Important Cultural Properties of Japan

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Sankei-en's Rinshunkaku in Yokohama is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property

Important Cultural Properties of Japan (重要文化財 jūyō bunkazai?, important cultural properties)[note 1] is a list of items made by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. These are places and things that are especially important to the Japanese people.[1]

Types of Cultural Properties[change | edit source]

Japan's government made a Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties a "designation system" (指定制度?) to protect its culture. It chooses important items and names them as Cultural Properties[note 2]. The law sets rules about changing, repairing, or exporting these items.[1]

There is also "registration system" (登録制度?), which sets a lower level of protection and support for Registered Cultural Properties than for Designated Cultural Properties.

There are different levels of designation. Designation can be at a city (市定重要文化財 city designated Important Cultural Property?), prefectural (県定重要文化財 prefecturally designated Important Cultural Property?) or national (国定重要文化財 nationally designated Important Cultural Property?) level.

Designations of a different level can coexist. For example, Sankei-en, a traditional Japanese-style garden in Naka Ward, Yokohama, owns both city designated and nationally designated Important Cultural Properties.[2]

Some Important Cultural Properties of Japan[change | edit source]

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. The term is often shortened into just jūbun (重文?)
  2. In this article, capitals indicate an official designation as opposed to a simple, unofficial definition, e.g. "Cultural Properties" as opposed to "cultural properties".

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cultural Properties for Future Generations" (PDF). Administration of Cultural Affairs in Japan ― Fiscal 2009. Agency for Cultural Affairs. 2007-06. http://www.bunka.go.jp/bunkazai/pamphlet/pdf/pamphlet_en_03.pdf.
  2. Yokohama Sankei Garden, Sankei-en's official site accessed on November 3, 2009 (in Japanese)