Government Officials from Timor-Leste Attended Study Tour on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Japan

IRCI, in response to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste and UNESCO Office in Jakarta, planned and conducted a study tour on Intangible Cultural Heritages in Japan for government officials from Timor-Leste. This project was not included in the initial IRCI Medium-term Programme (2013-2015). However, because IRCI Activity Mission includes the safeguarding of ICH in danger, and also due to the urgency of this matter, it was approved at the 2013 IRCI Governing Board Meeting. The officials visited Japan over the five-day period from 22 to 26 October.

 Efforts to exhibit and safeguard living Cultural Heritage require a range of efforts through elements such as traditional performing arts, customs, rites, rituals, and craftwork. Timor-Leste’s ICH has yet to be identified, and its circumstances have not yet been understood and analyzed. In addition, museums and other infrastructure have not yet been established. Accordingly, it was decided to implement a programme that involves selecting several good practices operated for the passing down, exhibition, and promotion of ICH by the country and rural communities, and combining observation and discussion (transmission systems and other topics, with members of ICH preservation associations, museum managers, and regional administrators). The study tour visited the Tokyo National Museum; National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo; and National Theatre to see efforts on the national level. Afterwards, the participants learned about community museums (the Namahage Museum and the Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum) in Oga, Akita Prefecture, the home of the Oga Namahage Festival; efforts by Yuki City in Ibaraki Prefecture to train people and to transmit Yuki-tsumugi, a craftwork; and craft marketing and landscapes in the community of Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture.

 Thorough discussions were held on the first and last days regarding issues and solutions related to the safeguarding of ICH in Timor-Leste. The results of these discussions have been summarized.

 Detailed information was published as a report in March 2014.