In 1962, the South Korean government promulgated the Cultural Property Protection Law (CPPL, Munhwajae pohopŏp) in order to preserve Korean heritage cultures that were at risk of disappearance in the postcolonial and post-Korean War social milieu. The CPPL was modeled after a similar law in Japan, Bunkazai hogoho, enacted in 1950. With this legal stipulation, numerous Korean musics and dances were designated as Important Intangible Cultural Properties (IICP) of the nation, to be transmitted by "living national treasures" who were appointed as holders of particular genres and styles of Korean performing arts. This paper explores the transnational aspects of and input into the institution and application of IICP in the past and present century. I am particularly interested in how the Korean musics and dances designated and practiced as IICPs have been shaped by national and transnational subjects who have crossed the traditional boundary of the nation-state border. Cultural symbols attributed as heritage arts of a nation can be transnationally constructed and reinforced.


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pp. 89-116
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