New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2009. The contributors explore how the heritage value of items such as textiles, automata, paintings, tea utensils and Noh masks, is made and re-made through the relationship of these objects to the instruments of their display.
This book examines the making of heritage in contemporary Japan, investigating the ways in which particular objects, practices and institutions are ascribed public recognition and political significance. Through detailed ethnographic and historical case studies, it analyses the social, economic, and even global political dimensions of cultural heritage. It shows how claims to heritage status in Japan stress different material qualities of objects, places and people - based upon their ages, originality and usage. Following on an introduction that thoroughly assesses the field, the ethnographic and historiographic case studies range from geisha; noh masks; and the tea ceremony; urban architecture; automata; a utopian commune and the sites of Mitsubishi company history. They examine how their heritage value is made and re-made, and appraise the construction of heritage in cases where the heritage value resides in the very substance of the object's material composition - for example, in architecture, landscapes and designs - and show how the heritage industry adds values to existing assets: such as sacredness, urban charm or architectural and ethnic distinctiveness. The book questions the interpretation of material heritage as an enduring expression of social relations, aesthetic values and authenticity which, once conferred, undergoes no subsequent change, and standard dismissals of heritage as merely a tool for enshrining the nation; supporting the powerful; fostering nostalgic escapism; or advancing capitalist exploitation. Finally, it considers the role of people as agents of heritage production, and analyses the complexity of the relationships between people and objects. This book is a rigorous assessment of how conceptions of Japanese heritage have been forged, and provides a wealth of evidence that questions established assumptions on the nature and social roles of heritage.
Introduction Part 1: Performing Japaneseness through Heritage 1. Making 'Japanese' Tea 2. Before Making Heritage: Internationalisation of Geisha in the Meiji Period 3. Making Art in the Japanese Way: Nihonga as Process and Symbolic Action Part 2: Institutionalising Japanese Heritage 4. Architecture, Folklore Studies, and Cultural Democracy: Nagakura Saburô and Hida Minzoku-mura 5. Nô Masks on Stage and in Museums: Approaches to the Contextualisation and Conservation of the Pitt Rivers Museum Nô Mask Collection 6. Company Culture or Patinated Past? The Display of Corporate Heritage in Sumitomo Part 3: Japanese Local Heritage and the Wider World 7. A Heady Heritage: The Shifting Biography of Kashira (Puppet Heads) as Cultural Heritage Objects in the Awaji Tradition 8. The Case of the Sash: A Search for Context in Okinawa 9. Houses in Motion: The Revitalization of Kyoto's Architectural Heritage 10. Automated Alterities: Movement and Identity in the History of the Japanese Kobi Ningyô Part 4: Perpetuating Japanese Heritage 11. Maintaining a Zen Tradition in Japan: The Concrete Problem of Priest Succession 12. Debating the Past to Determine the Future in Shinkyo, a Japanese Commune