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Experts restore Japan’s ancient temple ‘Izumo-Oyashiro’

Experts restore Japan’s ancient temple ‘Izumo-Oyashiro’

Tokyo : One of the most ancient and important temple in Japan, Izumo-oyashiro, is gradually losing its charm due to lack of maintenance.

In order to preserve this precious cultural heritage for future generations, the preservation work named ‘Transfer of A Shrine’ in Heisei began in 2009.

Shimizu Corporation is in-charge of the preservation and repair work of the temple.

“Not only the shingles on the entire roof were replaced, but also the broken wooden parts have been repaired. There were parts surrounding the building which was painted by an old fashioned method called Chang-painted (bitumen painted). Now, the materials have to be made by hands and we have to start figuring out the mixture of the bitumen paint. The restoration work took two years out of the entire construction period of less than four years,” said Hitoshi Kanakubo of Shimizu Corporation.

The repair of the main shrine was completed in March 2013, but the preservation and repair of other shrines continues.

Different from modern buildings, the traditional buildings such as many cultural heritages have no floor plans available.

There were cases that the parts that required repair were found only after the building was dismantled.

“It is difficult to discover what is wrong with the building when it is standing. In case something is already decayed and other parts are also found broken, including those parts are to be dismantled. The dismantlement is not done by machines, but carefully removed from its wooden framework without damaging anything. Therefore, the process is like repairing after discovering the broken parts and then putting them back together,” Kanakubo added.

In Japan, the wooden cultural heritages have been routinely preserved and repaired. The concept and technologies can be useful for other Asian countries as well.

“I believe this can also serve as a reference for the buildings in overseas with different structures like masonry or others. It is exciting to see Japanese technologies can be utilized in other countries,” Kanakubo said. (ANI)