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Current Projects

Japanese Scroll Conservation Project


In 2012, the Library was delighted to receive a further generous grant from The Sumitomo Foundation, Tokyo, to conserve a mid-seventeenth-century set of three Japanese scrolls, The Tale of Ōeyama (Ōeyama emaki).


The Tale of Ōeyama (Ōeyama emaki) is one of the most well-known heroic stories from medieval Japan.  It tells of the famous episode when Minamoto no Yorimitsu took the life of the demon Shuten Dōji, who lived at Ōeyama.  The giant demon is described as an ogre, a kidnapper of pretty maidens and a cannibal disguised as a giant human being.  This set of three scrolls dates to the mid-seventeenth century. The scrolls are a valuable resource for scholars, students and members of the general public who are interested in Japanese art. However, the scrolls are in need of extensive conservation treatment to make them more accessible to readers and suitable for public display, as well as to ensure their safe storage for the future. 

The conservation of these magnificent scrolls is currently being carried out by the Restorient Studio - specialists in traditional Japanese painting conservation based in the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden. All the materials and techniques being applied are those traditionally used in Japan. It is possible to follow the progress of the three year project HERE.

We are very grateful to The Sumitomo Foundation for their generous support of this project.

This is the second project generously sponsored by The Sumitomo Foundation.

 In 2010 the Library was able to start a two-year project to conserve one of its most important Japanese hand scrolls, an early seventeenth century version of The tale of the Bamboo Cutter in a set of two picture scrolls. Conservation of the scrolls was completed in April 2012 and they went on exhibition on their return to the Library. More info HERE.