Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage
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Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Edited by Ilde Rizzo and Anna Mignosa

Cultural heritage is a complex and elusive concept, constantly evolving through time, and combining cultural, aesthetic, symbolic, spiritual, historical and economic values. The Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage outlines the contribution of economics to the design and analysis of cultural heritage policies and to addressing issues related to the conservation, management and enhancement of heritage.
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Chapter 30: Policy for intangible cultural heritage in Japan: how it relates to creativity

Kazuko Goto


Cultural Heritage has three categories: tangible (movable and immovable) and intangible heritage. Intangible heritage is relatively new as international policy but has existed in national policy in some countries. The UNESCO convention of intangible cultural heritage was adopted in 2003. It corresponded to the increasing interest in cultural diversity. It is assumed that intangible cultural heritage is important for identity and cultural diversity, which guarantee sustainable development (Kono, 2009). However, the concept of intangible cultural heritage can be difficult to pin down and the definition of cultural heritage varies from country to country. The convention defines it as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as a part of their cultural heritage. Therefore, how to elaborate inventories of intangible cultural heritage, and how to define communities who hold intangible cultural heritage are still unsolved questions. Moreover, it is difficult to apply intellectual property rights to intangible cultural heritage (Kono, 2009).

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