UNESCO on Saturday added the Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma Prefecture to its World Heritage list. UNESCO made the decision at its annual meeting in Doha.
UNESCO said the Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites is an historic sericulture and silk mill complex established in 1872. Built by the Japanese government with machinery imported from France, it consists of four sites that attest to the different stages in the production of raw silk: production of cocoons in an experimental farm; a cold storage facility for silkworm eggs; reeling of cocoons and spinning of raw silk in a mill; and a school for the dissemination of sericulture knowledge.
UNESCO said the mill illustrates Japan’s desire to rapidly adopt 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. It marked Japan’s entry into the modern, industrialized era, and propelled it to become the world’s leading exporter of raw silk, notably to France and Italy.
The Tomioka Silk Mill is the 14th Japanese cultural heritage site to make UNESCO's World Heritage list. Mount Fuji was awarded cultural status last year.© Japan Today