The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) is co-sponsoring a three-week training program called the "International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper" in collaboration with ICCROM. The program begins on Monday, August 28th. In the second week, from Monday, September 4th to Friday, September 8th, participants embarked on a study tour to Mino City, Nagoya City, and Kyoto City. The aim of this tour was to gain insights into the production and historical significance of the washi paper, as well as the tools introduced during the hands-on training and lectures in the first week.
In Mino City, renowned as the production center of "hon mino-shi," a nationally designated Important Intangible Cultural Property and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, participants had the opportunity to both experience and observe the intricate handmade techniques involved in washi papermaking. Furthermore, they gained insights into the historical distribution of washi paper throughout Japan by walking through the Mino-machi quarter, an area selected as a National Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. In Nagoya City, the group visited the meticulously reconstructed Honmaru Palace of Nagoya Castle to witness the utilization of cultural properties made from washi, such as sliding doors and folding screens, in traditional Japanese buildings. During the latter part of the tour, the group traveled to Kyoto City. There, they visited restoration workshops and tool stores to gain insights into the National Selected Conservation Technique known as "soukou shūri gijutsu" and its accompanying support system. Participants engaged in discussions with technicians, manufacturers, and wholesalers regarding the materials employed in crafting tools like Japanese paper, glue, knives, and brushes.
Despite adverse weather conditions during the tour, it was successfully concluded. In the final week of training, we offer lectures and hands-on training on washi at TOBUNKEN.
Top: Hands-on training at Minotake Paper Factory (Mino City) Bottom: Group photo in front of Oka Bokkodo (Kyoto City)