As a company that contributes to the development of visual culture, Canon engages in activities to foster the richness of human feelings and emotions.
Canon and Kyoto Culture Association (NPO) launched the Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project, commonly known as the Tsuzuri Project, in 2007.
The initiative seeks to make reproductions of Japanese cultural assets such as folding screens and fusuma (Japanese sliding doors) by first photographing them with a digital camera, then processing the image with precise color-correction technology using a proprietary system and printing the image on a large-format inkjet printer. Finally, with the application of traditional craft techniques from Kyoto, such as gold leafing and mounting, the reproduction, which is as close to the original as possible, is complete. These reproductions are presented to former owners, related temples, museums, and local governments.
The project has been highly acclaimed for both preserving important Japanese cultural properties and exhibiting high-resolution reproductions to the public. In 2014, it received an award at the 11th Corporate Philanthropy Awards organized by the Japan Philanthropic Association.
In 2016, the project donated the reproduction of Scenes from the Tale of Genji on the screens of Tosa Mitsuyoshi in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to the Byodo-in Temple in Kyoto. The reproduction has been displayed at the Byodo-in Museum Hoshokan and the Tale of Genji Museum. The project also donated reproductions of 22 sliding doors, including Tiger in Bamboo and Bird and Plum Blossoms to Rinzai School Myoshinji Tenkyu-in Temple, completing a five-year effort to replace all 56 sliding door paintings of the Tenkyu-in Temple with reproductions. The originals have been entrusted to the Kyoto National Museum, and the reproductions are planned to be open to public twice a year, in spring and autumn.
The Tsuzuri Project (Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project) is certified as “Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Programme” from the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
We are living in the age of rapid technological advancement, and it seems we are in danger of forgetting history, along with the valuable traditions and culture developed by our ancestors. Launched a decade ago, the Tsuzuri Project bears a heavy responsibility as it works to link the people, the skills, and the craftsmanship of the past with those of the future. As a member of the project, I am very proud to promote its value together with the employees of Canon. The project is now well-known not just in Japan, but also at museums around the world. Recently, when we approached the owner of a certain cultural asset, they said, “So you’ve come at last.” When I heard those words, I understood anew how important it is to keep the Tsuzuri Project going, not just for the benefit of museums, but for society as a whole. I have a great deal of respect for the employees of Canon, who always pursue the best techniques for introducing Japan’s countless world-class cultural assets to as many people as possible. It is my desire to promote the Tsuzuri Project in the hope that, another decade from now, Japan will remain a superpower of tradition and culture.
Canon Junior Photographers is a photography class for primary school students based on the theme of nature. The objectives of the project are to raise children’s awareness about the environment and to develop their creative sensitivities. Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 17,000 students all over Japan have taken part in Canon Junior Photographer classes.
In 2016, classes were held in 40 locations nationwide. The 2,225 participants first took part in a digital photography class led by professional photographers or Canon employees, after which they were able to take their own pictures while enjoying the beauty of nature. Following the photo shoots, participants printed their photographs and showed them to the group. Their photographs were also shown at photo exhibitions held at participating schools and other places.
Canon will continue to offer a flexible program based on the needs of participants through close collaboration with host schools and organizations.
Canon started New Cosmos of Photography in 1991 as a project to support art and culture. The aim of the project is to discover, develop, and support up-and-coming photographers exploring the potential of photographic expression.
The contest seeks submissions in print, still image, or video format, that regardless of genre express creativity and a new, original point of view. To date, 25,701 people (groups) have submitted entries. A number of these entrants have become well-known photographers both in Japan and abroad.
In 2016, seven of the 1,723 entrants were selected for Excellence Awards and fourteen for Honorable Mention Awards. At the “2016 New Cosmos of Photography Tokyo Exhibition,” the winning works were displayed and the photographers held portfolio reviews and lectures on photography and videography.
Canon hopes to continue helping up-and-coming photographers take the first step in their pursuit of new photographic expression through New Cosmos of Photography.
As part of its sports promotion efforts, Canon Inc. has supported Canon Cup Junior Soccer, a futsal competition for elementary school boys and girls in Japan, since 2001. Recognizing the growing demand to develop the level of girls soccer in Japan through this program, in 2014 we decided to focus on supporting girls soccer mainly at the elementary school level. We are a special corporate sponsor for the Canon Girls-eight, a U-12 girls soccer tournament involving eight-member teams, and Canon Girls Camp, a U-13 girls soccer training camp, both hosted by the Japan Football Association (JFA), through our partnership with the Future Nadeshiko Project.
In 2016, we took a variety of photographs at the tournament and training camp venues, afterwards providing them to the JFA, players, and coaches. We also put them up on our support website, Canon Girls Soccer Web. This has helped to publicize girls soccer in Japan and, we hope, will lead to its growth.
Looking ahead, we are committed to contributing more effectively while building a collaborative framework with the JFA and regional soccer associations.