- Takes note that Japan has nominated Chichibu Matsuri no Yatai-gyoji to Kagura, Chichibu autumn festival of floats and kagura for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:
Each December a ritual and festive event takes place at the annual festival of the Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. The event consists of a sacred parade of two symbolic poles and four floats ornately decorated with lanterns and gilded wood carvings that are towed by hand from the shrine to the otabisho (an auxiliary shrine). During the daytime, a troupe performs classical Kabuki dance drama and other ritual dances upon one of the floats, and a form of Shinto theatrical dance, kagura, is performed on a stage inside the shrine and at the otabisho. The parade is accompanied by fireworks let off by local people from Chichibu City. When the ritual festival finishes after midnight, all floats return to their respective communities and the sacred parade ends with the symbolic poles being returned to the shrine. Anybody born or currently living within the communities can assume an important role in the sacred parade or the towing of floats. As the festival approaches, momentum gains with Kabuki practice and rehearsals for the ritual dances on the floats which involve children. Transmission of the rituals is undertaken by the community groups that maintain the ritual floats and symbolic poles. The primary social reason for the festival is to reinforce the unity of these communities.
- Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00408, Chichibu Matsuri no Yatai-gyoji to Kagura, Chichibu autumn festival of floats and kagura satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:
R1: A ritual event recreated by practitioners in response to changing times, the Chichibu festival integrates several expressions such as dance, theatre and music, and is constantly transmitted by the Chichibu community as a symbol of its local identity;
R.3: Recent and current efforts such as the repairing of utensils for the festival itself, as well as the measures proposed for the future, can contribute to the continued viability of the Chichibu festival;
R.4: Several consultation meetings were held with the Chichibu community and the Committee for the Preservation of the Chichibu Festival participated in the nomination process, providing its free, prior and informed consent;
R.5: With the participation and consent of the concerned associations, Chichibu Matsuri no Yatai-gyoji to Kagura was included in 1979 as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property on the national inventory maintained by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
- Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00408, Chichibu Matsuri no Yatai-gyoji to Kagura, Chichibu autumn festival of floats and kagura is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criterion for inscription on the Representative List is satisfied, as follows:
R.2: Since the element closely resembles, both formally and symbolically, both Yamahoko, the float ceremony of the Kyoto Gion festival and Hitachi Furyumono that are already inscribed on the Representative List, the State should explain how its inscription will contribute to promoting greater added awareness of the significance of the intangible cultural heritage.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Chichibu Matsuri no Yatai-gyoji to Kagura, Chichibu autumn festival of floats and kagura to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination in a subsequent cycle, providing the additional information specified with regard to criterion R.2.