Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 6.COM 13.24

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Japan has nominated Hon-minoshi, papermaking in the Mino region of Gifu Prefecture for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:

Hon-minoshi is a traditional Japanese technique for producing handmade paper practised in the Warabi community within Mino City, Gifu Prefecture. It uses only the fibres of paper mulberry. These are beaten manually then immersed in water and mixed with the mucilage from the root of the tororo aoi, a plant in the mallow family. This allows the fibres to suspend evenly in the water. After the fibres are filtered, they are formed into sheets using a bamboo screen held in place by a wooden frame. The paper is then dried on boards made from horse chestnuts. The result is fine sheets of paper with thinly intertwined and evenly spread fibres, highly regarded as superb for making translucent screens for windows in traditional Japanese houses. Hon-minoshi has been practised by the people of Warabi since the Edo period (1603 to 1867). At the beginning of the twentieth century four-fifths of residents were so engaged, but by mid-century the viability of the craft was in doubt because of competition from machine-made paper, until revitalization efforts began in 1960. The members of the Association for the Preservation of Hon-minoshi Papermaking, who come from two families, transmit this technique to the younger generation with considerable pride.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00407, Hon-minoshi, papermaking in the Mino region of Gifu Prefecture satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:

R.1:   Hon-minoshi has been handed down for many generations in the Warabi community as livelihood constituting local pride and identity;

R.3:   Past, current and future safeguarding efforts undertaken by associations as well as by the local and the national governments not only contribute to the viability of Hon-minoshi but also aim to mitigate the potential negative effects of inscription;

R.4:   Different groups concerned, including craftspeople, participated at all stages of the nomination process and gave their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   With the participation and consent of the concerned associations and individuals, the element was inscribed as an Important Intangible Cultural Property on the national inventory maintained by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

  1. Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00407, Hon-minoshi, papermaking in the Mino region of Gifu Prefecture, is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criterion for inscription on the Representative List is satisfied, as follows:

R.2:   Since the element closely resembles, both formally and symbolically, Sekishu-Banshi: papermaking in the Iwami region of Shimane Prefecture that is already inscribed on the Representative List, the State should explain how its inscription will contribute to promoting greater added awareness of the significance of the intangible cultural heritage.

  1. Decides to refer the nomination of Hon-minoshi, papermaking in the Mino region of Gifu Prefecture to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination in a subsequent cycle, providing the additional information specified with regard to criterion R.2.