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Author Durian
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#16 | Posted: 27 Jul 2015 04:36 | Edited by: Durian 
I found the World Heritage Tentative List candidate that local government submitted to central government to consider, very interesting.

1) Pit dwelling remains of Eastern Hokkaido
2) Saitama Tombs - end point of the ancient East Asia tumulus culture
3) Matsushima Bay
4) Toyama Takaoka cultural heritage group
5) Castle Town of Kanazawa and Mt Hakusan
6) Nagano's Zenkoji Temple
7) Matsumoto Castle
8) Tsumago and Magome, towns along Nakasendo Trail
9) Hida Takayama Old Town
10) Kintaikyo Bridge
11) Oouchi Culture of Yamaguchi
12) Mito clan academic and educational heritage group
13) Ashikaga school and Ashikaga's heritage
14) Early modern Okayama cultural and civil heritage group
15) Ashio Copper Mine, Nikko
16) Japan silk industry modernization heritage in Nagano
17) Tateyama - Kurabo
18) Amanohashidate
19) Mount Aso
20) Cultural Landscape of the Mogami
21) Cultural Landscape of Wakasa, Fukui
22) Mitokusan - faith of the mountain and cultural landscape
23) Shikoku Pilgrimage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage road
24) Usa, Kunisaki - original landscape of gods syncretism
25) Taketomi Island cultural landscape

Author Uemarasan
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#17 | Posted: 2 Aug 2015 05:01 | Edited by: Uemarasan 
Thanks for the list, Durian!

Among these sites, the strongest candidates are probably Kanazawa, Zenkoji, the Shikoku Pilgrimage, and Usa, Kunisaki, but that's probably because the historical and cultural values of these sites are immediately apparent. I wish there was more information on the other potential nominations: what sites are included, what is the rationale, etc.

Like Hikone Castle, I don't think Matsumoto Castle is alone sufficient for inscription. A better option would be to put forward a serial nomination, such as Medieval Castle Architecture in Japan. Out of the 12 castles dating to at least the Edo period, several medieval examples are still extant. Also, the Nakasendo nomination would definitely be stronger with the inclusion of Narai, considering it's historically more important than Magome and Tsumago.

Speaking of Hikone Castle, which is on the tentative list, I really do not understand why there are no attempts to put forward the Lake Biwa Cultural Landscape as a nomination. Not only would this include the castle, other important historical and natural sites in the encompassing area would push this toward inscription. In addition, Ise Grand Shrine, Japan's most important Shinto shrine and a surefire candidate for world heritage status, continues to be missing. I really cannot fathom the thinking behind Japan's candidates.

Anyway, in spite of its ICOMOS evaluation, I would like to see Kamakura installed on the list eventually. The candidature file was simply mishandled. It would also be nice to see the Amami Islands soon show up, along with a Japanese Tea Cultural Landscape or Japanese Gardens nomination, sometime in the future.

Author Durian
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#18 | Posted: 5 Aug 2015 23:04 | Edited by: Durian 
Uemarasan:
Japanese Gardens

Very interesting idea since two of three most famous gardens of Japan are also aiming to be WHS, Kenrokuen under Kanazawa Castle Town, Kairakuen under Mito clan academic and educational heritage group. Only's Okayama Korakuen is still not put in the plan.

But the nomination can be problematic to show OUV since Kyoto's already include many fine examples of Japanese garden, Ryoanji, Ginkakuji, Tenryuji and Nijo Castle.

About Ise Shrine, this nomination has been discussed many times but the tradition of Ise to rebuild every 20 years will be a big problem to UNESCO, its OUV is clear but there will be question on authenticity of the shrine complex that even Nara declaration on wooden building can help.

Author Durian
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#19 | Posted: 5 Aug 2015 23:21 | Edited by: Durian 
Japanese newspapers report why Jomon has not been selected for the third times. Two of the reasons are the site management problem and archaeological artefact storages that still not in the same standard of all 18 nominated sites. Buffer zone is also a problem, there is a site that is in industrial park and buffer zone is very small. There is a discussion to make this nomination smaller by reduce nomination sites.

While Muzu Furuichi Tombs case seem to be the problem of environment as the sites are located in urban area and need improvement to meet the standard.

Author Uemarasan
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#20 | Posted: 6 Aug 2015 06:13 | Edited by: Uemarasan 
Durian:
About Ise Shrine, this nomination has been discussed many times but the tradition of Ise to rebuild every 20 years will be a big problem to UNESCO, its OUV is clear but there will be question on authenticity of the shrine complex that even Nara declaration on wooden building can help.

Thanks for the reply, Durian. I do believe, though, that only certain structures of the shrine complex are rebuilt? Only the main sanctuaries of Naiku and Geku and the Uji bridge are rebuilt every 20 years. There are many other structures in the complex that are authentic so that the complex can be considered as a whole with regard to OUV. This seems to have been the case for Hiraizumi when it was inscribed.

