East End of “Silk Road”—“Shoso-in” of Japan
“Shoso-in” is located behind the Hall of Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple in Nara city of Japan and it is known to the world with its storage of cultural relics of successive dynasties, most of which are valuables handed down from Japan’s royalty, nobility and Buddhist assembly in Nara and Heian periods of Japan. At that time, Japan's central government, princedoms, regional governments, including many large monasteries, had the establishment of “official warehouse”, which served as the main storehouse for storing rice expropriated by the state as well as silk, iron products and other property and the various storerooms were divided into different blocks to form “Shoso-in”. Today, only the Shoso-in of Todaiji Temple stands the test of the long history and others have disappeared. Since the 8th year of Meiji Period, Shoso-in broke away from Todaiji Temple and is under state administration and Japan government ordered to permanently conserve the “treasures” inside. Since then, Japan Shoso-in become an authentic independent “museum”. Shoso-in in Japan is greatly favored by the world, firstly because that it boasts a history of more than 1200 years and is blessed with a great variety of collections, most of which are donated by royalties; secondly because that since the 30th year of Showa when Shoso-in in Japan is relocated from old treasure-house to the newly-structured treasure-house, the cultural relics are better protected. According to the literatures, the collections conserved in Shoso-in almost stand intact and this is rare in the history of world conservation, facilitating the investigation and repair work of researchers.
Xiaoming Qian and Huawu Liu
H. Zhong et al., "East End of “Silk Road”—“Shoso-in” of Japan", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 332-334, pp. 420-424, 2011