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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Thursday, 25 August 2011


The 'Tale of the Bamboo Cutter' is a very convoluted story and in part details the obscure and difficult tasks set by the Princess Kaguya-hime for her five suitors to prove their worth. Pictured is the retainer Ono no Fusamori who has supplied a fake robe of Fire Rat fur to the The Minster of the Right, Abe no Miushi, the third suitor, (unfortunately when tested the robe burned when it should have been fire-resistant !).

However a number of sources have indicated that there were sections of text and paintings which were incorrectly placed in the last restoration of the handscrolls. The task of the second suitor was to find the stone begging-bowl of the Buddha. This image had been placed prior to the scene of the five suitors of the Princess Kagua- hime when they were allocated their individual tasks.

We wanted to take this opportunity during the conservation to correct these anomalies and are fortunate in being directed by Dr Masako Watanabe, Senior Researcher at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. We are very grateful for her guidance and are looking forward to being able to place the story in the correct sequence . 

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