Tokushima, Japan, 13-15 November 2009
ACCU invited 22 representatives from the seven awarded communities in the 2nd Contest for Better Practices in Communities’ ICH Revitalization, from Japan, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Pakistan and Uzbekistan to the workshop. The participants shared details of their respective awarded projects to other communities, and also discussed their practical information and lessons learned for possible innovative approaches to problem-solving on day 1 and 2.
After a series of presentations and discussions, international experts who were the jury members of the contest were invited to make comments and suggestions for the future.
On the day 3, the participants had an opportunity move to Inugai Noson Butai, which is one of the awarded communities to learn how the local community worked to safeguard their ICH and encourage participation of young people in the activities.
Introduction of the safeguarding activities of each awarded community
Final Report of the 2nd Workshop (English)
Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, Japan, 15-22 July 2009
The 3rd Training Course for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage consisted of human resource training and participants were invited from 14 countries namely; Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam. The Japanese cooperating organisations gave a series of lectures about systems of safeguarding ICH in Japan. The theme of the 2009 Training Course is “Inventory Making of ICH in Japan, from research to listing.”
During the eight-day course, the participants began with lectures about the national government's programmes and then, listened to more lectures on how local governments such as Kyoto Prefecture and Nara city safeguard their local ICH based on the inventories. The course was set for the climax of the Kyoto Gion Festival and the participants deepened their understanding by observing community level activities of safeguarding of the Gion Festival.
All the lectures were videotaped and uploaded in the Website with Power Point slides and text-based material.
Case Study Reports by the network member countries are available.
Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, Japan, 11-17 December 2008
The 2nd Training Course for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage consisted of human resource training and participants were invited from 9 countries namely; Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. The Japanese cooperating organisations gave a series of lectures about safeguarding of ICH, and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkacho) gave a lecture on UNESCO’s ICH Convention. The theme of the 2nd Training Course was “Introduction to Systems of Safeguarding ICH – UNESCO’s Convention and Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties in Japan”.
During the seven-day course, the participants attended lectures in Tokyo, mainly on the national government's programmes, and then moved to the Kansai region for more lectures about activities by local governments as well as communities for the Gion Festival. The special session in Kyoto conducted by two of the national living treasures, focused on aspects of the national treasure system and the passing of their artistic techniques to younger generations. In Nara, the participants learned about a historical festival, the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri, and made an on-site visit to the festival.
All the lectures were videotaped and uploaded in the Website with Power Point slides and text based material.
Each of the international and Japanese network member organisations is introduced in detail.
Country reports by the participants of the 2nd training course are available.
At a lecture session in Tokyo
Lecture by a living national treasure in Japan
Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Japan, 21-26 January 2008
The training course was conducted as human resource training for countries in Asia and the Pacific which have not yet well established mechanisms for safeguarding of ICH under the theme "Introduction to Systems of Safeguarding ICH - UNESCO's Convention and Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties in Japan". ACCU invited two participants each from 11 countries in Asia and the Pacific and an observer each from Africa (South Africa) and Latin America (Peru).
The members of the Japanese cooperating organisation network which was established under the programme, presented a series of lectures based on the objectives; to learn about Japanese systems and activities for safeguarding of ICH from the national to community levels, and to contribute to the establishment of the International ICH Network by providing ACCU with information on safeguarding ICH in the participants' own countries. The course also covers UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the six-day course, the participants had five lectures in Tokyo mainly on the national government's programmes, and then, moved to Osaka and Kyoto to have five more lectures. In Kyoto lectures focused on ICH programmes and activities by local governments and communities for the event of the Gion Festival.
All the lectures were videotaped and uploaded in the Website with Power Point slides and text based material.
Each of the international and Japanese network member organisations is introduced in details.
Country reports by the participants of the training course are available.
Observation of Training at National Theatre
Lecture of the Training Course
Sagamihara, Japan, 2-5 July 2007
ACCU and Joshibi University of Art and Design jointly organised a workshop from 2 to 5 July 2007, concerning experimental production of educational materials to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage and disseminate the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) which was adopted in 2003 at the UNESCO General Assembly.
