Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990 Page: 16
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Sake barrel maker. Japan Program, 1986 Festival of American Folklife. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.
Treasures" approximately half are performing artists and half are
craftspeople. Along with the great honor, comes a modest yearly
stipend and the hope that the individual will perpetuate the
tradition by teaching others. The Japanese government also
purchases the works of Holders-those that practice crafts-and
documents their methods of manufacture through film and
The 1975 revisions of the Law for the Protection of Cultural
Properties extended further protection for folk-cultural properties
that are considered separately from other categories of intangible
and tangible cultural properties. Included under this designation
are the "manners and customs related to food, clothing and
housing, to occupations, religious faiths, festival, etc., and clothes,
implements, houses and other objects used in this context, which
are indispensable for the understanding of change in the Japanese
way of life." Folk cultural properties may be tangible or intangible.
The Minister of Education may designate items of folk culture as
important folk cultural property.10
The administrative machinery for the protection of cultural
property at the national level is found at the Agency for Cultural
Affairs, which is attached to the Ministry of Education. This
agency, created in 1968, merged governmental protection of
16 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1990
cultural property into a single organization that also is responsible
for the promotion and dissemination of culture. While
"protection" is afforded by the cultural properties protection
division, the cultural affairs division also acts as an agent of
"cultural conservation" through its programs which promote the
The "Living National Treasure" designation is only one of a
number of honorific awards available for traditional artists. For
instance, the Education Minister's Art Encouragement Prize offers
an award in "classic folk culture." Perhaps more important than
honorific designations are programs that encourage research,
dissemination of information, audience development, and
perpetuation of the art. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has
conducted nationwide investigations into traditional crafts in
local districts. Festivals-including the autumn art festival which
was inaugurated in 1945 and the traveling festival begun in 1971provide
exposure for some traditional artists. State subsidized
training projects encourage a new generation of traditional
The traditional theater arts have been the object of particularly
successful preservation efforts. In 1966, the National
Theater was established under the Agency for Cultural
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990, periodical, Summer 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45427/m1/16/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.