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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, 4 September 2014

The Rashōmon Gate

The Rashōmon Gate in Kyoto was the most imposing of the two main city gates and stood at the southern end of the monumental Suzaku avenue which led to the Imperial Palace. It was built in 789 and was an impressive 32 meters wide by 7.9 meters high.

By the 12th century however the gate had fallen into disrepair as the southern districts of Kyoto suffered from regular flooding that made the land in the area unusable. It had become an unsavory place, with a reputation as a hideout for thieves and other disreputable characters. People would abandon corpses and unwanted babies at the gate. It was also said to be haunted by Ogres who at twilight seized whoever passed by. The missing victims were never seen again and it was whispered that the Ogres were cannibals who not only killed the unfortunate victims but also ate them....sound familiar ???

The film set from Rashōmon
Ironically the name Rashōmon is  generally better know due to the film of the same name made by Akira Kurosawa in 1950, a still from which is pictured right. Even the name of the long dismantled gate seems to have still had sufficent resonance so as to suggest a suitably atmospheric backdrop for a drama. In fact the gate was finally demolished in the 15th century and the stones were used to build Koriyama Castle
All that remains today of this auspicious monument is this stone marker in a children's playground...........

Big history - small monument ?

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