Preserving Cultural Heritage in Hida Takayama: Talk by Ushimaru Takehiko


Watch a recording of this event in the player above.

Join us for a special talk revealing the rich cultural heritage of Takayama City in central Japan’s Gifu Prefecture and the efforts of local communities to preserve the city’s legacy for generations to come.

Located in the densely forested Hida region, featured in Japan House London’s latest exhibition ‘The Carpenters’ Line’, the city of Takayama was founded around 400 years ago as a castle town. Takayama then flourished as a merchant town and continued to grow after the opening of Takayama Station in 1934. Takayama is now a popular domestic and international tourism destination and tourists flock from around the world to admire its historic city centre, which retains the architecture of the Edo period (1603-1868 CE), and to experience its seasonal cultural festivals. These include the Takayama Festival which is counted among Japan’s three most beautiful festivals and is known for its lavishly decorated yatai (festival floats) which have become important symbols of community.

In this event, Ushimaru Takehiko, the director of the Takayama Board of Education’s Cultural Assets Division, unpacks lesser known aspects of Takayama’s cultural heritage, focusing on how its residents have been protecting the legacy of the city for future generations.

About the Speaker

Ushimaru Takehiko (Takayama Board of Education, Cultural Assets Division)

Born in 1972 in Takayama. Ushimaru Takehiko graduated from Gifu University’s Faculty of Education and completed his masters in East Asian Archaeology at Senshu University’s Graduate School of the Humanities.

Throughout his career at the Takayama City Hall, he has been involved in a variety of fields, such as excavated cultural assets, building constructions, nationally recognized districts of preserved historical buildings, folk culture assets, registered Japanese heritage sites, and in general, cultural asset administration.

In 2006, he was dispatched to Gifu Museum for three years as a curator specializing in the Hida region. In 2015, he worked for two years in Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs, and was involved in preservation work relating to historical structures and nationally registered heritage sites. Currently, he is the Director of the Takayama Board of Education’s Cultural Assets Division, the Hida-Takayama Town Museum, and the Takayama Fudoki-no-Oka Education Center.

This event has been made possible with the support of Takayama City and Gifu Prefecture. 

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