【UNESCO Memory of the World】 Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi "Stand up again, messengers of world peace!"

한국어 日本語
1. Registeration and result announcement

(1) Registeration at the end of March 2016
(2) Result announcement in June-July 2017
※It depends on the schedule of International Advisory Committee of UNESCO(ICA).
(3) Compared to world heritage(landscape) and cutural heritage(historic site), documentary heritage is likely to be accepted.

2. Why did Japan and Korea jointly nominate documents on Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi for the International Memory of the World Register?

(1) Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi is a peaceful heritage not only for Japan and Korea, but also for East Asia and the world.
(2) There was a proposal of co-resgistration from Korea in 2012.
(3) In the case of multilateral co-resgistration, there is no limit on the number of nominations.
(4) It is a project to commemorate the 50th Anniversary(2015) of Normalization of Japan-Korea.

3. Japanese Nomination Committee members

(1) 13 cities and towns : Tsushima, Shimonoseki, Nagahama, Iki, Omihachiman, Shizuoka, Seto Inland Sea, Fukuyama, Kure, Kyoto, Kaminoseki, Nikko, Nagoya
(2) 3 private organizations : Hoshukai(Nagahama), Ranshima Cultural Promotion Foundation(Kure), Tsushima Promotion Foundation for Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi
(3) 4 observers(prefecture): Nagasaki, Yamaguchi, Shiga, Fukuoka

4. Budget

(1) 2014 : 7,642,036yen (settlement amount)
(2) 2015 : 11,862,000yen (budget-based)
(3) 2016 : 4,710,000yen (budget-based)
10456240_10152678383276779_429883145408387970_n.jpgAkie Abe(4th person from the right), wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at welcome dinner for the parade of Korean envoy procession in Shimonoseki in 2014

Nomination Form(an excerpt)
Documents on Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi: The history of Peace Building and Cultural Exchanges between Korea and Japan from the 17th to 19th Century

1. Summary

The nominated documents, "Joseon Tongsinsa/Chousen Tsushinshi (Korean Embassies): The History of Peace Building and Cultural Exchanges between Korea and Japan from 17th to 19th Century," comprise materials related to 12 diplomatic missions dispatched from Korea to Japan between 1607 and 1811 at the request of Japan's Shogunate government. The missions contributed to restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries, which had been severed due to the invasion of Korea ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Japan's ruler) in the late 16th century, and to maintaining peaceful relations. The nominated documents, which have been in custody in both countries, comprise diplomatic documents, travel records, and cultural exchange records, all of which testify to the importance of the missions in promoting reconciliation, mutual understanding, and interactions in the diplomatic, cultural, and industrial spheres. These cross-cultural exchanges were based on mutual respect and the principle of "sincerity and friendship." The nominated documents exhibit wisdom in maintaining peaceful relations between two nations that had been at war. The missions benefited not only the two countries, but also East Asia as a whole by stabilizing the political situation and maintaining trading channels. These documents have world significance in fostering permanent peace and cross-cultural communication.

2. Name of nominator

Busan Cultural Foundation (Republic of Korea)
The Liaison Council of All Places Associated with Chosen Tsushinshi (Japan)

3. Relationship to the nominated documentary heritage

Since Joseon Tongsinsa/Chosen Tsushinshi (hereinafter the "Korean Embassies") traveled over long distances, it was natural that documents concerning them remained in various locations along their travel routes. Accordingly, the nominated documents have been in the custody of various public and private entities in both countries, including museums, universities, and libraries.

Entrusted by the owners and custodians of these documents, the Busan Cultural Foundation (ROK) and the Liaison Council of All Places Associated with Chosen Tsushinshi (Japan-NPO) jointly nominate them for the International Memory of the World Register.

The Busan Cultural Foundation manages the History Museum of Joseon Tonginsa and organizes various related events, including the annual Joseon Tongshinsa Festivals, and academic symposiums. Inheriting activites of its predecessor, the Association of Joseon Tongshinsa Cultural Exchange Affairs, the Busan Cultural Foundation takes the initiative in campaigns to revive the spirit of the Korean Embassies, in a contemporary context. It also supports other affairs of cultural exchanges related to the Korean Embassies that are held in various palces in both countries.

The Liaison Council of All Places Associated with Choson Tsushinshi was founded in 1995 on Tsushima Island, located between the Korean Peninsula and Japan's Kyushu main island, with the aim of promoting historical significance of the Korean Embassies, studies of related materials, and friendship between the two countries. Featuring a broad network of both public and private orgnanizations in 15 prefectures in Japan, the Council organizes various events, including reenactment of the procession of the Korean Embassies, lectures, symposiums, and exhibitions.

Since 2002, both organizations have been promoting public reconition of the Korean Embassies and related academic studies through various interactive activities. Both organizations have reached a shared recognition, the two organizations respectively formed nomination committees and academic committees, the latter of which engaged in research of documents on the Korean Embassies, and evaluated them from the viewpoint of their validity for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register. Going further, the two organizations have compiled lists of documets on the Korean Embassies, in their order to make the documents accessible from around the world.

4. Identification details of the documentary heritage

The nominated documents comprise diplomatic documents, travel records, and records of cultural exchanges.

(1) Diplomatic documents

Diplomatic documets comprise official documents compiled by Korean and Japanese state authorities. They include Tongshinsa-deungrok (historical Records of tongshinsa), compiled by the Joseon Dynasty and the official letters written by kings of Joseon Dynasty to Tokugawa shoguns in Japan (hereinafter the Joseon sovereingn's message). These documents clearly indicate the aspiration of the rulers of both princles and purposes of the missions. The Tongshinsa-deungrok also indicates the numbers of respective mission members.

(2) Travel records

Travel records include the documents written by three ambassadors and thier retinue concerning what they actually saw and heard during their long journey, a round trip of 4,500km between Hanyang (now Seoul), the Korean capital, and Edo (now Tokyo), the seat of the Tokugawa Shogunate government. On their way to and from Edo, the ambassadors and retinue were hosted by the feudal lords of various domains in Japan. Japanese officials of those host domains also compiled records of their reception. During their journey, artists hired by the governments precisely depicted the procession of the mission. these documents and paintings vividly illustrate the journeys of the Korean Embassies, as well as Japanese people's reaction to the mission and thier keen admiration for Korean culture.

(3) Records of cultural exchanges

The mission members and Japanese people of diverse social classes enjoyed friendly exchanges and shared their knowledge, particularly concerning confucianism and medicial science. Despite the language differences, communication was difficult because both parties were familier with Chinese characters and sentence structures. Conversations were held by writing classical Chinsese sentences, which were understood well by both parties. Even Chinese-style poems were composed by both parties in turn. Many records of such meetings vividly illustrate the frinedly exchanges. Calligraphic works and paintings produced by mission members at various places in Japan have been treasured in various organizations in locations along their travel route. In Korea, Japanese paintings that were presented either to Korean kings or the mission members are in the custody of museums in Seoul. These records of cultural exchanges attest to the significant role played by the Korean Embassies in building a friendly relationship between the two countries and in promoting science and culture both countries.

The nominated documents in both countries comprise a total of 106 articles (315 items), consisting of 4 diplomatic documents (36 items), 65 travel records (136 items), and 37 records of cultural exchanges (143 items).

a) In custody in ROK : a total of 59 articles (120 items) comprising 2 diplomatic documets (32 items), 38 travel records (67 items), and 19 records of cultural exchanges (21 items)

b) In custody in Japan : a total of 47 articles (195 items) comprising 2 diplomatic documets (4 items), 27 travel records (69 items), and 18 records of cultural exchanges 122 items)

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