Matsumoto Castle’s Approach to a registration of a world heritage
Summary of the projects.
The approach to a registration of Matsumoto Castle to a world heritage is lead by a committee of propulsion and practice “Matsumoto Castle, a national treasure, to a world heritage” (established in July 2001, a department of a policy, Shinano Mainichi Shinbun). To make this national treasure, Matsumoto Castle, to become a world heritage, it is necessary to put this castle registered in the provisional list of a world heritage in Japan. A board of education is in process of getting a proof of universal value along with related organisations, specialists and other castle surroundings towns.
In 2006, a proposal, to register the castle to the provisional list, was submmitted to the Agency for Cultural Affair, and it became in the list of a continued deliberation matter.
In 2007, another proposal was submitted as well as a report considering a research called “Serial Nomination” which is a research of modern castles all over Japan led by Himeji Castle.
In March 2008, there was a hearing with the Agency for Cultural Affair and in September the castle became applicable to Category Ib* by the Committee of a World Heritage Working Group of the Agency for Cultural Affair.
In 2008, “Research Association of Modern Four Castles of National Treasure” was established along with city of Hikone and Inuyama, and researches on individual basis with specialists have started.
In 2011, city of Matsumoto, Inuyama and Hikone established “Association of Preparation and Propulsion of National Treasure Four Castles to World Heritage” (temporary name).
In 2012, three meetings of “Association of Preparation and Propulsion of National Treasure Four Castles to World Heritage” (temporary name) were held. A working group of specialists was established and two meetings were held.
In 2013, three meetings of “Association of Preparation and Propulsion of National Treasure Four Castles to World Heritage” (temporary name) were held. A working group of specialists was established and two meetings were held.
A research on a universal value of the National Treasure Matsumoto Castle was carried into effect.
Along with a Committee of Propulsion and Practice “Matsumoto Castle, a national treasure, to a world heritage”, “World Heritage Forum in Matsumoto” was held.
* Category Ib
An educational investigation and research must be carried out relating the main topic with a lead of the proposed local public organisation. When a direction of the proposal including the main topic and a compose of asset is obvious, the proposa can be taken by a related local public organisation.
“Association of Preparation and Propulsion of National Treasure Four Castles to World Heritage” (temporary name) continues to do an educational research with guides and advices from specialists about the possibility of the proof of a universal value of the castle.
The Matsumoto Ancient Castle Association’s approach
On the 5th year of the Heisei Era, the “Festival of the 400th anniversary of the national treasure, Matsumoto Castle” was held to celebrate the 400th birthday of the Matsumoto Castle. The Matsumoto Ancient Castle Association officially initiated the “campaign to have the Matsumoto Castle registered as a World Heritage Site” in the 9th year of the Heisei Era, seeing the 400th anniversary festival as an opportunity.
The chairman of The Matsumoto Ancient Castle Association, Kunio Kanzawa believed, “It is our duty to preserve the Matsumoto Castle for our future generations, and I would like to do this through the registration of the castle as a World Heritage Site, by treating this campaign as a civic movement. I would like the city to actively participate in this movement,” and sent a petition to Matsumoto city and the Matsumoto city council demanding the following 3 requests.
Make it clear in the city’s comprehensive plan that the city will support the campaign to have the Matsumoto Castle registered as a World Heritage Site.
Early authorization of the castle as a special historical site.
The development of a unified promotion movement involving the administration and the citizens.
The above mentioned association visited the head of the Agency for Cultural affairs, Hideki Hayashida in the 12th year of the Heisei era. They had an exchange of views about the registration of Matsumoto Castle as a special historical site and as a World Heritage site, and actively advanced this project.
The city of Matsumoto inaugurated an executive committee named “The executive committee for promoting the Matsumoto Castle, a national treasure, as a World Heritage Site.” The prospectus claimed, “It is our duty to hand down the Matsumoto Castle, which was safely preserved by our ancestors, to the future generations. The permanent preservation and the global publicizing of the Matsumoto Castle is a must.” Other than the Matsumoto city, the city’s board of education, the Matsumoto Ancient Castle Association , and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Matsumoto, 54 other economic, cultural, and volunteering organizations joined in the executive committee.
The selection of appeal
In the 14th year of the Heisei era, the executive committee held the “The Seminar for the national treasure, Matsumoto Castle -Aiming for approval as a World Heritage Site,” and lectures and symposiums by the chairman of the board of directors of the JAPAN ICOMOS National committee. There, “environmental conservation, maintenance, and the creation of a new culture of the Matsumoto Castle” was chosen as “the appeal to have the national treasure, Matsumoto Castle approved as a World Heritage Site” was chosen.
The executive committee decided on the PR symbol mark, collected sceneries that would be appropriate to pass down to the future generations from the citizens, and published the booklet, “The 10 best sceneries of the castle town of Matsumoto Castle.” They also had PR campaigns aiming to promote the conservation of cultural assets related to the castle and actualization of the registration of the castle as a World Heritage Site.
Submitting a proposal to the Agency for Cultural Affairs
” In the 18th year of the Heisei era, along with the Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto city submitted a proposal to have the Matsumoto Castle placed on the temporary list, yet it was treated as a case to be carried over to the next session.” In the December of the 19th year of the Heisei era, the city resubmitted the proposal and an investigation progress report, then reported that they will continue the research on the possibility of the registration of “the group of modern castles, focusing on the Himeji Castle. ” It was decided that this report is worthy of “researching on the matter, and preparing for as soon as a fixed direction is discovered,” by the special committee for the World Heritage site under the Commission for Cultural Affairs of the Agency for Cultural Affairs in the 20th year of the Heisei era.
Taking these results, Hikone city and Inuyama city are currently continuing the research on having the modern castles be serially nominated for becoming one of the World Heritage Sites. By narrowing down to castle towers, a unified direction has been highlighted, which makes it possible to more clearly appeal the distinctive characteristics of Japanese fortresses in political and architectural aspects to the world.
Efforts in recent years
The executive committee is making efforts aimed for elementary and middle school students. In order to deepen the understanding of the castle there are “Matsumoto Castle Quizzes” and puzzles made from old drawings called the “Matsumoto Castle town puzzle, ” in the form of school visits. In addition, there is the “mystery tour,” where families can solve problems while walking through the castle; this project is currently enjoyed by many.
For citizens, there are campaigns such as symposiums and lectures in order to deepen the knowledge concerning current situation and stir up interests for World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, there are inspections of and interactions with leading cities, in addition to inspection and visiting of cities that aim to have national treasures and promotion of interactions in a personal level for citizens.
The movement of Matsumoto city regarding the registration as a World Heritage site inherits the tradition of conserving the Matsumoto Castle, through the hands of citizens since the Meiji era.
Please check for details about the movement to have the Matsumoto Castle registered as a World Heritage site in the Matsumoto city website, “The national treasure of Matsumoto Castle as a World Heritage,” by the promotion executive committee.