文化遺産国際協力コンソーシアム Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage JCIC-Heritage logo JCIC-Heritage

Joint Research between the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea

Joint Research between the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea

Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

Korea

Ancient Capitals in Korea and Japan

2005-Ongoing Fundamental Research
01/03/2011
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BACKGROUND

International Joint Research Background

Japan and the Korean Peninsula have retained a variety of historical and cultural relationships since olden times. For the purposes of academic and cultural exchange between Japan and the Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as Korea) as well as goodwill and joint research of both countries’ cultures, the then National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Nara and the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of Korea entered into a goodwill joint research agreement in 1999. There had been frequent academic exchange between both research institutes even prior to this agreement, but signing an official agreement established a framework to continuously dispatch researchers and conduct joint research. As a way to develop this, the then National Research Institute of Cultural Properties and the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of Korea entered into a research and exchange agreement in 2005. This agreement was continued and joint research has been carried out yearly even after the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage was inaugurated due to subsequent reorganization.
The Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea have conducted a wide variety of research on cultural property. A characteristic of both institutes is that their main field of interest is to excavate the ruins of ancient capital sites. The two main pillars of joint research between these research institutes are as follows. One is “joint research on the formation and development process of ancient capitals in Japan and Korea”. While part of the first pillar, the second one is to carry out joint research based on an excavational research exchange agreement with the Gyeong-Ju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. These will be introduced below.

Research exchange agreement signing ceremony (2005)

Research report meeting in Korea

ACTIVITIES

Joint research on the formation and development process of ancient capitals in Japan and Korea

The ancient Korean Peninsula was dominated by the Three Kingdoms of Korea - Silla, Baekje and Goguryeo - and the Gaya confederacy, following which Unified Silla was formed. As shown in “Nihon Shoki” (the Chronicles of Japan), these kingdoms had a deep relationship with Japan.
The Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has been researching the Heijo site focusing on the Heijokyu (Heijo Palace) and the Asuka-Fujiwara sites. National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of Korea has also been researching ancient capital sites at Gyeong-Ju and Buyeo, enabling the academic achievements of such research to be mutually exploited. Therefore, focusing “on the formation and development process of ancient capitals in Japan and Korea”, joint research has dealt with excavational research exchange as will be described in the following section, as well as a comparative study of Japanese and Korean ancient capital city systems; a study of excavated remains in imperial palaces and temples; a study of old building restoration in regard to construction and technical methods; and a study of site maintenance and restoration techniques. In line with such themes, a number of researchers have been mutually dispatched, albeit for a comparatively short time, and joint research has been conducted making use of these researchers' expertise. Researchers have also been giving research presentations at their dispatch destinations. This has provided a unique opportunity to study the partner country's valuable remains and relics, and conduct expert discussions.
Japanese and Korean participants detailed the results of such joint research in a publication entitled “Memoirs of Cultural Heritage Studies in Korea and Japan”. Japanese and Korean versions were published in the respective countries enabling the academic findings to be widely shared in both countries. The first series was published in 2007, and “Memoirs of Cultural Heritage Studies in Korea and Japan”was published in Korea in 2010, and will be published in Japan in 2011.

Study of Baekje pottery in the Fuyo National Museum

Inspection of the Sungsan Mountain Fortress in Haman

RESULTS

Excavational research Exchange with the Gyeong-Ju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage

The Gyeong-Ju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage is part of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of Korea, and is leading research on Silla cities in Gyeong-Ju. The Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Gyeong-Ju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage entered into an excavational research exchange agreement based on “joint research on the formation and development process of ancient capitals in Japan and Korea”, and both institutes have been conducting joint research on ancient capital sites since 2006. Both research institutes dispatch one researcher every year for a period of two months to join the partner country’s excavational research team.
Researchers previously dispatched from Japan to Gyeong-Ju participated in studies of the Sacheonwangsa temple, the Tombs of Silla Jjoksaem site, and the Wolseong Moat, providing a valuable opportunity to experience sites and survey methods different to those of Japan. Further, researchers who came to Japan from Gyeongju participated in excavational research at the Heijokyu, Fujiwarakyu (Fujiwara Palace), Ishigami, and the Amakashi-no-oka Toroku sites. When asked their impressions, participants said it was mutually stimulating because of differences of ideas and methods in a variety of aspects such as surveying, conservation, and maintenance. Researchers stay for a relatively long time at their dispatch destination, so this excavational research exchange provides an opportunity for researchers to interact and experience the cultures of Japan and Korea. In addition to the academic results it produces, this project helps to train human resources at both research institutes and create friendship and goodwill between both nations.

As described, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage of Korea are continuing to conduct joint research on a variety of themes. Both cultural property research institutes plan to further promote joint research.

Joint study of Ishigami sites, Nara

Joint study of Jjoksaem sites Gyeongju

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