This archive, generated in the course of founding and managing of the spinning factory by a pioneering entrepreneur of his time, signifies significant aspects of social transition at the turn of 20th century. While the experiences themselves are not exclusive to China, but shared by neighbouring countries in East Asia, this archive appears to be rare if not unique in documenting these. It is noteworthy that the figure’s conversion from a top-ranking degree holder to a leading entrepreneur shows that era’s changes in cultural climate as well as in values.
Shui Character Documents, Guizhou Province (2022)
Written in pictographs and pictorial symbols by the Shui people in the southern mountainous region of Guizhou Province, items in this collection are used in religious rituals, interpreting the language and songs of the Shui ethnic group and are the original religious classics used by Shui character masters (wise men). The documents are unique, and in a very valuable array of formats, forming a rich cultural trove that feeds modern day communities of Shui, keeping alive this knowledge. This nomination is of particular relevance to be inscribed during the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).
Dr Soeharso Rehabilitation Centre (2022)
The Rehabilitation Center of Prof. R. Soeharso in Surakarta became Asia’s first and largest rehabilitation center implementing the integrated concept of rehabilitation services. It was the referral center not only in Indonesia but also in the Asia-Pacific region in the 1950s-1970s, providing not only medical treatment, but also empowering of the economy, social, and culture of the people with disabilities. This path-breaking institution has retained a comprehensive archive in document and photographic form over a considerable period of time, attesting to its national significance and regional impact.
Ma Nhai (Inscriptions) on the Marble Mountains, Danang City (2022)
This collection of 78 documents in Chinese and Nom characters (Sino-Nom) was carved on cliffs and caves, with variety in content and literary genres, created by kings and mandarins of the Nguyen Dynasty, as well as venerable monks and intellectuals, dating from the first half of the 17th century to the 20th century. They store the “memories” of the economic, cultural, political and social contacts between Vietnam and other countries on the maritime route across the region as well as the role of Vietnamese women in international marriages in the 17th century.
Sino-Nom Documents in Truong Luu Village, Ha Tinh Province (1689-1943) (2022)
This nominated collection presents a remarkable snapshot of a small village developing into a cultural center in Vietnam and its contribution to society. The number of royal edicts and administrative documents conferred upon successful people from this village is quite impressive. This documentary heritage provides a valuable source to study the deeply-rooted common tradition of emphasising self-cultivation and family education in Asian countries of the Sino Sphere. They are also valuable sources about the adoption and practice of China’s Civil Service Recruitment Examination system in Vietnam and its impact on education, cultural development and the life of the grassroots.
Samguk-yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) (2022)
The Samguk-yusa form a treasure trove of information on ancient mythology, history, culture, religion, life, literature and ideology of Korea, in an early form of ethnography as early as in the 13th century in constructing collective consciousness among Korean peoples. It has significance as the first comprehensive history of Korea, containing historical accounts during and before the Three Kingdoms. It is the earliest extant record of Dungun, the mythical founder of the first legendary Korean State Gojoseon, and is also considered to be an important item documentary heritage for the study of relations among East Asian countries.
Taean Oil Spill (2022)
A nomination describing a most unusual mass campaign by authorities together with almost 1.5 million volunteers to address a civil disaster, applying traditional communal forms of solidarity in a modern high-tech democratic society, whose details were meticulously documented and preserved. Of particular interest is the description of impact of the accident on women fishery workers, especially female divers, recognised in higher compensation awarded.
Naebang-gasa (Songs of the Inner Chambers) (2022)
A collection of 347 songs and poems created, recited, and recorded by Korean women from 1794 to the 1960s. Those works were produced in diverse formats including individual single-leaf documents, scrolls, and a codex. The Naebang-gasa are a record of the views of sequestered women in a male-dominated society of East Asia, serving as a witness of the efforts of women to fight for equality.
This collection also has significance in the evolution of the Korean national script, as an early manifestation of literature in Hangul script, whereas previous Korean literature and items of significance were all written in Chinese script, and almost exclusively by men. Naebang-gasa are included in the Women in History: HERstory exhibition developed by UNESCO Bangkok and MOWCAP, where they are described as important for understanding the transition of Korea into a modern society.
Asian Children’s Literature (2022)
Developed in the 1960s at the National Library Singapore to raise the awareness and understanding of Asian-centric children’s literature. From an initial collection comprising mainly children’s literature of British or American origin written by Western authors, the collection was later developed by local children’s librarians to reflect Asian children, backgrounds, and communities in the four official languages of Singapore – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
Reflective of Asian cultural and literary heritage, it contains folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends and selected non-fiction, involving largely materials depicting customs and socio-cultural practices and beliefs. In view of its long historical development and unique heritage status, this collection was curated as a special collection meant for reference and research in 2005.
Name Boards and Verse Plaques on Royal Architecture of the Joseon Dynasty (2018)
In the royal architecture of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), names carried extraordinary significance. They underlined the rulers’ political philosopy and ideology, and signified status.
The tradition of attaching signs to architectural structures is a popular cultural phenomenon in the so-called Chinese character zone in East Asia, dating back over 2000 years. The name boards and verse plaques on royal architecture of the Joseon Dynasty do not merely announce the functions and nature of the buildings, they are an agglomeration of holy teachings, verse, poetry, calligraphy, decoration and architectural art of those times. They are not only a symbol of social and cultural fashion, but also a way of expression of the ruling ideology philosophy of the Joseon dynasty, from which we can learn about the influence of Confucianism. The nominated documents are of great value for the study of history and architectural art, as well as the cultural exchanges among East Asian Countries in the Joseon Dynasty.
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