“Kamakura”- toward World Heritage Registration


 Current Activities

“Kamakura”is the place where "Minamoto-no-Yoritomo"established the first samurai government (the Kamakura Shogunate) in the late 12thcentury in Japan.Itis also the starting point of the samurai society that continued for approximately 700 years andthe place where samurai culture was created ,which greatly influenced the subsequent Japanese culture .

--Brief History of Our Activities--

-1992: “Kamakura” was registered as “Temples, Shrines and other structures of Ancient Kamakura” on UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Tentative List.

-2004:Kamakura City formulated the concept of “Kamakura, Home of the Samurai”.

-2007:K.P.G. and the three Cities of Kamakura, Yokohama and Zushi established a promotion committee and started preparing a nomination file.Since then, they have been working together on designation of candidate heritage as cultural properties,preservation and management plans and securing of buffer zone to protect the whole nominated properties. These preparations were already completed.

The evaluation of the World Heritage Committee gets severe every year. The registration of“Hiraizumi” was once deferred in2010 before finally inscribed on the List in June 2012.Against this backdrop, we worked hard to make a high level of nomination file for evaluation. During this process, we held international meetings jointly with the Agency for Cultural Affairs four times to build an international consensus.

Moreover, we carried out “Poster Contest for Cultural Properties Protection”, forums along with the international meetings, an exhibition “the Excavated Kamakura, Home of the Samurai”, etc. to promote a correct understanding ofthe outstanding universal value of "Kamakura, Home of the Samurai" and the significance of becoming the World Heritage site.

As a result of there efforts, the Japanese government decided to recommend"Kamakura, Home of the Samurai" for registrationas World Cultural Heritage after discussions at "Special Comittee of the World Cultural Heritage" and Inter-Ministerial/Agency Coordination Committee for World Natural Heritage.

In September 2011, we submitted the "tentative nomination file", and in January 2012, the Japanese government submitted the formal nomination file to UNESCO World Heritage Comittee.

-2013/4/30:As a result of an on-site evaluation, ICOMOS recommend that the site should not be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

-2013/5/27:K.P.G.and the three Cities decided the direction of withdrawing the nomination.

-2013/6/4:The Japanese government made the decision to withdraw the nomination of “Kamakura, Home of the Samurai”.

The dicision of withdrawal was made due to the following reasons.

  • The evaluation ofICOMOS was very severe ; it pointed out that "Kamakura, Home of the Samurai" did not meet the criteria for registration as claimed by Japan, and the outstanding universal value had not been justified.
  • In the ICOMOS recommendation, there were no elements, such as a highly appreciated property, that could be further discussed for deferral or referral resolution.

Futher Activities

We will make further efforts for early re-nomination and registration as a World Heritage site through the collaboration and cooperative framework of K.P.G.and the three Cities as the core, with support of the Cultural Affairs Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT ).

Mobile Phone Website

Web site is available for i-mode, SoftBank, and EZweb.

For comments/questions on this page, please contact the World Heritage Registration Promotion Group, Cultural Heritage Division, Lifelong Learning Department, Education Bureau.