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How are Living National Treasures designated?

Performing techniques for traditional forms of entertainment and techniques for traditional crafts that have been handed down by individuals or groups are considered to be "intangible assets."
Those considered particularly important are deemed Important Intangible Assets, and persons who preserve these skills are commonly referred to as Living National Treasures.
These designations are given by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
As of April 2004, there were 55 people involved in the arts and 59 craftspeople who are designated as Living National Treasures.
They receive an annual stipend of two million yen from the government.