JSPS-ICHR India-Japan Bilateral Symposium


Historical and Archaeological Heritage Management and Cultural Tourism in India and Japan: Issues and Prospects for Development

Sponsored by Japan Society for Promotion of Science and
Indian Council of Historical Research

(JSPS-ICHR India-Japan Bilateral Symposium)

Dates: 12, 13, 14th February 2019
Venue: Thanjavur, India

Concept Note


The modern discipline of archaeology has its roots in the movement of antiquarianism that emerged in the Western world during the Pre-Modern Era. During the early phase of the development of the discipline, the monuments were documented and archaeological sites were explored, excavated and plundered, and the antiquities were transported to various museums across the world. The discipline of archaeology, founded by the amateurs, has evolved into a professional branch of knowledge during the past two centuries. The concepts of cultural heritage and heritage tourism have gained ground in the recent past to take the ancient heritage to the people. Now archaeology has incorporated the concerns of heritage management and cultural tourism.

Archaeological sites and monuments were generally seen as mere source materials for writing the history of a region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, the concept of historical heritage and the perception of archaeological heritage as a resource that can be related to the people and promoted through awareness activities have begun to gain currency mainly from the latter part of twentieth century. However, the perception and understanding of archaeological heritage as an important resource have not percolated deep into the academic and administrative spheres in many parts of the world. Due to the lack of understanding of the importance of heritage, in some contexts, archaeology departments are seen as waste of public money. From the traditional approach of archaeological remains as mere sources for history, the focus has now shifted to the preservation and promotion of heritage remains, and also to imparting heritage and history education to the younger generation and the lay public. The heritage sites and contexts form a better medium for imparting an understanding of history, culture and heritage among the public.

Intangible heritage and ethnic tourism are also given importance in promoting holistic tourism. Arts and crafts, dance, music and traditional ethnic ways of life are also part of history and they can be useful in understanding archaeological remains and for promoting cultural and ethnic tourism. The symposium seeks to focus on the case studies of ethnic or sustainable tourism in African and Asian contexts, covering Japan, Ethiopia (Africa) as well as archaeology and tourism in various South Asian regions. The symposium also focuses on, along with archaeology, ethnology (preservation or sustainability of village culture such as festivals etc. i.e, diverse cultures of contemporary society.Thuspapers on ethnic (or village) tourism in India are also solicited.

More than the natural heritage, it is the cultural heritage that serves as a unique source of attractionin certain contexts. Mere natural heritage attractions, without the cultural heritage support would not make meaningful tourist destinations. Archaeological heritage is now increasingly perceived as an important resource that can help to promote economic development in certain contexts, and contribute to the understanding and harmony among various cultures. Historical and heritage resources form valuable assets of a nation and community. In the globalized contemporary context, where urbanization and modernization have displaced communities and delinked the people from their original habitats, interest in heritage preservation assumes significance. Heritage resources have multiple roles to play in the contemporary society; they contribute to nation building, education of the youth, community integration and create a sense of belonging among the local people and cultural tourism, which gives multiple opportunities for understanding various cultures, besides the economic benefits.

The living or archaeological monuments are important, since a community builds its identity and the youth learns the importance of history through these monuments. In the modern landscape, heritage remains act as landmarks of historical achievements, and they are centers of history learning for the young generation.

The archaeological and heritage remains cannot be seen in isolation and the intangible heritage components and ethnography or living traditions have to be seen as part of the heritage.

The vast heritage resources need to be researched, managed and presented to the public and tourists in an attractive and sustainable manner, and cultural tourism, provides an opportunity to disseminate the importance of the cultural resources among the people. Archaeologists and heritage managers need to proactively work to develop meaningful resources that can benefit the society.

Against this backdrop, the status and condition of the cultural heritage monuments and sites of many regions need to be researched, and strategies have to be chalked out to protect and promote the archaeological sites and monuments. The entire processes related to the protection and promotion concerns the subject matter of Heritage Management. Hence, the issues concerning the management of archaeological heritage are focused by the proposed symposium.

Indian Scenario

India has a rich variety of cultural resources that attract people from various parts of the world, and also serves as a source of belongingness for the people. India has rich variety of heritage and more than 5000 sites and monuments have been protected and many more sites and monuments are still to be protected. Archaeological survey of India was established by the Colonial rulers in 1861. The process of heritage management began from the 19th century. However, even before the colonial period people had their own native approach towards heritage management. The sites and monuments of India are very well managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, and but in several contexts more efforts are needed for a better heritage management. Interests need to be developed among the local administrative bodies on the importance of heritage preservation.

India has many monuments and archaeological remains across its landscape and the issue is how these monuments could be effectively managed. Due to modernization and urbanization these monuments are getting destroyed. Many of the megalithic sites are getting destroyed and megalithic parks could be created at these sites. The archaeological sites such as Arikamedu have not been promoted in great detail for the benefit of the public. Cultural Resource Management legislation has not been adopted in India. The World Heritage Sites are very well managed in India and the living monuments e.g. Thanjavur, where different agencies work together smoothly are good models. Therefore, it is certain that action needs to be done to improve the mode of heritage management in India, some of the areas where tradition and modernity fuses have pointers for the heritage management in global contexts.

