About The Project

My Photo
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.

The Chester Beatty Library

Restorient Home

Friday, 18 January 2013


As we work with the scrolls it is very clear that although the Samurai hunting the Ogres are at the top of their game, they cannot succeed without divine support. They are repeatedly shown holding Buddhist rosaries to ensure their safety, and consult various priests and sages as to their best plan of attack.

A detail of rosaries on scroll

A selection of rosaries, Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto.


Studio rosary and Ibota wax
Here in the studio we also use some glass Buddhist  rosaries. These are used to burnish the final  linings on the back of scrolls which not only polishes the paper but also increases the suppleness of the finished scroll.

These are traditionally used in conjunction with  a very light coating of ibota wax - made from the secretion of an insect that infests the ibota (privet) plant. The same wax is used to protect Japanese swords and is also used to reduce friction when playing old '78s with fibre needles !

back to top