Dedication of a Reproduction of the Hanshan and Shide Fusuma by Yosa Buson to Myōhōji Temple in Kagawa Prefecture
As detailed in the monthly report for August 2021 (https://www.tobunken.go.jp/materials/ekatudo/919761.html), the painting Hanshan and Shide by Yosa Buson (housed in Myōhōji Temple, Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture) was damaged by scribblings made with marker on Shide’s face, and parts of Hanshan’s face were lacking; however, the appearance of the painting before the damage could be ascertained from monochrome photos taken by the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) in 1959.
TOBUNKEN initiated a joint research project with Myōhōji Temple to create a reproduction of this painting before it was damaged using the aforementioned monochrome photos and contemporary imaging technology, mounted on fusuma (sliding doors), and dedicated it to Myōhōji Temple.
First, the outline of the monochrome photos was superimposed on high-resolution images of the current status of Hanshan and Shide to create a reproduced image of the painting before it was damaged. The image was then printed by splitting it on multiple sheets of washi (Japanese traditional paper) of the same size as the original. This part of the process was performed by TOBUNKEN.
Myōhōji Temple coordinated the mounting of the image on fusuma to accommodate it in the current main hall of the temple. The task of mounting the image on fusuma was carried out by SHUGO Co., Ltd, a studio member of the Association for Conservation of National Treasures (ACNT). The base of the fusuma was made using the same specification, techniques, and materials as those used for the designated cultural properties. The original metallic door pulls were also copied.
Mr. USUI Hiroaki of Kuroda Studio carefully conducted the final adjustment and fitting of the fusuma in the building. On November 22nd, 2022, the reproduced fusuma was successfully set inside the main hall.
The overwhelming effect created by the size and appearance of the fusuma after it was installed inside the main hall brought the brush touches of Yosa Buson and his pictorial universe to life. This is the first time TOBUNKEN has used old monochrome photos to create a reproduction of a painting. We hope that this project can serve as a reference for the future utilization of the vast volume of archives accumulated by TOBUNKEN over more than 90 years.