Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

2014

36.2552777778 138.8877777778
Cultural

This property is a historic sericulture and silk mill complex established in the late 19th and early 20th century in the Gunma prefecture, north-west of Tokyo. It consists of four sites that correspond to the different stages in the production of raw silk: a large raw silk reeling plant whose machinery and industrial expertise were imported from France; an experimental farm for production of cocoons; a school for the dissemination of sericulture knowledge; and a cold-storage facility for silkworm eggs. The site illustrates Japan’s desire to rapidly access the best mass production techniques, and became a decisive element in the renewal of sericulture and the Japanese silk industry in the last quarter of the 19th century. Tomioka Silk Mill and its related sites became the centre of innovation for the production of raw silk and marked Japan’s entry into the modern, industrialized era, making it the world’s leading exporter of raw silk, notably to Europe and the United States.

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