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Video: The Canon Tsuzuri Project combines Canon’s state-of-the-art technologies to recreate Japanese masterpieces: Digital Photography Review


Through the Tsuzuri Project, Canon preserves Japanese culture’s beauty and historical significance. Canon makes high-quality, high-resolution recreations of important Japanese works of art, including screens, paintings, illustrations and more. Since 2007, Canon has been working on the project, ensuring that Japanese cultural assets, both within Japan and aboard, are preserved and shared.

In 2018, Canon and the National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (CPCP) launched a research project to create and utilize high-resolution facsimiles of cultural properties. These high-resolution facsimiles of Japanese masterpieces use the same technology as the ongoing Tsuzuri Project.

But why are we talking about this today? Last week, Canon released a video from its Tsuzuri Project showing a stunning, famous painting, ‘Wind God and Thunder God,’ by Tawaraya Sōtatsu. The painting, which is on a pair of two-fold screens, was created using ink and color on gold-foiled paper. It’s unclear precisely when the work was created, although Sōtatsu lived from 1570 to 1640. The painting depicts Raijin and Fūjin, two gods in the Shinto religion. Raijin is the god of lightning, thunder, and storms, and Fūjin is the god of wind.

Canon has produced a 4.2 billion pixel high-resolution facsimile of the work using state-of-the-art image capture, processing and printing technology. What separates the Tsuzuri Project from other digital cataloging efforts is that Canon not only captures high-resolution data of art, the company processes, prints and finishes works to create real-life, physical facsimiles.

The image capture work is done by a Canon EOS R5 camera using an automatic pan-tilt head to create large panoramic images. For ‘The Wind and Thunder Gods,’ each screen was photographed 168 times. Each frame has 12 times the resolution of Full HD. The frames are corrected for distortion and then automatically combined.

To ensure accurate color matching, the Tsuzuri Project extracts information from the original work to create a precise, unique color profile. The color matching technology allows for more accurate colors, which are then compared using test prints against the genuine work.

Canon uses its high-quality, professional printers to reproduce the work. Artisans then provide the finishing touches to works in the Tsuzuri Project, ensuring that finer details are accurately represented. The goal is to create facsimiles that are close as possible to the original works. And they do a remarkable job, as you can see in the video above. If you’d like to learn more about the Tsuzuri Project, enjoy the video below.

You can see many of the works recreated by the Tsuzuri Project by visiting Canon’s dedicated website.


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