: Scales in multiple languages, data sharing, […]

June 29th, 2018

New paper on 39-country comparison of relational mobility published in PNAS journal

Our large-scale 39-country study that tested and explored the ecological antecedents and psychological consequences of relational mobility, along with validation […]

June 1st, 2018

Lauren Howard (College of William and Mary) is staying with us!

Ms. Lauren Howard, a master’s student at the College of William and Mary is staying with us from June 1 […]

March 10th, 2018

Dr. Christina Sagioglou is staying with us

Dr. Christina Sagioglou, a post-doctoral researcher at Institut für Psychologie, Universität Innsbruck, is staying in our lab from March to […]

December 3rd, 2017

New paper on relational mobility and passion in romantic relationships accepted publication in Evolutionary Psychology journal

Our new paper on relational mobility and passion in romantic relationships (lead author: Junko Yamada) has been accepted publication in […]

July 25th, 2017

Masaki Yuki has become a collaborator of Seshat project at University of Oxford

Masaki Yuki has become a Collaborator of the Seshat, a global history databank project, and of the Cultural Evolution Lab at […]

June 9th, 2017

New online article on the cultural differences in group behavior and psychology!

Our new review article on the East-West differences in group behavior and psychology is now online! Reference: Kavanagh, C., & Yuki, […]

April 1st, 2017

Robert Thomson has become a Lecturer at Hokusei Gakuen University!

Robert Thomson (Ph.D. program graduate) has become a Lecturer of Media Communication at Department of English at Hokusei Gakuen University. Congratulations, […]

October 9th, 2016

Our paper received JGDA Outstanding Publication Award

Our paper has received a 2015 Outstanding Publication Award from the Japanese Group Dynamics Association! Yamada, J., Kito, M., & […]