Writer : Jingi Cheon
Year : 2014

Welcome to Volume 9 of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage. I am very glad to send my greetings to readers of the Journal as we present a new volume. The Journal has successfully played its role as a platform for presenting the results of meaningful and effective research in the field of intangible heritage. As a publisher, I am very proud of the Journal’s achievements and am especially grateful to editor-in-chief, Ms. Alissandra Cummins, and the members of our editorial board, for their hard work and dedication to the task of producing a journal of the highest quality.

In the past, the majority of museums focused on collection-based exhibition and education programmes; museums in the 21st century, however, have been trying to enhance visitor appreciation and promote better understanding through engaging them in the interpretation of the collections. Intangible and tangible cultural heritage should be developed in harmony, rather than being dichotomised into two separate concepts.

Intangible cultural heritage, which contains cultural characteristics and authenticities of both individuals and communities, is a quintessential element in understanding cultural differences. We now live in an era when diverse cultures intermingle and coexist; cultural understanding will play a vital role in fostering new attitudes, preventing conflicts and settling disputes. Articles published in the Journal cover a broad spectrum of topics in the field of intangible cultural heritage, including investigation, research, safeguarding, transmission, promotion, education, natural environment (climate) and cultural space. I will make constant efforts to maintain a high standard of quality for scholars from a wide variety of disciplines related to intangible cultural heritage, in particular by active promotion. I hope the Journal can help more and more people respect and share the values and significance of intangible culture and cultural diversity.

The year 2015 will mark the tenth anniversary of the Journal. To commemorate its tenth year of publication, we will release a special issue presenting high-quality research papers and scholarly articles relating to intangible cultural heritage, and are encouraging submissions from academic associations, international organisations, research institutes and universities. I, as a publisher, will seek to deliver research papers and articles, especially those dealing with intangible cultural heritages that are in danger of disappearing.

Volume 9 comprises 10 manuscripts written by 12 outstanding experts in the field of intangible heritage. The present issue allows readers to find coverage of such diverse topics as: the possibility of safeguarding the intangible heritage using internet technology, the Golden Eagle Festival in the Altaic Kazakh community and the effect of heritage tourism, the value of the port of Suakin as a site of intangible cultural heritage, oral knowledge systems and traditions of water distribution in the agricultural societies of Bahrain, and the development of safeguarding policies for intangible cultural heritage in Japan and Korea. These subjects are expected to make meaningful contributions to the safeguarding and utilisation of intangible cultural heritage by encouraging lively discourse and providing fresh ideas and inspiration

Since the adoption of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the ICOM 2004 General Conference in Seoul on the theme of Museums and Intangible Heritage the National Folk Museum of Korea has recognised the significance of intangible cultural heritage. Since then, the museum has published this professional academic journal for the purpose of encouraging international research, safeguarding and the transmitting of intangible cultural heritage; it has created new exhibits combining both tangible and intangible cultural heritage; archived endangered folklore data gathered through field research in various regions and released the selected information in publications which were then distributed so that the museum audience could utilise them freely. Traditionally, intangible cultural heritage which shapes community identity could be protected and conveyed, thanks to the efforts and enthusiastic participation of previous generations in handing their knowledge down to the next generation. The National Folk Museum of Korea will continue its work of studying and utilising the value of intangible cultural heritage in the area of research, education and exhibition by inheriting the spirit of older generations

The International Journal of Intangible Heritage has consolidated its position as an academic journal and has gained international recognition. The Journal was indexed by the International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS), the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) and the Korean Citation Index (KCI) in 2010, and by Scopus, the Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) and the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) in 2011. We have made various improvements, including launching the Journal’s own website and online submission system, implementing online evaluation using video-conferencing technology along with offline assessment. In order to reach a wider audience, we will make continuous efforts to enhance the web service and strengthen international promotion of the Journal.

In conclusion, in the ninth ‘Foreword’ to be written since the Journal was established, I, as one of the publishers, would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have been committed to this great project; first of all, the authors who were so eager to submit their papers, then the advisory committee and the editorial board members, including text editor, Dr Pamela Inder, and finally, the editor-in-chief, Ms Alissandra Cummins, for her unwavering support and dedication. I look forward to your generous comments, advice and continued collaboration on future editions of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage.