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Courtesy of Tomioka Silk Mill

Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

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  • Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

Heritage sites reflecting the pride of the prosperous global scale silk industry.

Heritage sites reflecting the pride of the prosperous global scale silk industry. Heritage sites reflecting the pride of the prosperous global scale silk industry.Courtesy of Tomioka Silk Mill

The World Heritage site that graces Gunma Prefecture is the "Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Industrial Heritage."
It includes 4 sites - the Tomioka Silk Mill, Japan’s first large scale silk reeling factory; the Tajima Yahei Sericulture Farm, where the Seiryo-iku technique of raising silkworms in a well-ventilated environment was perfected; the remains of the Takayama-sha Sericulture School where the Seion-iku technique involving ventilation and temperature control was perfected; and the Arafune Cold Storage in which natural cold air was used to store silkworm eggs.
These heritage sites that supported the silk industry, which flourished on a global scale, were registered as a World Heritage Site in 2014 due to their well preserved states.

The role Tomioka Silk Mill played in supporting Japanse modernization
and internationalization.

The role Tomioka Silk Mill played in supporting Japanse modernization and internationalization. The role Tomioka Silk Mill played in supporting Japanse modernization and internationalization.Courtesy of Tomioka Silk Mill

The Tomioka Silk Mill, built in 1872, imported the latest French technology and succeeded in mass-producing raw silk.
From the Edo Period, this area was a lively center for sericulture and silk production, and by combining this with modern Western technology, Gunma Prefecture was the first region in Japan to develop the silk industry.
The use of this leading technology spread to other regions and, as a result, Japan became the number one exporter of raw silk in the 1920s.
After the Second World War, automation in the production of silk was acheived.
At the time, silk was a luxury commidity that only the richest people could buy. However, the Tomioka Silk Mill meant that high quality silk at reasonable prices became available to more people.
The export of raw silk that was created completely with domestic materials was an important step for Japan in obtaining foreign currency. The Tomioka Silk Mill played a vital role not only in industrial revolution in Japan, but also in pushing Japan onto the international stage.

Data

Site : Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites
Location : Gunma Prefecture
Date of Inscription : 2014
Criteria : (ii) (iv)
Property : 7.20 ha
Buffer zone : 415 ha

The official website of The World Heritage Centre
"Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites"
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1449

Location map

No. Heritage Assets
1 Tomioka Silk Mill
2 Arafune Cold Storage
3 Takayama-sha Sericulture School
4 Tajima Yahei Sericulture Farm
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