The first objective of the workshop is for students to obtain a practical understanding of ICH, as well as background information on the establishment of the ICH Convention. A series of lectures, the symposium, discussions and demonstrations were thus conducted by four international and nine Japanese experts.
The second objective was to mobilise the art/design capabilities of the Joshibi University students to produce various media to facilitate social recognition and understanding of ICH, and to utilise such media for publicity activities by ACCU and UNESCO in and outside Japan.
In order to further enhance the role of art students, 8 students were invited from institutions with which the Joshibi University has academic collaboration agreements, in China, the United Kingdom, Finland and Australia. The participants formed production groups to create such items as animation works, brochures, posters, educational materials and toys. Each group made a presentation of their creative works, which were exhibited in a studio and lobby space of the Joshibi Art Museum. Experts gave students advice on how to further improve the works as educational and promotional materials on ICH and the Convention.
Discussion among Lecturers and Students
Presentation of the Students' Works
Tsuruoka, Japan, 8-11 June 2007
ACCU invited 18 representatives from the seven awarded communities in Japan, South Africa, and Thailand to the workshop. In addition to them, three young representatives of the community in India that has successfully revived "Kutiyattam, Sanskrit Theatre" were invited. It was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001.
The participants presented details of their respective awarded projects and shared their experiences with others on Day 1 and 2. After a series of presentations and discussions, the participants had guidance to Kurokawa-Noh (Rosoku-Noh) on Day 3. They had an opportunity to learn how the local community or the preservation association worked to safeguard their ICH and encourage participation of young people in the activities.
Two international resource persons from Brazil and Japan were invited who chaired the sessions, and practical information and lessons learned for possible innovative approaches to problem-solving were discussed. In the final session on Day 4, the two resource persons compiled ideas and information acquired through the presentations and discussion through the workshop, as well as important lessons and challenges for the future.
Safeguarding activities of each participated community are introduced with videos.
Presentation by the Awarded Community
Live Performance of Rosoku-Noh
Chiba Japan, 21-23 February 2007
UNESCO and ACCU jointly organised the experts' meeting, inviting 13 experts from various regions of the world. The participants discussed the "Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage", especially the articles on safeguarding ICH through formal and non-formal education.
The meeting was to draw on the practical experiences and insights of the experts to guide safeguarding policies and practices for ICH. In article 2.3, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (hereafter 'the 2003 Convention') identifies 'transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education' as a key safeguarding measure. In addition to that, article 14 calls for each State Party to 'ensure recognition of, respect for and enhancement of the ICH in society', inter alia through 'education, awareness-raising and information programmes, aimed at the general public, in particular young people' and 'specific educational and training programmes within the communities and groups concerned'.
In the meeting, the experts discussed the use of formal and non-formal education in strengthening transmission of ICH both within and beyond communities who practise ICH. The experts also discussed general awareness-raising programmes and the mainstreaming of ICH in school curricula. The meeting focused on basic and secondary education for children, and on non-formal adult education rather than on tertiary education.
The first session was introduced by UNESCO, with general discussion on implementing the 2003 Convention, and subsequent sessions were introduced by case studies presented by the experts, followed by general discussion. The second and third sessions focused on strengthening transmission of ICH within communities, and case studies from Peru, Estonia, Vietnam and Kenya were presented. In the fourth session, on mainstreaming ICH in school curricula and raising awareness of ICH among students, case studies were presented from Belgium, the United States, Mexico, India and New Zealand.
Experts from Various Regions
From Left: Mr. Sato, Mr. Smeets (UNESCO)
Tokyo, Japan, 23 August 2006
ACCU and the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan (Bunkacho) jointly held a symposium on 23 August in Tokyo commemorating the entry into force of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for a Japanese audience. More than 300 people gathered at this timely event which was held at a conference hall in the centre of Tokyo metropolitan area.
Mr. MATSUURA Koichiro, Director-General of UNESCO was the keynote speaker of the symposium. He explained about UNESCO's approach in the past years to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, which resulted in the 2003 Convention, and his determination to further promote this endeavour. Next, Mr. SATO Kunio, Director-General of ACCU, introduced the diversity of intangible cultural heritage of the world through a video presentation composed of 11 selected video clips from UNESCO's "List of masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity 2001/2003" website and ACCU's "Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage" website.
