Conservation and Collections Management

After joining, two more linings, covering the entire back of the scroll, are required to support and hold the overall structure together.

conservators attaching naka-ura, or inner lining
Conservators attaching the naka-ura, or inner lining

Next, the so-ura, or the final outermost lining, is applied using uda paper. Uda is made from the same paper mulberry fiber as other lining papers, but with fine clay added to make it strong, supple, and opaque. Since it is intended to be the outermost layer, the paper is fabricated in long narrow sheets to minimize the number of joints necessary to cover a large scroll.

conservators attaching the so-ura lining
Conservators attaching the so-ura lining

Similar to all of the other supplementary layers, this final lining is adhered with an aged wheat starch paste.

conservator applying wheat paste to lining
Conservator applying wheat paste to lining

Since aged paste has low adhesive strength, pounding brushes (uchi-bake) are employed to ensure the paper fibers bond together properly.

conservators using pounding brushes on scroll
Conservators using pounding brushes on scroll

The previously prepared uwamaki-ginu, a very thin, loosely-woven, unpatterned silk that serves to protect the scroll when it is rolled for storage, is attached to the back of the scroll.

conservators attach the uwamaki-ginu to back of scroll
Conservators attaching the uwamaki-ginu to the back of the scroll

The inscriptions indicating the title of the painting and the temple to which it was consecrated, removed from the old mounting when the scroll was dismantled, are reattached along the top edge of the scroll. When the top hanging stave is attached, these labels will align with the bottom edge of the stave, and allow the title of the scroll to be visible when it is rolled, much like the title on the spine of a book.

The two support strips made from the same silk as the uwamaki-ginu are applied to the lower right and left corners of the scroll, to support the bottom roller when it is attached.

conservator applying support strip to bottom of scroll
Conservator applying support strip to a bottom corner of the scroll

Large felts are then laid on the back of the freshly lined scroll to slow the drying process.

conservators laying felts on scroll
Conservators laying felts on scroll