Japen Culture 02

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Culture in Japan A sector-by-sector guide to Japan's cultural scene, comprising informative overviews of each sector together with a detailed database of over 5,800 key agencies working in the Japanese arts, media, heritage, libraries, archives and tourism sectors. Culture funding: Government remains the single most important source of cultural funding in Japan, although an increasing range of non-governmental grants and bursaries is now also available. OVERVIEW by Toshiki Miyazaki, Tsubouchi
  Culture in Japan A sector-by-sector guide to Japan's cultural scene, comprising informative overviews of each sectortogether with a detailed database of over 5,800 key agencies working in the Japanese arts, media,heritage, libraries, archives and tourism sectors.Culture funding:Government remains the single most important source of cultural funding in Japan, although anincreasing range of non-governmental grants and bursaries is now also available. OVERVIEW by Toshiki Miyazaki, Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University   Cultural policy in modern Japan was formulated at the end of the 19th century and has undergone severalchanges and developments before evolving to its present status. Pre-war cultural policy In 1867 the 15th Edo Shogun, Yoshinobu Tokugawa,returned political power to the emperor, bringing to anend governance by the samurai class. Thereafter a newstate regime was established, focused on the emperor.Reforms to the political, legal and class systems, localadministration, finance, retail distribution, industry,economy, education, diplomacy, and religious policy were introduced. Meanwhile Edo was renamed ‘Tokyo’ and became the capital. Under slogans such as ‘Prosperous country and strong army’ and  ‘encouragement of new industry’, strenuous efforts were made to catch up with the western powers. As a result, Japan began to establish itself as a modern country by aggressively incorporating ‘advanced’ systems from western civilisation. Various aspects of western culture, including architecture, dress and cuisine, were actively absorbed. These mingledwith traditional Japanese culture in various ways, bringing about significant changes inJapanese lifestyle. The series of cultural phenomena brought about by the MeijiRestoration is known as Bunmeikaika  (it is said that this term is a translation of the English word ‘civilisation’). It is possible to view this as an all -encompassing cultural policy withaspects of westernisation and modernisation.The birth of modern Japan also saw the establishment of a cultural policy aimed atensuring the public welfare of the nation and its citizens. In order to acquire and applywestern culture, a national system of music and fine arts education was gradually set inplace, commencing in 1887 with the establishment of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts ( Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko  ) and the Tokyo Music School ( Tokyo Ongaku Gakko  ), forerunners of thepresent-day Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.Western art was proactively introduced and promoted alongside Japanese art, with training being provided from bothsides. Particular emphasis was placed on the fine arts  – in 1907 an art exhibition (thepresent-dayNitten - Japan Fine Arts Exhibition)was organised by the Ministry of Education, and in the same year an honorary institute was established to favour artists withoutstanding artistic achievements (the present-dayJapan Art Academy). Initially, this institute was targeted only at fine artists; however, in 1937 its activities were extended toinclude literature and performing arts. Also in that year (1937), the system of the Bunka kunsho  (Order of Cultural Merit) was established. During this period western music wasalso adopted in school education, allowing western music to spread to citizens. Thus, it canbe stated that art promotion measures during this period focused only on indirect thingssuch as education and awards. On the other hand, control was reinforced on entertainment such as plays and movies, which were closely related to citizens’ lives and thus had a significant influence. In 1882 censorship of scripts was institutionalised, restrictions wereplaced on performances and a system of performer registration was implemented. DuringWorld War II controls were further strengthened  – measures enacted during wartimeincluded censorship of records (1934), a dissolution order to theatre companies (1940),prohibition on the screening of American and British movies (1941) and prohibition of jazzmusic performances (1943).In the process of Bunmeikaika  , it was considerednecessary to destroy traditional Japanese things in orderto introduce western culture and technologies. Inaddition, the new government promoted a policy for theestablishment of Shinto as a state religion. This resultedin several antique artefacts - Buddha statues, Buddhistaltar articles and old buildings - being scattered ordestroyed. It has also been observed that, due tochanges in the social stratum or because of economicdepression, organisations or individuals who retained these types of cultural propertysuffered economic hardship and experienced difficulty in maintaining and preserving them.Despite this, protection measures for cultural properties were gradually promoted in the 1870s (although at this time there was no concept of ‘cultural properties’). A law to identifyand preserve ‘national treasures’ and to prevent important and valuable art works from flowing out to foreign countries was formulated, and systems to protect historical remainswere gradually set in place. Moreover an exhibition held in 1872 by the Museum Department of the Ministry of Education resulted in the establishment of Japan’s first museum, forerunner of today’s  Tokyo National Museum.  Previous | Next     The Japan Cultural Profile was created with financial assistance from the  Japan Foundation ,the  Great Britain Sasakawa  Foundation  and the  Toshiba International Foundation   Date updated: 29 February 2008The website is powered by a Content Management System developed by Visiting Arts and UK software company LibriosLtdhttp://www.librios.com  Post-war cultural policy During World War II arts and culture were restricted and controlled by the state, and because of this, the term or concept of ‘cultural policy’ was avoided for a long time after the war ended. Academic research on Japanese cultural policy during thecolonial occupation of other Asian countries and on cultural policy in occupied Japanafter World War II is gradually proceeding, although it is beyond the scope of thisoverview.As World War II advanced, speech was controlled and various types of artistic andcultural activity were regulated and suppressed by the state. At the same time, artistswere called up to entertain and motivate Japanese service personnel. Production and broadcasting in conformance with the nation’s intent were also encouraged, and many artists became involved in this activity. After the war many Japanese artists and intellectuals continued to hold a sense of caution or distrust toward the nation’s involvement in arts and culture. Thus, many artists, excluding some traditional performing artists,distanced themselves from public policy. Post-war cultural policy was targeted mainly at the preservationof cultural properties and traditional arts. The state and local governments supported arts and culture under the name of ‘cultural administration’ without using the term   ‘cultural policy.’ However, in practice this policy remained vague and negative.After its defeat in World War II, Japan formulated a new constitution and declared itself a ‘peaceful country’ and a ‘cultural country’. Immediately after the war, an Art Division was set up within the SocialEducation Department of the Ministry of Education. However, it cannot be concluded that the idea of a ‘cultural country’ immediately encouraged the promotion of arts and culture or led to the protection ofcultural property, because in a period of post-war reconstruction thedevelopment of social infrastructure and promotion of industry weregiven priority. Furthermore, immediately after the war the FundamentalLaw of Education was formulated, and under it the Library Law and Museum Law. It would be noexaggeration to say that many culture-related policies, including those relating to libraries and museums,have always been positioned as a part of educational policy. Even today, many cultural facilities are stillpositioned as a part of educational policy. In 1950 the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties was formulated. Now the concept of ‘culturalproperties’ was clearly introduced, leading to the unification of several laws formulated previously. Intangible cultural assets were included in cultural properties and weresubject to protection.In 1968 theAgency for Cultural Affairs ( Bunka-cho  ) was establishedthrough a merger of the Cultural Bureau of the Ministry of Education andthe Cultural Properties Protection Commission. This set the scene forartistic and cultural policy and cultural property protection policy to bepromoted in an integrated fashion. However, the Agency for CulturalAffairs was positioned as an extra-ministerial bureau of the Ministry of Education, and thus had noseparate minister, a state of affairs which has continued to this day. Furthermore, for a long time the  primary policy of the Agency for Cultural Affairs remained that of protecting cultural properties; not untilthe late 1980s did the promotion of arts and culture become recognised as an important policy issue. Era of regions, era of culture In social situations such as post-war reconstruction and high economicgrowth, culture was seldom considered an important agenda in thenational policy. From the 1970s cultural policy was increasingly focusedon welfare state issues such as diffusion of and access to culture, andit would be fair to say that the central players in this development weremainly local governments. In this way the 1970s may be seen as an era of the first ‘cultural administration boom’ in local government.  Progressive local governments in large cities such as Tokyo and Osakaappeared in the 1960s and 1970s. They addressed issues pertaining topollution and the city, which arose out of the high economic growth.Similarly, they also enriched welfare policies and focused on cultural issues. Public investment inindustrial infrastructure was allocated to the living infrastructure, thus enhancing facilities for welfare and cultural activities. In the late 1970s the ‘era of regions’ was advocated as a catchphrase to indicate an emphasis on regional culture and autonomy with the aim of improving the quality of people’s lives. Inaddition, the Policy Study Council, set up by then Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, advocated an ‘era of culture’, laying the groundwork for culture to be dealt with by the state and by local governments as policies. During this period the idea that culture should be separated from the context of education wasalso raised, and this is considered to have influenced the cultural administration of local governments.In the 1980s cultural administration was initiated by local governmentson a nationwide basis. Cultural facilities such as art museums andcultural halls were created in each region. At the same time, the concept of ‘city development through culture’ was a dvocated in variousareas. This development was facilitated by the fact that the culturalsector was not subject to any aggressive policy, law, or regulation at anational level. Hence, local governments were able to implementpolicies with srcinality and ingenuity. Thus, in practice, culture was theonly area where local governments were allowed to implementmeasures which were unique to the regions and accommodated their citizens’ requirements. At this time it was advocated that local governments should not only engage inadministrative services as subcontractors of the state, but that they should also provide high-quality cultural services as a means of developing creative cities. The ‘enculturation of administration’ was also frequently discussed; cultural administration was promoted and developed in association withadministrative awareness reform in each region, incorporating the viewpoint of lifelong culture. On theother hand, it can be stated that the promotion of theatre, music, fine arts and film was not emphasisedstrongly. Development of cultural policy, creativecities and industry During the late 1980s Japan entered the ‘bubble economy’ and was swallowed up by mass consumer culture arising out of thecultural strategies of companies, which created a huge culture-consuming market. Expenditure of companies on cultural mattersincreased significantly during this period, but cooled rapidly after 1990 with the collapse of the bubble economy. At this time Japan was referred to as the ‘economic animal’ and was criticised by western countries. There was also a movement for discussing cultural support by companies in thecontext of social contribution and philanthropy. In order to respond to this situation, theAssociationfor Corporate Support of the Arts was established in 1990 to promote corporate support of the arts.In the same year the Japan Arts Fund was established through a contribution of 50 billion yen from the state and 10 billion yen from the private sector, resulting not only in an increase in the totalamount of arts subsidy but also in a dramatic expansion in the scope of artistic groups eligible for
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