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A Message from the Honorary President
In the past several years, Hokkaido’ s natural splendor and cuisine have made it a very popular destination among tourists, especially those from Asia. Date City is rich in history and culture. One can find the Kitakogane Shell Midden, evidence of Ainu*1 settlements, and modern development by samurai immigrants from other islands of Japan. The Kitakogane Shell Midden is part of the “Jomon*2 Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku” , which is aiming to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage. There is also the Irie and Takasago Shell Midden in the adjacent Toyako Town. Museums in this area exhibit culture rooted in the area’ s rich environment from the Jomon Period.
With the planned opening of the Date City Museum of History and Culture, Japan’ s newest*3 local cultural museum, in April 2019, we are planning a post-conference programme to this local museum, which embodies the theme of ICOM KYOTO 2019: “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” .
This post-conference programme aims to facilitate exchanges between researchers based in Hokkaido and other ICOM researchers. We look forward to seeing you.
*1 The Ainu are an indigenous people with their own culture who today live primarily in Hokkaido. Previously, the Ainu lived not just in Hokkaido, but also in Sakhalin to the north, the Kuril Islands to the east and the northern part of Japan’ s main island to the south. Many place names in Hokkaido derive from their native language.
*2 Jomon culture thrived on the Japanese archipelago after the Japanese Paleolithic period. It was a hunter-gatherer culture characterized by pit dwellings. The Jomon culture period continued from 15,000 years ago to 2,300 years ago, which in world history corresponds to an era between the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods.
*3 as of 1 September 2019, when the ICOM Kyoto 2019 will be held