Japan decided Friday to nominate kabuki for recognition by UNESCO for entry to the list of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Based on the recommendation by the Cultural Council’s cultural properties subcommittee, the Cultural Affairs Agency will submit the nomination to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization by the end of September.

A UNESCO committee plans to assess the masterpieces nominated by countries around the world and announce a new set of designated masterpieces next July.

Kabuki is already on a temporary list of intangible masterpieces for later selection.

“Kabuki is a culmination of our country’s theater heritage and is a form of common people’s cultural expression with an unparalleled value,” the council said.

UNESCO designates intangible forms of art, including dances, local customs and plays, on its list of masterpieces. It has designated 47 masterpieces, including noh and “joruri” bunraku puppet theater.

UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in October. It will enter into force after ratification by 30 countries, and registered masterpieces will be put on the Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Ballerina recognized

PARIS (Kyodo) UNESCO said Thursday it has named Miyako Yoshida, a prizewinning Japanese ballet dancer with Britain’s Royal Ballet, as an Artist for Peace.

Koichiro Matsuura, director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will officially appoint Yoshida as an Artist for Peace Wednesday, it said.

UNESCO selects Artists for Peace from among international celebrities who foster the organization’s message for world peace.

It said it chose Yoshida in recognition of her outstanding contributions to classical dancing and the organization’s art education programs.

Yoshida, a native of Tokyo, started taking ballet lessons at age 9. After a successful career in Japan, she went to Britain in 1983 to study at the Royal Ballet School.

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