The second half of the programme was a panel discussion by prominent practitioners of the three Masterpieces of Japan, i.e., Nohgaku, Bunraku and Kabuki. They discussed various issues such as the passing down of traditional performing arts to the younger generation, referring to their own experiences.
Mr. SATO Kunio, Director-General of ACCU making presentation
Tokyo, Japan, 13-15 March 2006
[ Final report ]
The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage(ICH), which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2003, will enter into force on 20 April 2006. In order to contribute to the preparation of the implementation of the 2003 Convention, in particular, through the provision of ideas and recommendations concerning the definition of "community and groups", and the role of communities and groups in the identification and the safeguarding of their intangible heritage, ACCU and UNESCO coorganized "Expert Meeting on Community Involvement in Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage: Toward the Implementation of the UNESCO's 2003 Convention" in Tokyo from 13-15 March 2006.
Organisers invited 20 experts from all regions of the world. Chaired by Mr. Rieks Smeets, Head, Intangible Heritage Section of UNESCO, and Mr. Kono Toshiyuki, experts actively and intensively discussed definitions of communities and strategies to involve them in safeguarding ICH. The outcomes of the major part of the meeting were adopted as a set of conclusions and recommendations.
During the last but one session the experts and UNESCO were invited to formulate comments and proposals on ACCU activities on intangible cultural heritage, and its roles for strengthening regional networks, for the effective implementation and promotion of ICH-Convention-related promotional and safeguarding interregional activities in Asia and the Pacific supported by Member States and UNESCO.
The Meeting held at Tokyo Prince Hotel Park Tower
Bangkok, Thailand, 13-16 December 2005
[ Final report ]
ACCU and the Office of the National Culture Commission (ONCC), which is under the Ministry of Culture of Thailand, jointly organised the "Sub-Regional Experts Meeting in Asia on Intangible Cultural Heritage: Safeguarding and Inventory-making Methodologies," in Bangkok, Thailand from 13 to 16 December 2005.
36 Participants from 13 UNESCO member states in Asia, three resource persons, UNESCO and WIPO representatives, as well as some 60 overseas and local observers attended the meeting. The three resource persons respectively presented best practices of inventory-making in Fiji, Cambodia and a province in Northern Thailand. Brunei Darussalam, which joined UNESCO in 2005, was participating in the ACCU programme for the first time.
The Meeting was co-organised by ONCC and ACCU based on the proposal from ONCC, the Secretary-General of which, Ms. Prisna Pongtadsirikul, participated in the "2004 Workshop on Inventory-making for Intangible Cultural Heritage Management" (Tokyo, Dec. 2004). ACCU, which was planning to hold a follow-up gathering of the said workshop, accepted the opportune proposal and was very happy to meet the need from a partner organisation to implement a programme on ICH.
To the Thai Government, it was primarily a forum for Thai and people of neighbouring countries to share the information and basic concept of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.
As a follow-up to the Workshop in Tokyo, the co-organisers incorporated in the programme of this Meeting more concrete examples of actual inventory-making experiences and methodologies than the Tokyo workshop, by inviting some experts who showed the best practices available in the last workshop, as Resource Persons and as participants.
A feature of this meeting was that, for the first time, ACCU could invite three participants from each country to our meeting on intangible cultural heritage: one government official, one academician/researcher and one practitioner. Especially, we are happy to have had practitioners and government representatives together at the same table, since this idea was strongly recommended in ACCU's Regional Meeting on ICH in Osaka, Feb. 2004, and we have been hoping to do so since then.
In this sub-region, there seems to be still quite a lot of need to provide and disseminate the basic concept of ICH even among those who are concerned with this field. We observed that many of the participants had very limited knowledge about the 2003 Convention, the Proclamation of Masterpieces programme and the relation between ICH and intellectual property rights issues, etc. Therefore, it seems necessary to provide more opportunities such as forums and materials to explain systematically about the concept and its historical development and future prospects.