THE HISTORY, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF UNDERWATER CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT IN JAPAN
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Japan is an island nation; the ocean and seas influenced the life of its people. Considering this fact, it is natural to assume that Japan is a leading nation in the field of maritime and nautical archaeology. However, Japan is one nation that has not developed a strong management system for researching and protecting its underwater cultural heritage. Waterfront developments, marine resource extraction projects, and dredging activities are underway, all without proper care of the cultural heritage located below the waves. In fact, developers have begun these projects without making any attempt to locate cultural heritage sites beneath them. The ultimate goal or purpose of conducting this research is to rectify this situation, to promote the study of underwater and maritime archaeology in Japan to prevent the loss of the important and rich cultural heritage of the country. To achieve this goal, the author first examined the history of underwater archaeological research in Japan and conducted a brief survey of all underwater archaeological research and maritime disasters. The author next examined how other countries managed their underwater cultural heritage to compare their activities with those of Japan. This is followed by a discussion of the possible reasons for the slow development of the field in Japan. Based on the analysis and the interpretation of Japanese official documents, the author suggests strategies for the protection of Japan’s underwater cultural heritage.
Sasaki, Randall James (2019). THE HISTORY, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF UNDERWATER CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT IN JAPAN. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from