While many people have heard the term World Heritage, few may have heard the term Intangible Cultural Heritage. Both World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage are part of UNESCO's project to protect the common assets of humanity. The difference is that World Heritage is for tangible objects, while Intangible Cultural Heritage, as the name suggests, protects intangible cultural assets such as folk culture, folklore, and oral traditions.
Some of the items on the list of intangible cultural heritages in Japan are exactly what you would imagine to be intangible cultural heritages, such as Noh, Joruri, and Kabuki, while others, such as the "traditional food culture of the Japanese people," are unclear as to what extent they are included in the list.
There is also a category called "Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals," which consists of many similar events. This is a collection of events centered on the parade of Yama, Hoko and Yatai float, which are held to pray for the safety of local communities and to prevent disasters. In layman's terms, it is a festival in which large floats are paraded through the town, and more than 30 festivals are registered, including the Yamahoko events of the Gion Festival in Kyoto.
The Seihaku-sai held at the Ootokonushi Jinja in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, is one of the festivals registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. When I arrived at the Ootokonushi Jinja, the site of the festival, the grounds were deserted with no visitors. When there is no festival going on, it may not be a place that attracts that many people. In the case of World Heritage, there is often a stone monument to prove that it is registered, but in the case of Intangible Cultural Heritage, there seems to be no such monument, and I couldn't find any visitors or monument of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the precincts of Ootokonushi Jinja.
|Oct 2021 ARCHITECTURE ISHIKAWA|
|NANAO SHRINE TORII|
October 30, 2021
December 23, 2022
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF