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Traditional Japanese Technique
to Conserve Cultural Properties Overseas


(Photos: SHIRONO Seiji)

 This exhibition shows the materials and techniques that are indispensable to create, appreciate, restore and preserve paintings and calligraphic works. The exhibition panel has been fashioned into a long hand scroll so that the visitors may realize that cultural properties are made with various materials and techniques. Actual samples of Washi, silk for painting, pigments, Karakami and tools of conservation works are displayed in the showcases.
Techniques to produce materials and conservation tools as well as techniques to restore cultural properties described in the exhibition must be preserved. In Japan, these techniques are designated as Important Intangible Cultural Properties or Selected Conservation Techniques by the Japanese Government. On the other hand, techniques and materials that have been cultivated in Japan are widely known for their usefulness and are applied for the restoration of cultural properties in foreign countries. Our institute also conducts international training projects in order to encourage a correct understanding of Japanese restoration techniques and materials.
Japanese artworks in overseas collections play a role as “Japanese cultural ambassador” that introduce Japanese culture. Therefore, the Institute surveys Japanese artworks owned in art museums overseas and research with those institutions. Furthermore, the Institute conducts cooperation project for the conservation and restoration of artworks in bad conditions.
We hope visitors may learn that the world’s cultural properties are being protected by Japan’s exceptional techniques to hand them down to future generations.

With the cooperation of Kubo Seishi (papermaking) Co. Ltd, Hironobu Orimono (Textile) Co. Ltd, Kiya Co. Ltd, Kobayashi Hake (Brush) factory, Shugo Co. Ltd, Tokyo Matsuya Co. Ltd, Koizumi Yukio of Karagen, Yamagishi Bijutsu Mokko LLC. and Nakajima Yoichi.

Washi Sheet-forming

Weaving Silk for painting

Refinement of pigments



Preparation of paste

Lining with paper

Edo karakami

Wooden core for folding screen -Mortise making

Silk textile

Urushi coating

©Independent Administrative Institution National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo