Participation in Practical Workshop on Cultural Landscape 2022 and Others, Organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs
Since 2018, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been holding the World Heritage Seminar (WHS), which aims to share international trends and information about cultural heritage protection, including UNESCO’s sites, within our country. In the fiscal year 2022, the seminar entitled Re-question on Landscape as Cultural Properties will focus on areal protection, which has become increasingly important in recent years. To understand the inclination for landscape protection in Japan, I participated in Practical Workshop on Cultural Landscape 2022 and National District Liaison Council on Cultural Landscape organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs from October 27th to 29th.
Both were held in Katsushika-Shibamata, the first district nominated as a cultural landscape situated in the metropolitan area of Japan. At the workshop, after two case-study lectures on charm publicity and tourism town planning related to cultural landscape, the participants, who were divided into groups, walked around the venue and investigated the issues of sharing cultural landscape information among the residents and visitors. They also presented solutions and discussed their ideas. At the council, after a keynote speech on the cultural landscape features of Shibamata and three case reports on the inheritance of river fish food culture, the speakers discussed the theme.
Both administrative institutions and inhabitants and other concerned parties who participate proactively play a key role in inheriting cultural landscape significance. The training meetings focused on techniques to utilize cultural landscapes as ‟living cultural assets” rooted in daily life. Clearly, such utilization can work only if it is combined with protection system and its instruments, like two wheels of a chariot. Keeping this in mind, WHS 2022 aims to clarify the legal grounds on which foreign world heritage sites with landscape values such as cultural landscapes and historic city centers are protected. Through the seminar, we hope to look into the future of ‟landscape” protection in Japan.