International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper, 28 August to 15 September 2017
The 2017 edition of the JPC-Japanese Paper Conservation course closed in Tokyo on 15 September. This highly specialized three-week event was held from 28 August to 15 September 2017.
The course aims to offer a holistic knowledge and experience of Japanese paper and Japanese traditional conservation approaches and techniques to ten conservation professionals coming from a range of Member States.
A mix of lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions presented an insight into the techniques of the Japanese paper-mounting tradition, along with materials such as Japanese paper, adhesives including wheat starch paste, and the principles guiding the care of such collections in Japan. The practical sessions were conducted by instructors from a certified group holding the Selected Conservation Techniques on “Restoration Techniques of Mounting.”
Selected course excursions in Mino city, Gifu prefecture provided an opportunity to see Japanese papermaking (Hon-minoshi) which is designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan as well as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage asset. A tour in Kyoto contributed to a deeper understanding of the mounting tradition in Japan.
In addition, the participants had the chance throughout the course to reflect on the protection of craft techniques required for conservation, such as papermaking and brush-making techniques.
The course offered multiple opportunities to build bridges between the Japanese and the Western paper conservation traditions and to help conservators assess the applicability of the Japanese approach, materials and techniques to non-Japanese cultural heritage. As they improved their understanding of the basic characteristics of the Japanese paper tradition, the participants are now in a much better position to make decisions concerning the care of Japanese artifacts in their collections.
The JPC course has been organized once a year since 1992, in collaboration between the Japanese heritage authorities at Tokyo and ICCROM.
Member States represented (course participants and resource persons): Argentina, Australia, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Philippines, USA