Kyokan

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Kyokan is a Japanese word that means "feel-one". It is a concept forwarded by Masao Kawai as a means of studying primates in the field. It first appeared to Western primatologists in Kawai’s book Life of Japanese Monkeys (1969).

The kyokan method is a very subjective and empathic form of research. It involves feelings of mutual relationship, attachment and shared experience between both the researcher and their subject.

In Kawai’s own words; "By positively entering the group, by making contact on some level, objectivity can be established. It is on this basis that the experimental method can be introduced into natural behaviour study and which makes scientific analysis possible". His use of the term kyokan seems to be somewhat unique amongst his peers in Japanese primatology, but the underlying principles are part of the foundation of the Japanese discipline in the field.