Full-color 3D printer "3DUJ-553" faithfully reproduces the painted wood carving "Tsunagi no Ryu" owned by Chichibu Shrine

Efforts of Mimaki
Collaborated in the creating a high-precision replica of "Tsunagi no Ryu" with Chichibu Shrine, HARA SEISAKUSYO Co., Ltd. and Kouwa Display Co., Ltd.
Using full-color 3D printer "3DUJ-553" to faithfully reproduce "Tsunagi no Ryu" by "Hidari Jingoro" of Edo's master craftsmen

Product used

3D Printer Creates "Tsunagi no Ryu," a Painted Wood Carving from the Chichibu Shrine Collection


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At Chichibu Shrine (Saitama Prefecture), renovation of the main shrine, a project to celebrate the 2100th anniversary of its founding, is being carried out on a large scale over a period of about five years starting in 2018. At this time, a project was launched to replicate and dedicate the "Tsunagi no Ryu," a painted wood carving created by “Hidari Jingoro,” famous for the "Sleeping Cat" (Nemurineko) of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

“Tsunagi no Ryu” by Hidari Jingoro, property of the Chichibu Shrine

“Tsunagi no Ryu” by Hidari Jingoro, property of the Chichibu Shrine

In this project, Hara Seisakusyo (HARA SEISAKUSYO Co., Ltd.) took charge of 3D scanning and 3D data creation, and 3D printing was performed by Mimaki Engineering using its full-color 3D printer “3DUJ-553,” Kowa Display Co., Inc. manufactured the display case.

The replicated "Tsunagi no Ryu"

The replicated "Tsunagi no Ryu"

Using full-color 3D data to faithfully reproduce the techniques of Edo's master craftsmen

"In the Edo period, the blue color of the dragon was colored with mineral pigments made of crushed natural stone, so it was difficult to reproduce. It took a lot of trial and error," said Yosuke Hara, president of HARA SEISAKUSYO Co., Ltd. Using high-precision full-color 3D scanning technique, the "Tsunagi no Ryu" was scanned 360 degrees and converted into 3D data. The 3D data was 3D printed by Mimaki Engineering's full-color 3D printer "3DUJ-553" to create a 1/5th size replica of "Tsunagari no Ryu". The printer uses over 10 million colors to accurately reproduce full color 3D data..

In general, the protection of cultural assets is often done by hand. For this restoration, no manual work such as carving or hand-painting was done. Instead 3D data and 3D printing were used.

Mr. Hara, who created the 3D data, said, "We have never been able to 3D print colored data before, but Mimaki Engineering's full-color 3D printer is so rich in color expression that we were able to faithfully reproduce the full-color data. I think the most attractive thing is that we were able to combine these two."

3D data and 3D printing: "Tsunagi no Ryu" reproduction

Passing on cultural assets of the Edo period to Future Generations

Mr. Hara added, "There are many things in the world that are called cultural assets. We don't know when they will disappear due to natural disasters such as earthquakes. That's why I would like to archive them as 3D data first, then preserve and leave them behind. I think the data will be a good starting point for restoration, so I would like to make use of the 3D scanning technology in this way."

Dedication ceremony held on October 20, 2021

Dedication ceremony held on October 20, 2021

Getting close to objects once only seen from afar

Mr. Sonoda, Gonguji (deputy representative) of the Chichibu Shrine, said regarding the replication work in the project, “This was our effort to record the 400-year-old technique of Hidari Jingoro by means of the modern 3D printing technology. It was also a challenge in terms of “to what extent the sophisticated technique of the initial period of the Edo era can be reproduced using the 3D printer.” Normally, I am only able to view the original from below at the foot of the shrine pavilion, but now that I can closely inspect the replica from every angle, I have a renewed recognition of its perfect color expression.”

The replica of the “Tsunagi no Ryu” dedicated to the shrine is displayed as a special exhibit at a hall in the shrine compound.

Special Exhibit: "Tsunagi no Ryu" reproduction

Chichibu Shrine (Chichibu-jinja)

Products used in this project


UV curable inkjet system Full Color 3D printer - Enabling the full color modeling of over 10 million colors
3DUJ-553 | Product Information

User profile

  • NameChichibu Shrine (Chichibu-jinja)
  • IndustryReligious Corporation
  • Address1-3 Banbamachi, Chichibu-shi, Saitama, Japan
  • Phone number+81-494-22-0262
  • URL

Product used

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