In Memory of Mr. Naohachi Usami, 8th generation head of the Kyoto Shōkaku-dō Conservation Studio.

It is with heavy heart that we received the news of the passing of Mr. Naohachi Usami. We will remember his kindness, work, and collaborations with conservators and students around the world. His generosity welcomed Hiromi Paper’s Washi Tours into his studio and has given us very valuable information on conservation materials and techniques. His two sons, the elder being successor & the younger having his own conservation studio “Usami Shutokudo”, continue to be supportive, and we are very thankful for that.

Edit: A word from Paul Wills about Mr. Naohachi Usami’s legacy:


One thought on “”

  1. Very sad news indeed, and a reminder of just how many foreign student conservators have passed through the Shōkaku-dō studio during his lifetime – each one adding to the total number of specialists in the field, and the total number of Far Eastern pictorial art objects now conserved internationally, each and every year, due to Usami-sensei’s foresight.

    He not only adopted an open-door policy towards foreigners wanting to study with him but was also keen to learn about Western conservation techniques. In the 1970s he travelled to England to look at the then relatively new technique of leaf casting. He was also the first Japanese conservator to import a British laminating press, using conservation-grade lamination tissues, for the conservation of some Japanese manuscripts.

    His real legacy however is his, and the Shōkaku-dō’s, open-door policy towards training foreign students – now scattered across the world and training new and young conservators in turn.

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