Invitation of personnel from the Ministry of Culture of Myanmar to attend training in the conservation of historical wooden buildings

A trainee dedicating a roof tile (the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple)
An explanation of conservation work on-site (Himeji Castle)
Practice making a rubbing (Amanosan Kongoji Temple)

 A program for training in conservation of historical wooden buildings has been conducted since last year pursuant to the Networking Core Centers Project for Protection of Cultural Heritage in Myanmar, commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. As part of the program, personnel were invited to attend training in Japan for the first time. Among the participants in ongoing field training in Myanmar, 3 personnel from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (DoA), Ministry of Culture of Myanmar visited Japan from August 21 to 30. The primary goal of this training session was to further explain to trainees the concepts behind conservation of historical buildings in Japan and the realities of conservation projects. In addition to receiving classroom lectures on basic topics, trainees visited sites in the Kansai region and elsewhere where historical buildings were under restoration work. Trainees heard from specialists who managed restoration work and they learned work procedures as well as specific techniques for surveys and conservation planning. 
 Sights such as first glimpses of sites where major conservation efforts were underway and methodically arranged building components made a substantial impact on trainees. Trainees learned a number of things by enthusiastically asking questions on-site and through practice. Trainees showed considerable interest in techniques to meticulously survey and document buildings during conservation work and in the careful work done by carpenters. Clearly, the techniques used in Japan cannot be immediately adopted in Myanmar. However, this training session was a valuable experience for the trainees since it encouraged them to think about how they would preserve and pass on their own cultural heritage in the future. These trainees, after all, will be responsible for conservation of historical wooden buildings in Myanmar. Plans are to conduct additional cooperative projects to help protect the cultural heritage of Myanmar.

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