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International Register

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Archives of Tōji temple contained in one-hundred boxes
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Archives of Tōji temple contained in one-hundred boxes - Post view
Region / Country - Asia-Pacific > Japan
Year of Registration 2015
Possessing Institutions Kyoto Prefecture (Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives)
Management Institution Kyoto Prefecture (Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives)
Tōji Hyakugō Monjo, or “Archives of Tōji temple contained in one-hundred boxes,” refers to a large collection of documents amassed and preserved by the temple Tōji in Kyoto, Japan. The collection consists of 24,147 records that date from the years 763 to 1711. These materials concern the temple’s political and religious activities as well as the administration of its estates. It is very rare in the history of the world for a single temple to have saved such a large body of documents. Also of interest is the fact that temple priests maintained these records under a strict administrative system even after they fell out of current use. They carefully store them in paulownia wood boxes, the most suitable storage units at the time. Indeed the name “Tōji Hyakugō Monjo” comes from the 100 large paulownia boxes that Maeda Tsunanori (1643–1724), the lord of Kaga domain, donated for the safekeeping of the Archives. The name also symbolizes the history of these outstanding documents, which survive to this day. The Hyakugō Archives represents an unprecedented collection in our world, which has early on implemented the idea of passing on significant cultural works to future generations over a long period.