Weaving Japan’s 1400-years of cultural legacy into a tapestry for the future: Media = Art + Message to comfort and connect the world

Japan Authentic Heritage Initiative is an NPO initiative dedicated to exploring the essence and richness of Japanese traditions and their relevance to the world from fresh perspectives.

By pursuing the origins of authentic culture found in Nara, Japan’s ancient capital and eastern terminus of the Silk Road, we strive to uncover cues in its diverse tangible and intangible narratives, to pave the way to the future.

A key issue for us is how Japan, whose culture has greatly benefitted from the countries along the Silk Road since ancient times, can in turn make its lasting contribution to world culture.

This is against the background of multiple global crises such as climate change and rampant infectious diseases, regional conflicts and terrorism fueled by differences in race and ethnicity, religions and beliefs as well as political systems. This is being exacerbated by widening social fragmentation and disparity in wealth and knowledge.

Cross-border cooperation between nations and regions is more important than ever and a broad connectivity of people in all fields is needed.

In particular, we believe that art can be a catalyst to connect hearts. We seek to disseminate our conviction that Media=Art+Message as inspiration in these confused modern times, drawing especially on the essence of Japanese culture as far back as the 7th/8th centuries.

To do so, we will delve into the core of the spirituality that underpins Japanese culture.

In search for Road of Wisdom

The origin of this lies in the spirit of wa (和 literally, harmony) as expounded by Prince Shōtōku, a legendary Japanese sage and leader, about 1400 years ago, who was inspired by the encounter of Buddhism with Japan’s intrinsic Shintō religion.

The Japan Authentic Heritage Initiative is rebranding this concept as a wider notion of comfort and healing.(*). Leveraging that spirit, our medium-term goal is to establish a foundation in Japan and North America that connects Nara, the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and the world—through beauty and wisdom.

By embracing the leitmotif, Media = Art + Message, based on this purpose via this site, we would like to serve as a hub for creating a network spanning the globe.

Facing our ever more fragmented world, we endeavour to establish a Road of Wisdom (Sofia) by envisioning the philosophy that we all are one along with the significance of a cosmopolitanism (world citizenship) as advocated by sages since antiquity.

Initiator of Japan Authentic Heritage Initiative

Miro Ito

Eleven-Headed Kannon (Ekadaśamukha), National Treasure, Early Heian period (784–967), Murō-ji Temple, Nara (Photo by Miro Ito)