Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990 Page: 19
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it, is informed, in part, by concern for the decline of traditional
skills and lifestyles.24 While aspects of this policy may be perceived
as irrational by international economists and unfair by Japan's
trade partners, it is fueled in part by a public attitude that is not
unlike our own concern for the demise of the small family farm.
While we may not care for the solution, it is evident that in Japan
cultural conservation has gone far beyond the Agency for Cultural
In our country the issues involved in rural preservation clearly
extend beyond the preservation of individual structures and the
cultural landscape. The issues are not only economic; they are also
social and cultural. Both the National Trust and the Smithsonian's
Michael Ann Williams is assistant professor of Folkstudies at Western Kentucky
University. She teaches several preservation-related courses and is the editor of the
"Vernacular Architecture Newsletter." She holds a doctorate in folklore from the
University of Pennsylvania.
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian
Asian Studies Association, Windsor, Ontario, June 1988, and the Preservation and
the Quality of Life Symposium, Columbia University, New York, New York,
'See Alan Jabbour and Howard W. Marshall. "Folklife and Cultural Preservation,"
in New Directions in Rural Preservation, HCRS Publication No. 45, ed. Robert E.
Stipe (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Interior, 1980), pp. 43-50 and
Michael Ann Williams, "The Realm of the Tangible: A Folklorist's Role in
Architectural Documentation and Preservation," in The Conservation of Culture:
Folklorists and the Public Sector, ed. Burt Feintuch (Lexington: University Press of
Kentucky, 1988), pp. 196-205.
2 See Archie Green, "P.L. 94-201-A View from the Lobby: A Report to the
American Folklore Society," reprinted in The Conservation of Culture: Folklorists and
the Public Sector, ed. Burt Feintuch, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky,
1988), pp. 269-281.
3 Alan Jabbour, "Some Reflections on Intangible Cultural Resources," in Rescue
Archeology, ed. Rex L. Wilson and Gloria Loyola (Washington D.C.: The Preservation
Press, 1982), p. 252.
Ormond Loomis, Cultural Conservation: The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the
United States, Publications of the American Folklife Center, No. 10 (Washington
D.C.: Library of Congress, 1983).
5 Mary Hufford, One Space, Many Places: Folklife and Land Use in New Jersey's
Pinelands National Reserve, Publications of the American Folklife Center, No. 15
(Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress), p. 107.
6See Lauri Honko, "The UNESCO Process of Folklore Protection," NIF Newsletter
12, no. 3 (December 1984): 5-31 and Lauri Honko, "What Kind of Instruments for
Folklore Protection?" NIF Newsletter 13, no. 1-2 (1985): 3-9.
7 Committee on the Exhibitions of Living National Treasures of Japan, Living
National Treasures ofJapan (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1982), pp. 14-15; Tanaka
Migaku, "Japan," in Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage: A Comparative Study
of World Cultural Resource Management Systems, (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1984), p. 82.
'UNESCO, The Protection of Movable Cultural Property II: Compendium of Legislative
Texts (UNESCO, 1984), pp. 112-148.
9 Victor Hauge and Takako Hauge, Folk Traditions in Japanese Art, (Tokyo:
Kodansha International Ltd., 1978), p. 15; and Makita Shigeru, "World Authority
on Folklore: Yanagita Kunio," Japan Quarterly XX (1973): 283-293.
Office of Folklife Programs, quite separately, have addressed the
problems of preserving the family farm.25 Perhaps in such recent
concerns as rural preservation, or the dislocation of urban
communities,26 we can best see the need for an integration of effort
in preserving tangible and intangible cultural resources. Opening
up the lines of communication is not enough. The issues historic
preservation and cultural conservation will face in the 1990s are
clearly beyond the scope of a single agency or a single discipline. If
we are to develop innovative new approaches, we need both to
work together and to broaden our international perspective on
the problems and the proposed solutions.
'0UNESCO. The Protection of Movable Cultural Property II, pp. 116-117.
" Shikaumi Nabuya, Cultural Policy in Japan, Studies and Documents on Cultural
Policies 4 (Paris: UNESCO, 1970), pp. 9-23.
12 Okada Jo, "Applied Arts," in Report on Traditional Forms of Culture in Japan
(Tokyo: Asian.Cultural Centre for UNESCO, 1975), pp. 24-35; and Thomas R.H.
Havens, Artist and Patron in Postwar Japan: Dance, Music, Theatre, and the Visual
Arts, 1955-1980 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 66-69.
"Kawatake Toshio, "Theater and Dance," in Report on Traditional Forms of Culture
in Japan (Tokyo: Asian Cultural Centre for UNESCO, 1975), pp. 24-35.
14 Havens, Artist and Patron in Postwar Japan, pp. 57-66.
"5 Asian Cultural Centre for UNESCO, Report on Traditional Forms of Culture in
Japan (UNESCO, 1975), pp. 178-179.
"6The definition of "traditional" is somewhat problematic in this type of comparative
study. In Japan traditional arts are often viewed as being in opposition to
western cultural products, while in the United States traditional arts are frequently
contrasted with elite or high-style art forms.
17 Loomis, Cultural Conservation, p. 16.
"California State Historical Resources Commission, 1987. Materials on intangible
resources provided by Karana Hattersley-Drayton, Folklife Specialist.
19 Hufford, One Space, Many Places, p. 121.
20David Taylor, 1988, personal correspondence.
21 Alan Jabbour suggests that Americans in general tend to avoid lifetime honors and
designations. Alan Jabbour, 1988, personal correspondence.
22 Hufford, One Space, Many Places; and Thomas Carter and Carl Fleischhauer, The
Grouse Creek Cultural Survey: Integrating Folklife and Historic Preservation Field
Research, Publications of the American Folklife Center, No. 13 (Washington, D.C.:
Library of Congress, 1988).
23 The problems inherent in the politicization of traditional arts as a result of
governmental cultural property protection laws are apparent in South Korea. See
Jongsung Yang, "The Cultural Property Protection Law in Korea," paper presented
to the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
24 For instance, social and cultural reasons, along with the often cited political,
defense, and ecological motivations inform Japanese rice policy. Thomas R. Cox,
"Dual Structure of the Japanese Economy," lecture presented at San Diego State
University, 25 June 1987.
25National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Rural Conservation," Information from
the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Information Sheet Number 19 (1984);
and Office of Folklife Programs, "The American Family Farm: An American
Tradition," proposal, Smithsonian Institution (1988).
26See Miriam Camitta, "The Folklorist and the Highway: Theoretical and Practical
Implications of the Vine Street Expressway," in The Cornervation of Culture,
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