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 the Brundtland Report as, “Our Common Future” 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.

Wataru IWAMOTO

STAFF

Director-General
Wataru IWAMOTO
Deputy Director-General
Misako OHNUKI
General Affairs Section
Chief Officer
Yohei HAYASHI
Associate Fellow
Tomoko KATO
Research Section
Head
Misako OHNUKI
Associate Fellow
Goro HASEGAWA
Associate Fellow
Shigeaki KODAMA
Associate Fellow
Yoko NOJIMA
Associate Fellow
Kazue SASAKI
Assistant
Tomomi TANAKA
Cooperative Researcher

Tomo ISHIMURA

(Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

HONORARY ADVISOR

Koïchiro Matsuura
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.

Seventh Governing Board Meeting of IRCI (September 2018)

Governing Board Members
Keiji MATSUMURA
President, Independent Administrative Institution, National Institutes of Cultural Heritage, Japan
Himalchuli GURUNG
Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO Beijing Office, People’s Republic of China
Ryohei MIYATA
Commissioner, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan
Jin ZHAO
Deputy Director, Division of Multilateral Affairs, Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China
Kwon-Soon HWANG
Director, World Heritage Team, Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea
Olympia Esel MOREI
Director, Belau National Museum, Republic of Palau
Toshiyuki KONO
Professor, Kyushu University, Japan
Kenji YOSHIDA
Director-General, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
Osami TAKEYAMA
Mayor, Sakai City, Japan

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
Noriko AIKAWA-FAURE
Former Chief, Intangible Cultural Heritage Section, UNESCO
Yoshitaka TERADA
Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
Adi Meretui Tuvou RATUNABUABUA
Cultural Development Consultant, Fiji
Ritu SETHI
Chairperson, Craft Revival Trust, India
Ahmed SKOUNTI
Professor (Anthropologist and Cultural Heritage Expert), Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine, Morocco

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