Kokka Yoho (Review of Cultural and Natural Assets of Japan)

On exhibit


No. 36543

Over a period of about 142 days from May 1879 (Meiji 12), the Director of the Printing Bureau, Tokuno Ryosuke, accompanied by Edoardo Chiossone, who had been involved in Japanese banknotes and securities as a foreign employee, along with 12 others, went on a survey tour of antique arts, mainly in the Kinki region. The purpose of this survey tour was to properly record the cultural properties of Japanese artworks because there was a large amount of Japanese arts that had been shipped overseas at the time. The results of this work are compiled in Kokka Yoho, which consists of three parts Shoso-in gyobutsu (Shoso-in Treasures), Sacred treasures of Ise outer and inner shrines and Old books. Kokka Yoho is printed with an extremely precise lithograph polychrome printing technique that reproduced original articles faithfully. In Sacred treasures of Ise outer and inner shrines, there are some proof-printed copies with color bars that appear to have been bound, which shows some copies were printed 16 times at the maximum.