International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper

Photo of assembled personnel following the opening session
Practicum (lining)
Practicum (preparing paste)

 International training course was conducted from August 29th to September 16th by ICCROM, the Kyushu National Museum, and the Institute. Applications were received from close to 60 individuals who work with cultural properties from around the world, and this number was winnowed down to 10 trainees from as far away as India, Switzerland, and Mexico.
 The course focused particularly on Japanese paper and included classes from perspectives ranging from materials science to history. At the same time, trainees participated in practicum where they replaced missing areas, attached linings, and attached roller rods to produce finished handscrolls; trainees also prepared booklets with Japanese-style binding. Participants visited the Mino region in Gifu Prefecture, where a type of Japanese handmade paper that is used in restoration work is produced, and they also visited a town where traditional buildings are being conserved. Trainees learned about the distribution of Japanese paper throughout history, from its manufacture to its transportation and sale. In addition, trainees visited a traditional mounting studio and stores selling traditional tools and materials and learned about circumstances involving the traditional conservation and restoration of paper in Japan.
 The techniques and knowledge provided by this course will help encourage the conservation, restoration, and exhibition of Japanese paper cultural properties in collections overseas and can also be used to conserve and restore works made outside Japan.

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