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Outline of Japan Heritage

The Mission of Japan Heritage

Heritage is a connection to our past: a legacy of our cultural and natural history, and an invaluable source of inspiration to pass on to future generations.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Japan Heritage aims to promote our unique cultural traditions, encourage use of our national cultural properties, and to revitalize regional economies.

Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties have been preserved through narratives based on unique regional histories and traditions.

By recognizing these stories as Japan Heritage, the Agency plans to promote these historical legacies and to provide comprehensive support so that this heritage may be effectively preserved and maintained.

While the emphasis in registering for World Heritage or for designation as a cultural property is focused on evaluating values of the cultural properties to be registered or designated and to ensure preservation thereof, Japan Heritage has a different focus. Japan Heritage dose not aim to evaluate value or establish new regulations for preservation of cultural properties, but to perceive legacies scattered about in a region as a cohesive story. The objective is to publicize such stories and utilize the stories to promote revitalization of the local communities.

The Primary Objectives of Japan Heritage

  • 1To recognize the narratives that bind Japan’s regional cultural properties
  • 2To maintain and use these regional cultural properties in a cohesive manner
  • 3To strategically and effectively promote the narratives pertaining to cultural properties within Japan and abroad

Designation intent

Once tangible and/or intangible legacies passed down in a region are designated as Japan Heritage, that particular region will gain in recognition in other parts of Japan and abroad. Organizing various events linked to Japan Heritage will not only reconfirm and strengthen identity awareness within the local community, but also lead towards branding the locality and by extension, contribute towards revitalization of the local community.