Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



Meeting held to promote Usa Shrine and Kunisaki Peninsula's claim to World Heritage status


Jul 16, 2010

On Friday, June 25, 2010, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Oita Sekiyu Co., Ltd., Mr. NAGAOKA Keiichi delivered a special lecture entitled "Promoting the culture of Toyo-no-kuni to the World 'Combining Shinto & Buddhism' - promoting Usa Shrine and Kunisaki Peninsula's claim to World Heritage status". This lecture was held as part of the "Cultural Heritage Management" course offered by the College of Asia Pacific Studies (instructor: Assoc. Prof. TODOROKI Hiroshi). Mr. NAGAOKA is the president of an organisation working towards achieving Usa Shrine and Kunisaki Peninsula's claim to World Heritage status.

With the conclusion of a Friendship Agreement between APU and Usa City in December 2009, Assoc. Prof. TODOROKI was approached by Mayor of Usa City, KORENAGA Shuji for assistance with Usa Shrine and Kunisaki Peninsula's efforts to achieve World Heritage status. This lecture was part of Assoc. Prof. TODOROKI involvement in this project.

During the lecture, Mr. NAGAOKA gave the audience an insight into the history and background of the region, "Oita Prefecture is rich in historical cultural heritage of which the Usa-Kunisaki area in particular is a treasure trove of outstanding shrines and temples which display a characteristic blend of Buddhism and Shinto". He also spoke of the importance of the area’ claim to World Heritage status, "We are concerned not only with being recognized. Our goal is also to uncover the uniqueness of the region, raise people's awareness of the valuable cultural heritage that we have in our local communities, and to pass this along to the next generation".

Over 100 people came along to listen to Mr. NAGAOKA speak and raised a number of questions about similar cases involving entire regions seeking World Heritage recognition and also about the outlook for their recognition plan. At the conclusion of the lecture, the audience gave Mr. NAGAOKA a large round of applause.

On the following day, Assoc. Prof. TODOROKI lead approximately 80 students on a field trip around the historical sites of the Usa-Kunisaki area. The presentation materials compiled by participating students are to be submitted to Usa City.

Usa Shrine and Kunisaki Peninsula's claim to World Heritage status has been a long held dream of Mr. NAGAOKA and members of the community. APU hopes to continue to support the Usa-Kunisaki area realize its dream.

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