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The Role of the Institute



The Role of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties
 ―For the Preservation and Utilization of Cultural Properties―

 先人たちが自らの生活体験の中で築き、時に改良を加えながら今日まで脈々 と伝えてきた様々な文化財は、現在を生きる人々にとって過去・現在・未来へ と続く人間社会の精神的な支柱になるばかりか、新たな文化芸術活動の規範と もなる重要な意味を持っています。
 文化財は決して過去の遺物ではありません。私たちの生活を豊かにする源で あるというべきものです。近年、各地で地域に密着した文化財を掘り起し、周 辺環境と一体的に積極的に活用していこうとする試みがなされています。こう した活動の多くは地域起しの一環として自発的にはじめられたものですが、と りわけ文化財の保存継承を通して地域振興に携わっている人々にとって、文化 財は今を生きる自らの立ち位置を確認し、地域で生きていく喜びや自信にもつ ながる源ともなっています。
 当研究所では、人間の多様な社会的活動のうち文化的所産である美術工芸 品や芸術作品、歴史的な建造物、近代の文化遺産といった有形の文化財に加 え、伝統的な演技や演奏、地域の生産技術を含めた無形の文化財といった各分 野で基礎的、実践的な調査研究を進めています。また、文化財保護のために不 可欠な伝統的な保存修復手法等に加え、必要に応じ近代科学技術を応用した 手法についての研究も進めています。
 そして、それらの研究を通して得られた成果を広く公表するとともに、国内 はもとよりアジアをはじめとする諸外国の関係者に対しても、文化財保護に関 する知識や技術を提供しながら人材育成や技術移転を兼ねた現地での研修会 や研究会を開催して情報共有を図っています。
 成熟した現代社会において、文化財の果たすべき役割は益々大きく重要なも のとして位置づけられています。当研究所ではこの動きをより確かなものとす るため、基本的な調査研究を続けています。

 Cultural properties that our predecessors constructed in their life experiences and improved from time to time have been passed down to this day. For those who live today, they are not only spiritual support that continues from the past to the present and the future but also a very significant norm for new cultural and artistic activities.
 Cultural properties are not relics of the past by any means. They are the source of abundance in our life. Recently, attempts are made throughout Japan to find cultural properties that are closely related to a particular area and to actively utilize them together with their surrounding environments. Many such activities began as attempts by the local people to revitalize their area, but for those who are engaged in regional development through the preservation and transmission of cultural properties the activities serve as a way to confirm their position in the present world and lead to joy and confidence in being members of the region.
 Of the diverse social activities of man, the Institute conducts fundamental, pragmatic investigation and research on cultural assets including such tangible cultural properties as craftworks, works of art, historic buildings and modern cultural heritage as well as such intangible cultural properties as traditional performing arts and local manufacturing techniques. It also promotes studies on traditional conservation methods that are indispensable for the protection of cultural properties and, when necessary, on methods that employ modern scientific technology.
 The Institute also disseminates the results of these studies and provides information and techniques related to the protection of cultural properties to those engaged in this field not only in Japan but also abroad by holding courses and workshops in capacity development and transfer of techniques.
 In the mature society of today, the role that cultural properties are expected to fulfill is becoming all the more important. The Institute continues to conduct fundamental research so as to make this movement more certain.

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Investigation at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia
(Courtesy of the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, University of East Anglia, Norwich)

Kobayashi Lion Dance of Kampaku School, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Investigation of brick cultural heritage using portable X-ray diffraction analyzer

Demonstration of restoring a hand scroll at the International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper

©Independent Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties