ORGANISATION

GREETINGS FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

Intangible cultural heritage (ICH: oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, rituals and other intangible aspects of culture) is living cultural heritage that is transmitted from generation to generation. This is the mainspring of cultural diversity – a source of unity, innovation and creativity.

The current world faces issues of cultural diversity and sustainable development. In the book “Race and History” written by the French anthropologist Professor Claude Lévi-Strauss, the importance of diversity is expressed as follows: “The development of human life is not everywhere the same but rather takes form in an extraordinary diversity of societies and civilizations….”. On the other hand, sustainable development is defined in “Our Common Future” known as the Brundtland Report published in 1987 as the “[…]development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In these senses, the importance of ICH safeguarding, or in other words, measures aimed at ensuring its viability, is increasing more than ever before.

In particular, the Asia Pacific region, which covers two thirds of the world’s population, is the treasure house of ICH. However, this rich cultural diversity is currently endangered due to factors such as globalisation, ageing, disasters and conflicts. The safeguarding of ICH is now undeniably an urgent issue, and cross-border cooperation is crucial.

We at the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region, aim to work as a research hub for related institutions in the region, and as such have conducted a wide variety of projects. As an international institution situated in Japan, the forerunner of ICH safeguarding, we shall further strive to work alongside diverse actors to promote research regarding ICH safeguarding.

IWAMOTO Wataru

STAFF

Director-General
IWAMOTO Wataru
General Affairs Section
Head
HOKAMA Masataka
Chief Officer
AMANO Chiyoko
Associate Fellow
UMEDA Yasuyo
Research Section
Head
NOJIMA Yoko
Associate Fellow
SASAKI Kazue
Associate Fellow
OKABE Masami
Associate Fellow
INOUE Aina
Associate Fellow
YAMAMOTO Hitomi
Associate Fellow
IKEDA Akiko
Cooperative Researcher

ISHIMURA Tomo

(Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

HONORARY ADVISOR

MATSUURA Koïchiro
Former Director-General of UNESCO

Appointed as an IRCI’s honorary advisor since 1 October 2017.

With a variety of experience and knowledge from UNESCO and diplomatic career, Mr Matsuura gives important advise and support concerning the operation of IRCI.

GOVERNING BOARD

The Governing Board, which consists of 10 experts and representatives of specialised institutions inside and outside Japan including a UNESCO representative, deliberates and approves all IRCI activities, including long-term and medium-term programmes, work plans, and reports.

Eighth Governing Board Meeting of IRCI (November 2019)

Governing Board Members
SHIMATANI Hiroyuki
President, Independent Administrative Institution, National Institutes of Cultural Heritage, Japan
Himalchuli GURUNG
Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO Beijing Office, People’s Republic of China
TOKURA Shunichi
Commissioner, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan
HANEDA Masashi
Member, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO/Specially Appointed Professor and Director, The University of Tokyo Institutes of Advanced Study, Tokyo College
ZHANG Ling
Director, Division of International Organizations, Bureau for International Exchanges and Cooperation, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China
YEO Sung Hee
Director, World Heritage Division, Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea
Olympia Esel MOREI
Director, Belau National Museum, Republic of Palau
KONO Toshiyuki
Executive Vice President (Senior Vice President), Kyushu University, Japan
YOSHIDA Kenji
Director-General, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
NAGAFUJI Hideki
Mayor, Sakai City, Japan
(as of May 2021)

ADVISORY BODY

The Advisory Body, comprised of experts well versed in the field of intangible cultural heritage, provides professional perspectives to the Director-General upon elaboration and implementation of IRCI long-term, medium-term programmes, and work plans. Moreover, the Advisory Body gives advice to the Governing Board on the report submitted by the IRCI to the Board.

Advisory Body Members
TERADA Yoshitaka
Professor Emeritus, The National Museum of Ethnology
Ahmed SKOUNTI
Professor (Anthropologist and Cultural Heritage Expert), Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine (Morocco)
HAYAMI Yoko
Professor, Director at CSEAS (Center for Southeast Asian Studies) Kyoto University
Don NILES
Acting Director and Senior Ethnomusicologist, Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies; Honorary Associate Professor, Australian National University (ANU)
Hanafi HUSSIN
Associate Professor, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Head of Maritime Culture and Geopolitics Unit, Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES), University of Malaya, Head, University of Malaya Migration Research Centre, Deputy Dean, Social Advance and Happiness Research Cluster, University of Malaya

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