A clay figurine dubbed "Jomon Venus" from 4,500 years ago and a silk screen masterpiece by a Chinese priest in the 13th century are set to be designated national treasures.
These are among recommendations by the Cultural Affairs Council in an April 20 report to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology regarding the designation of national treasures and important cultural properties.
The clay figure of a woman was excavated at the Nishinomae archeological site in Yamagata Prefecture in 1992.
It stands 45 centimeters high and is believed to have been created during the mid-Jomon period.
The other item is "Kenpon Chakushoku Amida Sanzon-zo" (colored silk screen image of three Amitabha deities) in the possession of Kyoto’s Shojokein temple.
It was painted by Chinese priest Fuetsu during the Southern Song period in China (1127-1279).
The council also recommended 46 items as important cultural properties, including a prototype measuring meter that was provided to Japan after it joined the Metric Convention in 1885.
"Archeological resources in the Suwa area," a collection of Jomon culture artifacts owned by the late archaeologist Eiichi Fujimori, was recommended for registration as a tangible cultural property in the fine arts and crafts category by the Cultural Affairs Agency.
In total, 166 examples of architecture were recommended for registration as tangible cultural properties in the buildings category. They included the century-old Abashiri Prison Museum in Abashiri, Hokkaido; the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nagoya, which is known for its gables and cross-shaped windows; and JR Kotohira Station's main building in Kagawa Prefecture, which serves as a gateway to the Kotohira-gu shrine.
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