Fuji Xerox reproduces cultural treasures

Fuji Xerox reproduces cultural treasures

Fuji Xerox has used its digital print and colour management technologies to reproduce a cultural property of national importance: the Daigo Hanami Tanzaku.

The Daigoji Temple in Kyoto (pictured above), a designated Unesco world heritage site, owns the Daigo Hanami Tanzaku, a collection of Waka, Japanese poems written in 16th century.

The Daigo Hanami Tanzaku

The Daigo Hanami Tanzaku

The Daigo Hanami Tanzaku has  colour tones and gloss specific to historical documents, as well as the textures acquired over the years. Fuji Xerox says it needed advanced technologies to accurately reproduce such delicate colours on Washi, traditional Japanese paper that has different qualities and tones from the plain paper used for digital printing.

To create the replica, Fuji Xerox’s used its colour management technologies, digitising the documents’ image information and converting it into colour data suitable for printing to deliver the colours and tones faithful to the original. For printing, the company used a customised version of one of its full-colour multifunction devices.

Junna Nakada, the head priest of Daigoji Temple, said, “Thanks to Fuji Xerox’s advanced technologies, the Daigo Hanami Tanzaku was reproduced really faithfully to the original. We have been working to digitally reproduce quality replica such as sliding screen paintings of Sanbo-in. We asked this task to Fuji Xerox because of their capabilities to analyze detailed colors and gloss, as well as print them. We hope that more people can enjoy The Daigo Hanami Tanzaku.”

Since historical documents could be damaged due to deterioration through aging, opportunities to access such documents owned by temples, shrines, educational institutions, and first families are limited for their own protection, presenting a challenge in preserving them for a long period of time. In response to the demands for passing down such historical culture and tradition in Kyoto—an ancient capital of Japan—to the next generation, Fuji Xerox commenced reproduction of historical documents as a social contribution activity in 2009, and has donated approximately 140 items to date.

Fuji Xerox expanded this activity—previously conducted solely by Fuji Xerox Kyoto—to a company-wide scale in April 2014, setting up a project office in the company’s major research and development centre, Fuji Xerox R&D Square in Yokohama. Five staff members in Kyoto and Yokohama will handle 50 projects per year to reproduce historical documents across Japan.

The company says the project office reinforces the collaboration with the technical divisions to improve the document reproducibility and it expects the project will generate new ideas to use information: For example, SkyDesk Media Switch, Fuji Xerox’s cloud service that links paper documents to multimedia, enables users to view multimedia contents such as videos and Web information related to the historical documents by taking pictures of the replicas with their smartphones.

In March 1598, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, then ruler of Japan, held his historically famed cherry blossom viewing party in Daigoji Temple. Prior to this grand party, Hideyoshi planted 700 cherry trees and reconstructed the Sanboin building that stands alongside the garden. More than 1300 guests were invited including Hideyoshi’s formal wife, Kita no Mandokoro, concubine, Yodo-dono and other wives, as well as Hideyoshi’s son, Hideyori. It is said that the guests wrote Waka (Japanese poems) about the cherry blossoms, hanging the Tanzaku (strip of paper) on which their poems were written from the branches of the cherry trees. Later these Tanzaku were compiled into a book and kept in the temple to the present day. The collection of these 131 poems is designated as a National Important Cultural Property.



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