Heritage production in national and global cultural policies

Hideyo Konagaya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The term “cultural heritage” gained currency in Japanese public discourse in the 1990s, when the national government began to reorient cultural administration. Cultural policy has entailed the promotion of “cultural heritage” as a new platform of local and global economic development, while holding on to the long-established institution of the protection of “cultural property.” This article explores how the discourse of cultural heritage has interacted with the history, politics, and economy of the nation state, and how folkloristic and anthropological theories and practices have been involved in the process. Discussing Kumiodori, a form of traditional Okinawan dance and theater, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List in 2010, it will look into the intersection of global and national cultural policies centered on intangible culture, paying attention to its classificatory system, which I see as an instrument of defining, ordering, and reproducing the images and meanings of national culture and identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalAsian Ethnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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