The International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage (IRCI) was established in 2011 as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO (institutions that serve to contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s strategic objects) and as one of the institutions of the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage of Japan.

IRCI aims to promote the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (the 2003 Convention) and its implementation, as well as to enhance the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) through instigating and coordinating research in the Asia-Pacific region.

In recent years, many elements of ICH have become endangered throughout the world. To ensure cultural diversity for future generations and to contribute to build a sustainable society, IRCI works in close cooperation with UNESCO and other related institutions such as universities, research institutions, governmental and non-governmental organisations, museums, and communities worldwide.