The concept of restoring cultural heritage

The styles and skills of Japanese art including hanging art, scrolls, folding screens, Fusuma doors were introduced into Japan from China with Buddhism and various cultural things in the Nara era. Since then, through Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi, Momoyama, Edo era and to present time, those arts -- Hyousou -- are mainly made in Kyoto.

The letter 'Kyo' (京) has long been represented high quality goods like Kyozome (Kyo-dyeing), Kyogofuku (Kyo-kimono), Kyoningyo (Kyo-doll) or Kyogashi (Kyo-sweet). Kyohyougu is not an exception and has inherited the highly appreciated traditional techniques now. In addition, the examinations of state and material and the selection of the method are done by optical instruments to restore the arts with scientific evidences nowadays.

We established a cultural properties preserving and restoring workshop in 1951 (Showa 26) in the Kyoto National Museum and have been restoring Japanese National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. Now we have two workshops and they are operated as independent companies. And we completely rebuilt the main office in front of the main gate of Nishi Hongwanji. For the building we are especially careful of disaster prevention and fully-equipped to restore the arts in the safest environment as possible. We have accepted restoring works or interns from foreign countries. Taking this occasion, we will forward the international cultural interaction through Hyousou art more actively.

IIC (The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works) was held in Kyoto in September 1988. We also participated in it and are trying to develop the technique of restoring cultural heritage.

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