DestinationsCenturies-old architectural craftsmanship can be seen in timber-framed structures from shrines to old houses.

This traditional Japanese craft could soon be on UNESCO’s list

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The centuries-old architectural craftsmanship can be seen in structures such as Horyuji (pictured), a World Heritage Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, western Japan.
The centuries-old architectural craftsmanship can be seen in structures such as Horyuji (pictured), a World Heritage Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, western Japan. Photo Credit: Martin Falbisoner
Japan will be nominating its traditional architectural craftsmanship in its timber-framed structures to be recognised under UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in the fall of 2020.

Centuries-old craftsmanship can be applied in 17 areas for repairing and restoring shrines, temples and old houses. 

The government will be submitting its nomination by end of March, and if successful, this will be Japan’s 22nd inscription on the list, Japan Today reported.

The craftsmanship, which can be seen from roofing to decorations, have been used in wooden structures such as Horyuji, a World Heritage Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, western Japan.

The techniques, using only natural materials such as wood, weed and soil, have nevertheless made it possible to build resilient structures in a country frequently hit by earthquakes and typhoons.

Last year, a set of Japanese folk rituals featuring "Raiho-shin," or visiting deity, in which people dress up as gods and visit homes, was approved for addition to the list. Among the popular rituals is rituals is the "Oga no Namahage" in the northeastern prefecture of Akita.

The U.N. body's Intergovernmental Committee holds a session every fall to assess requests from countries for inscription of their cultural elements. This year, it will be held in Colombia.

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