Japan’s Tomioka Silk Mill will become World Heritage Site

The government formalized plans Thursday to recommend Tomioka Silk Mill and related industrial heritage be put on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The government plans to submit provisional recommendation papers to UNESCO in September, followed by final ones by February 2013. The U.N. body is expected to examine the recommendation in 2014.Four properties in Gunma Prefecture will be recommended, including the silk mill set up in 1872, which was Japan's first state-run silk mill to use modern technology from the West. The mill enabled the mass production of high-quality silk and contributed to the global silk industry.

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Tomioka Silk Mill Industrial Heritage

Tomioka Silk Mill Japan
Tomioka Silk Mill is Japan's oldest modern model silk reeling factory, established in 1872 by the government to introduce modern machine silk reeling from France and spread its technology in Japan. The factory is designated by the government as a historical site and all its buildings are preserved in very good condition. It is a big factory in the old city of Tomioka, in Gunma prefecture, Japan. It is located about 100 km northwest of Tokyo.

The mill remains as it was after its construction. The other properties include a farmhouse with a special roof for ventilation, which became a prototype for modern silk farmhouses. The government also decided to try to have five additional properties in the Hiraizumi cultural site inscribed on the heritage list. The site was put on UNESCO's list last year.

Tomioka Silk Mill

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