Created By: TheHandle on June 8, 2012 Last Edited By: TheHandle on June 11, 2012

Living National Treasure

Someone whose very existence serves to protect cultural patrimony.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
By Japanís Law for Protection of Cultural Properties, people can become certified as Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties when they have attained high mastery in a specific field. These outstanding potters, sculptors, artists, craftsmen, musicians and performers are popularly called Living National Treasure (in contrast to objects). There appears to be an official box for Living National Treasures in Britain: it's called the Order of Merit (OM) and at any one time only a limited number of people may put OM after their names - chosen by the monarch, I can't recall if it's eight or ten.

Examples:
  • Stephen Fry has this status in Britain... but not the OM...
  • Seven Hawking kind of has this status in the scientific community.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Akisame, the philosopher martial artist, is explicitly shown to be one of these. He excels in all fields of the traditional arts and craft, to a supernatural degree.
  • In the manga Katana, which is about katana craftsmanship, the protagonist is the youngest son of an entire lineage of these. Currently his grandfather holds the title.
  • In Toriko, Setsuno is one of these because of her gourmet expertise.
  • In Naruto, the Uchiha and the Hyuuga are seen (and see themselves) as this, though they're more of a militaristic than artistic asset to their Hidden Village.
  • In SherlockHolmes, Mycroft Holmes (played by Stephen Fry, and it's not the first time he played that character) could be seen to hold this status: he is indispensible to the British government, even though no one knows what he exactly does.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • June 8, 2012
    astrakhan
    Stephen Fry is considered one for Britain.
  • June 8, 2012
    TheHandle
    I suppose there isn't an official provision for his sort, is there? In Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows, Mycroft Holmes, played by him, is treated as such. Very cultured, extremely lazy, yet an absolutely vital asset to Britain.
  • June 8, 2012
    TheHandle
    Also, Stephen Hawking counts? What about Colonel Sanders (when he was alive)?
  • June 9, 2012
    MorganWick
    This may not be related at all, but the title reminded me of this (from the 80s-90s Seattle sketch comedy series Almost Live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUuD5v_3L1E (Some context: [1])
  • June 9, 2012
    reub2000
    As presented all examples are Real Life and unrelated to media.
  • June 10, 2012
    TheHandle
    ^Only the two first examples are Real Life. Do read on.

  • June 10, 2012
    Arivne
    ^^^^ I don't think Colonel Sanders would count, since he was mainly famous for creating the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain.
  • June 10, 2012
    TheHandle
    ^That's why they made him a Colonel. Helped spread and popularize Kentucky Cuisine.
  • June 10, 2012
    TheHandle
    bump
  • June 10, 2012
    Sligh
    In Brazil, Oscar Niemeyer.
  • June 11, 2012
    AgProv
    There is an official box for Living National Treasures in Britain: it's called the Order of Merit (OM) and at any one time only a limited number of people may put OM after their names - chosen by the monarch, I can't recall if it's eight or ten.
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