Japan to Propose Calligraphy for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Yomiuri shimbun file photo
The Cultural Affairs Agency in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto.

The Council for Cultural Affairs on Monday chose Japanese calligraphy as a new candidate to propose for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The government will submit the proposal to UNESCO by the end of March 2024. A decision will likely be made around November 2026.

Japanese calligraphy is the art of writing by hand with an ink brush on paper, and the brush strokes and techniques used for both kanji and hiragana have been developed over centuries.

Even today, calligraphy is deeply tied to lifestyle and annual events in Japan, such as in the New Year’s calligraphy ceremony, and it was registered as a national intangible cultural property in 2021.