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SOCIETY > Culture

New Ainu center in Hokkaido hopes to revive language, culture

SHIRAOI, Hokkaido — A national center for Ainu culture opening Saturday in Shiraoi, Hokkaido, carries the hope of resurrecting the Ainu language, which UNESCO designated as a critically endangered language in 2009.   The Upopoy complex was built as the hub for the cultural revival of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. The complex includes the National Ainu Museum….Read more

  • July 10, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 4:53 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Japan to forego process to pick World Heritage candidate

Tokyo, June 29 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency said Monday it will refrain from recommending a site for UNESCO World Heritage designation in fiscal 2020.   The Cultural Affairs Council will not have enough time to determine a candidate site due to the coronavirus pandemic, agency officials said.   Usually, the council starts the candidate selection process in April and….Read more

  • June 29, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 10:57 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Editorial: Wisdom must be applied to pass down tradition of festivals in Japan

Festivals and traditional folk culture across the country are in trouble because of the effects of the novel coronavirus. It is important to brainstorm so that these traditions will not disappear.   Three major festivals in the Tohoku region — the Aomori Nebuta Festival, the Akita Kanto Festival and the Sendai Tanabata Festival — have been canceled.   Many of….Read more

  • June 28, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 2:00 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

National Ainu museum unveiled in Japan’s northernmost prefecture

SAPPORO — The National Ainu Museum and Park, also known as Upopoy, was unveiled to the residents of Shiraoi, Hokkaido, on Tuesday.   The national facility dedicated to the history and culture of the Ainu indigenous people was scheduled to open on April 24, but the date was postponed twice due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Private viewings….Read more

  • June 9, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 5:07 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Amabie, epidemic-sealing yokai, gaining popularity in Japan

“When the time of an epidemic arises, duplicate my image and display it to the people.”   These are the fabled words of Amabie, a yokai supernatural being that is said to have appeared in the sea off Higo, the old name of Kumamoto Prefecture, 174 years ago.   As the new coronavirus infection began to spread, people began to….Read more

  • May 1, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 10:30 a.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Program developed to let Hokkaido visitors experience Ainu culture

KUSHIRO, Hokkaido — A tour program designed to convey the charm of Ainu culture has been planned to take place in the hot spa district on Lake Akan, where the culture of Hokkaido’s indigenous people is still strong.   Participants will take part in such activities as strolling along the shores of the lake and Ainu wood-carving. It is hoped….Read more

  • April 14, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 9:29 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Editorial: Provide support to cultural activities amid self-restraint on events

The spread of infections with the new coronavirus has forced cultural events, such as concerts, plays, shows and exhibitions, to be canceled or postponed in Japan.   This is especially because, from the viewpoint of preventing infections, it has become difficult to hold indoor events where many people gather. The government has also requested organizers to downscale the size of….Read more

  • April 6, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 2:10 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Japan panel to push folk performing arts for UNESCO listing

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Council for Cultural Affairs decided Wednesday to recommend that a group of 37 folk performing arts in Japan be put on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.   The 37 traditional performing arts, including “bon odori” dance, that have been passed down to posterity in various parts in the country will be recommended to UNESCO collectively as….Read more

  • February 19, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 5:09 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Shuri Castle fire had minor impact on universal value: Japan

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency has reported to the UNESCO World Heritage Center that fire damage at Shuri Castle in Okinawa Prefecture had a minor impact on its universal value, the agency said Friday. The agency said that the damage to ruins of the original Shuri Castle, located underneath the fire-destroyed “Seiden” main hall, was only partial, accounting for 0.05….Read more

  • January 31, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 3:39 p.m.
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