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Cultural heritages in Japan

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Japanese Culture

I would like to introduce you Japanese culture. in ths page.
There is wide range of Japanese culture,
so, first I will introduce 'National Treasures',
'Important Cultural Properties' and 'Intangible Cultural Heritages'.
Then I will add some other types of cultures later.

1. National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties in Japan
First of all, I will explain the definition of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The Japanese Cultural Assets Preservation Act designates tangible and intangible cultural assets which are important from the historical and artistic points of view, and archeological assets and other scholary historical assets as 'Cultural Properties'.

The law divides the assets into 6 categories as follows.
1. Tangible cultural properties.
2. Intangible cultural properties.
3. Folk cultural properties.
4. Memorials (historic sites, scenic beauty and natural treasures).
5. Cultural landscape.
6. Traditional constructions.

Among 'Tangible cultural properties', the ones designated by the nation (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) are called 'Important Cultural Properties'.

And the properties among 'Important Cultural Properties' which are especially highly produced and historically significant are designated as 'National Treasures'.

The number of Important Cultural Properties is 12,655 (National Treasures is 1,076) at the end of 2008.

National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties are divided into 'Cunstructions' and 'Arts and Crafts'. And 'Arts and Crafts' is divided into 7 categories as follows.

Arts and Crafts
 Calligraphy and books
 Ancient letters
 Archeological documents
 Historical documents

2. World Intangible Cultural Heritages
'Wolrd Intangible Cultural Heritages' is a list maintained by UNESCO with pieces of intangible culture considered relevant by that organization which was adopted in 2003. The first list was maid in 2008.

Previous to the convention coming into force, 90 properties are released as 'The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'.

From Japan, the following heritages are on the list.
Ningyo joruri bunraku

Gagaku (court music)
Ojiya-chijimi & Echigo-johu (ramie fabric)
Sekishu-banshi (paper making)
Hitachi Furyumono (festival float)
Kyoto Gion Festival (Yamahoko float ceremony)
Toshidon of Koshikijima (Shinto ceremony)
Aenokoto of Okunoto (rice paddy ceremony)
Hayachine kagura (Shinto music and dance)
Taue-odori of Akiu (rice planting dance)
Chakkirako (New year dance)
Dainichido bugaku (medieval dance)
Daimokutate (story chanting and dancing)
Koshikibuyo of Ainu (traditional dance)

Kumiodori (Okinawa musical theater)
Yuki-tsumugi (silk fabric)

Hanataue of Mibu (rice planting ceremony)
Sadashinno (nogaku of Sada Shrine)

Nachi no Dengaku (religious performing art)

Washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine)

Washi (traditional Japanese handmade paper)

Festival Floats (from 33 festivals all over Japan)

Raiho-shin, ritual visits of deities in masks and costumes

Traditional skills, techniques and knowledge for the conservation and transmission of wooden architecture in Japan

Furyu-odori, ritual dances imbued with people's hopes and prayers

3. Memories of the World
The program began in 1992 by UNESCO as a way to preserve and promote documentary heritage, which can be a single document, a collection, a holding or an archival fonds that is deemed to be of such significance as to transcend the boundaries of time and culture.

From Japan, the following heritages are on the list.

Paintings of Chikuho Coal Mine by Sakubei Yamamoto

Midokanpakuki: the original handwritten diary of Fujiwara no Michinaga

Materials Related to the Keicho-era Mission to Europe

Archives of T?ji temple contained in one-hundred boxes

Return to Maizuru Port?Documents Related to the Internment and Repatriation Experiences of Japanese (1945-1956)

Three Cherished Stelae of Ancient Kozuke

Documents on Joseon Tongsinsa/Chosen Tsushinshi: The History of Peace Building and Cultural Exchanges between Korea and Japan from the 17th to 19th Century

Takamatsuzuka Ancient Burial Mound
Wall painting at Takamatsuzuka Ancient Burial Mound (National Treasure)

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