Japanese Scenario

Japan is rich in cultural properties or heritage with several thousands of registered archaeological sites. Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka cho) manages the archaeological sites in Japan and the agency is under Ministry of Education. The government provides support for rescue archaeology, and rescue excavations are increasingly undertaken in Japan from the 1970s. Heritage education is also actively followed up. The beginning of heritage management in Japan dates back to mid-nineteenth century. The state of development of heritage management in Japan is considered as advanced as in the Western countries. However, scholars feel that more action needs to be undertaken for the rescue archaeological initiatives. The number of heritage experts is considered to be very few in Japan. Scholars are of the view that more research has to be undertaken for the sustainable tourism activities.

The need for bilateral Symposium

Heritage management needs to be contextualized according to the cultural ethos and contexts. As heritage management is a growing area, and also has tremendous contemporary relevance, more research and interactions is essential among the academicians and managers of the heritage. India and Japan as countries with rich cultural heritage have many areas to mutually understand within the heritage management. Often the Western models of heritage management are discussed by researchers and it is important to understand the Asian approaches for heritage management. A model successful in the western world might not be applicable to the Indian context. Therefore, models practiced in Asian contexts and the issues need to be understood. This symposium would provide a platform for mutual learning and understanding in the area of heritage management.


  • To understand the issues concerning the management of archaeological heritage in Japan and India.
  • To focus on the issue of developing archaeological heritage sites as attractive destinations that can cater to heritage education and cultural tourism.
  • To focus on the issues (pros and cons) related to cultural tourism and promote the concept of sustainability in Cultural Tourism
  • To focus on the intangible and ethnic tourism components
  • To understand the sensitive issues related to the management of heritage
  • To plan for future challenges and technology in the area of Heritage Management
  • To focus on the traditional knowledge systems (arts and intangible heritage) that would help in the area of heritage management and conservation


  • Theoretical perspectives and policy issues related to Heritage Management
    Theoretical perspectives and policy issues are very important for providing intellectual thrust to heritage management initiatives.
  • Traditional Knowledge system and Heritage Management
    Traditional Knowledge System is an upcoming research area. The application of the traditional knowledge system of Asian countries needs to be focused in order to develop alternate strategies of heritage management.
  • Heritage Management Issues
    Heritage management issues include protection, heritage education, monument and stakeholder relationships, and the development of the context of the monuments
  • Heritage Management, Protection and Development of Archaeological Sites
    Archaeological sites sometimes lie in very remote areas. How can these sites be protected? Can they be promoted through the development of museums? Are they viable? Some of the museums located in the remote areas receive very few visitors. How can these sites be converted into attractive tourism destinations?
  • Technology in the Documentation of Heritage
    Technology is an important factor and all the more digital technology is important for documenting and promoting heritage monuments among the people.
  • Heritage Education
    Heritage education initiatives and heritage walk programs are important to disseminate the importance of heritage sites and monuments among the people
  • Archaeological heritage and Sustainable Heritage Management
    Sustainable management is the key approach in the development of archaeological heritage. It is not wise to disturb the monuments and important environmental landscapes with the focus only on the economic benefits. The interests of the local people who live nearby the monuments should also be taken into consideration.
  • Potential Archaeological sites for Heritage Museums
    The potential archaeological sites where heritage museums can be established would also be discussed in the symposium.
  • Ethnic Tourism
    The idea of ethnic tourism focuses on the promotion of living cultural ways of life as part of tourism promotion. This concept would be discussed in the symposium.
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage and Arts and crafts in Heritage Tourism
    The importance of Intangible Heritage and crafts in promoting Heritage Tourism would also be one of the themes.
  • Case Studies
    The proposed symposium would be organized at Thanjavur and site visits would be organized to assess the heritage management status of the Medieval Chola Capitals of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram.


The papers would be prepared in advanced and would be edited and published at the time of the symposium as conference Proceedings.

Abstract and Full Paper Deadline:

The Notes for Contributors explaining the style is in another attached file.

Symposium Coordinators

Dr. Manabu Koiso,

Faculty for the Study of Contemporary Society,
Department of Tourism,
Kobe Yamate University,
3-1 Suwayama-cho, Chuo-ku,
Kobe-shi, Hyogo,
Japan. 650-0006
Mobile/WhatsApp number: 81-90-3947-8154
Dr. V. Selvakumar,
Associate Professor,

Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology,
Tamil University, Thanjavur 613010
Mobile 91.9940496086
WhatsApp number 91 9442112601.

Symposium Organising Committee

  • Prof. Manabu Koiso, Professor, Faculty for the Study of Contemporary Society,
    Department of Tourism, Kobe Yamate University, Japan. e-mail:
  • Dr. N.Athiyaman, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Manuscriptology, Tamil University, Thanjavur-613010.
  • Dr.S.Rajavelu, Professor and Head, Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur-613010.
  • Dr.V.Selvakumar, Associate Professor , Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur-613010.

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