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UNESCO registers Korean envoys as memory heritage; Ueno three monuments also postponed registration on Sugihara list

UNESCO registers Korean envoys as memory heritage; Ueno three monuments also postponed registration on Sugihara list

October 31, 2017 06:00


In the early hours of the 31st Japan time, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added materials from diplomatic missions sent to Japan from the Korean Peninsula during the Edo period to the Memory of the World (Memory of the World Heritage Site) site, which targets historical documents. It was announced that ``Records regarding Korean envoys'' had been registered. This is the first time that materials remaining in Japan and South Korea have been jointly registered. Gunma Prefecture's ancient stone monument group ``Kozukesanpi'' was also registered.

Registration of the ``Sugihara List,'' a document written by Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986), a diplomat who saved many Jews during World War II, has been postponed.


The final decision was made by the UNESCO Director-General after examination by the International Advisory Committee held in Paris.


Five items from Japan have already been registered in Memory of the World, including the ``Yamamoto Sakubei Coal Mine Recordings and Documents,'' bringing the total to seven. However, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has stated that the records of the Joseon Tsushin Envoy are not included in the number of registered records in Japan because they were not submitted by Japan alone.

The Joseon Tsushin Envoy was a diplomatic mission sent by the King of Korea to Japan for diplomatic purposes. It was sent 12 times until 1811. He sailed from Busan, Korea to Osaka via Nagasaki, Tsushima, and the Seto Inland Sea, then headed overland to Edo. It is said that exchanges in medicine, art, etc. arose along the way.


The ``Records of Korean Envoys'' consist of three pillars: (1) diplomatic records, (2) itinerary records, and (3) records of cultural exchanges. Diplomatic records include the Korean King's ``Korean State Book'' addressed to the Tokugawa Shogun, and the 1607 State Book that was falsified by the Tsushima Domain. Part of the Kuroda family documents, which records the Fukuoka clan hosting a group of envoys on Ainoshima (Shingu Town, Fukuoka Prefecture), was also registered. In total, there are 333 items in Japan and South Korea, and in Kyushu, 21 items are in Fukuoka Prefecture and 6 items are in Nagasaki Prefecture's collections.


A joint application was made in March 2016 by the NPO "Korea Tsushima Liaison Council" (Enjiren) in Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture, and the Busan Cultural Foundation of South Korea, as a symbol of Japan-Korea friendship led by the private sector. was also attracting attention.

The Sugihara list includes 64 records of the issuing of Japanese transit visas to Jewish refugees when Mr. Sugihara was acting consul to Lithuania. The Ueno Three Monuments in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture are the collective name for three stone monuments built between the 7th and 8th centuries that have been designated as national special historic sites.

Nishinippon Shimbun morning edition dated 10/31/2017



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