Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

5 - Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Age of Globalization: A Portrait of Japanese Setomono

Saturday, July 7
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Rudraksha, Lower Ground Floor

This paper describes the struggle of culturally-based traditional industries in maintaining its existence in the changing era of globalization. Depicting the traditional Japanese ceramics tableware (setomono) production, this research tries to reveal a number of efforts by the local government, the society and businesses to preserve the industry as a cultural heritage. The traditional ceramics industries have become the pride of Japanese society, which has a history of more than 1300 years. They produce daily-used tableware for Japanese families, which still uphold their traditional eating culture. Thus, Japanese tableware not only serves as an eating device but also a part of Japanese culinary culture. Along with the times, traditionally-made tableware is more expensive than factory production, so that it is getting abandoned. Furthermore, Japanese people are getting more pragmatic in their lifestyle, and trade liberalization has opened the market for cheaper imported tableware. All of these have made traditional ceramics industry lost its competitiveness. However, craftsmen and the society do not want to lose their cultural heritage in ceramics production. How then do they preserve the industry? What kinds of strategy can be developed by the local government to support the craftsmen and businesses? This research investigated a number of initiatives to promote setomono as Japanese cultural heritage in the cities of Seto and Tokoname, from the perspective of political economy. The argument is that the Japanese “developmental state” policy contributes to the successful efforts to preserve setomono as a cultural heritage as well as an economic asset.  

Siti Daulah Khoiriati

Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

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5 - Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Age of Globalization: A Portrait of Japanese Setomono



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