This website is especially helpful: www.isejingu.or.jp/english/

Author Durian
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#21 | Posted: 16 Aug 2015 22:42 
meltwaterfalls:
Disappointingly (well for fans of Entomophagy anyway) they only seem to be Silkworm shaped, rather than containing any of them.

Oh my! That chocolate is become popular and...

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/cool_japan/style/AJ201508140056

Author Durian
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#22 | Posted: 4 Nov 2015 19:46 
Update on Jomon Sites Nomination : After three years of rejection, the local governments still cannot find solution to the nomination!!

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201511/20151104_25006.html

Author winterkjm
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#23 | Posted: 10 Nov 2015 03:17 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Different UNESCO program, but it does highlight the potential power countries that help fund the organization wield. If you haven't followed this issue, after China successfully listed the Nanjing Massacre documents in the Memory of the World register, Japan threatened to cut funding if reforms were not made. Reforms were announced within the month to be part of the upcoming agenda in Early 2016.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002546700

How much power does countries like France, China, Japan, and Italy wield in UNESCO? What will happen if Korea nominates Seodaemun Prison, or China nominates Unit 731? Will Japan threaten to cut funding because they don't like the nomination's message? Will UNESCO bend to the greater contributor to their overall budget? As expressed in our connection, their was considerable reservations expressed regarding the inscription of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome). What if China and the US had both threatened to cut all funding to UNESCO over this before the WHC? Then again, the admition of Palestine was certainly disastrous to UNESCO's budget, so perhaps the organization is not so influenced by the consequences of lost funding?

Author Solivagant
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#24 | Posted: 10 Nov 2015 03:50 | Edited by: Solivagant 
winterkjm:
Reforms were announced within the month to be part of the upcoming agenda in Early 2016.

"UNESCO is considering reforming....." In a comment made to the Japanese culture minister and as reported by him. A bit thin really - Bukova is a diplomat and has to try to keep everyone happy and avoid making commitments she can't keep. I wouldn't say that Japan has won this battle against China yet!
Is there an easy way of discovering the respective monetary contributions from each country? I would be interested to compare China v Japan

I note by the way that Kosovo failed to gain membership of UNESCO by 3 votes the other day so that was another diplomatic issue postponed for a while longer

Author winterkjm
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#25 | Posted: 20 Feb 2016 13:43 
Japan's 2017 nomination is interesting and quite different than most TWHS. The fact that women are not allowed on Okinoshima because of menstruation is something ICOMOS should be wary of enshrining as a WHS, no? The most interesting part of the nomination is the sites connections to safe sea voyages between Japan and the Asian mainland, but what structures are testimony to this tradition? In the OUV text it says "suggestive of interchange" which probably means there is nothing left but the artifacts they found.

The justification for OUV seems weak
"The property possesses outstanding universal value because it is suggestive of the interchange of important human values with other parts of East Asia, using ocean travel that Japan of necessity undertook as an island nation; while at the same time it is indicative of the process by which the uniquely Japanese polytheistic form of worship, Shintoism was established and developed, and how its essence has been passed down to contemporary times."

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4626441&Itemid=1

Author Solivagant
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#26 | Posted: 20 Feb 2016 13:54 
winterkjm:
The fact that women are not allowed on Okinoshima because of menstruation is something ICOMOS should be wary of enshrining as a WHS, no?

It would have the same result as for the long-inscribed Mount Athos which also bans "females". If it gets inscribed that will be 2 WHS which Els can't visit!!

Author Khuft
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#27 | Posted: 23 Feb 2016 16:20 
Solivagant:
If it gets inscribed that will be 2 WHS which Els can't visit!!

Actually, Els could maybe visit the "Related Sites in Munakata Region" which also belong to the site (according to wikipedia, they include other parts of the shrine - Okinoshima "only" serves one deity out of three that are worshipped there).

Author Durian
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#28 | Posted: 23 Feb 2016 20:05 
winterkjm:
The fact that women are not allowed on Okinoshima because of menstruation is something ICOMOS should be wary of enshrining as a WHS, no?

Similar to WHS Kii Mountain, women are not allowed to climb Mt. Omine, and no concern from ICOMOS when inscribed this WHS.

Author winterkjm
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#29 | Posted: 23 Feb 2016 20:16 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Durian:
Similar to WHS Kii Mountain, women are not allowed to climb Mt. Omine, and no concern from ICOMOS when inscribed this WHS.

I am of the opinion that not all elements of culture should be preserved. Your example shows ICOMOS is more or less open to preserving intangible "backward" practices (or at least ignoring them)!

Author Durian
Registered
#30 | Posted: 23 Feb 2016 20:51 
Update on Ryukyu Islands and the Amami Islands WHS nomination

The Ministry of the Environment is going to expand Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park to further strengthen the nature protection measures in order to fulfil WHS condition.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20160223/k10010419061000.html

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