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Date : March 16, 2017

Report: Takaoka City Press Tour

post date : 2017.04.10

Reproducing the Shaka Triad Statue National Treasure with New 3D Technology and Traditional Techniques

   This tour visited Takaoka in Toyama, where a replica of the Shaka Triad statue is being displayed for the first time. The statue was made using the latest 3D printing technology along with traditional carving and casting techniques to faithfully replicate the materials and textures of the original. In addition to interviewing representatives from Tokyo University of the Arts and Takaoka City, as well as cast metal and carving artisans, the tour visited metal casting companies that are growing by incorporating the latest 3D printing technology.


   This tour was sponsored by the Council for the Promotion of Businesses and Creation of a Model to Stimulate Local Industry Using Takaoka City’s Metal Casting with Over 400 Years of History and Nanto City’s Carving with Over 600 Years of History, with planning cooperation by the FPCJ. Seven journalists participated in this press tour, from Colombia, China, France, Germany, and Vietnam.


Click here for further details on the tour

Click here for a log of real-time Twitter updates from during the tour



1)Interviews with key members of the Shaka Triad Statue National Treasure reproduction

   At the beginning of the tour, the journalists were given an explanation of the roles in the project and collaboration between business, academia, and government by the Takaoka City mayor, a Tokyo University of the Arts professior, and representatives of craftsmen from Takaoka and Nanto. The mayor was asked about policies to maintain traditional skills, and in response he introduced initiatives to develop new products with new materials designed to sell overseas, and a training school passing on traditional skills. Mr. Yasuo Shima and Mr. Koshin Iwasaki, artisans from Takaoka and Nanto, were also asked if there had been any changes to their work after participating in this project using new 3D technology.


   After interviewing the key members, the journalists photographed and filmed a 3D printed model of the Shaka Triad Statue and a cast replica, guided by Professor Ito, a curator of the project from Tokyo University of the Arts. Prof. Ito responded to questions about the history of the Shaka Triad Statue and the processing techniques used to make the same texture as the 1300-year-old original statue.













2)Engraver, Mr. Hiroyuki Sano

   The journalists spoke with an engraver, Mr. Hiroyuki Sano, who took part in the reproduction of the statue. A journalist asked how he felt when he engraved letters on the back of the great halo, and Mr. Sano said, “I was very nervous to work on the reproduction of a national treasure made in the Asuka period (592–710)”. The journalists photographed and filmed a demonstration by Mr. Sano of engraving letters with a special engraver/burin.













3)Metal casting artisan, Kajiwara Seisakusho

   Next, the tour visited Kajiwara Seisakusho, which produced the back of the great halo. A journalist asked about the influence of 3D technology on the company, to which Mr. Toshiharu Kajiwara, the president, answered, “3D technology still needs an artisan’s skills, but we will likely start making more models using 3D technology.” Journalists photographed and filmed the whole work process artisans do by hand, from modelling to finishing.
















4)Kyowa Seisakusho

   At the end of the tour, the journalists visited Kyowa Seisakusho, which has been actively incorporating new technology such as 3D printers. They were given an explanation of how the company, which produces industrial machinery parts, is incorporating mechanization in the factory to streamline and increase the precision of its work, and the success the company has had so far. While visiting the work floor, the journalists were able to film and photograph cast products being poured and 3D-printed molds being made. The journalists asked about what changes to the business had been brought about by 3D technology, and future plans. Some journalists also interviewed a foreign trainee from Vietnam working at the company.













photos by Mika Tanimoto

*except upper photos 1) and 4)

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