As a company that contributes to the development of visual culture, we engage 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 facsimiles 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 facsimiles are presented to former owners, related temples, museums, and local governments. The project has been highly acclaimed for both preserving important Japanese cultural assets and exhibiting high-resolution facsimiles to the public.
In 2017, facsimiles were presented to the Kyoto National Museum of two works owned by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, namely Tatars Playing Polo and Hunting attributed to Kano Soshu and Landscape of the Four Seasons by Shikibu Terutada. Two other Tsuzuri Project works went on display in special installations at the Tokyo National Museum from July to September 2017 in an event called “Diving into Screen Paintings.” The facsimiles were Pine Trees by Hasegawa Tohaku, which is classed as a Japanese National Treasure, and Cranes by Ogata Korin. The exhibits used cutting-edge projection technology to immerse visitors in the worlds created by the iconic images, originally painted on folding screens.
The Tsuzuri Project (Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project) has been certified as a “Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Programme” by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Tokyo National Museum exhibits Japanese and Oriental cultural assets. The vast range of old artworks and antiquities can make them inaccessible to the public. As a museum, we try to do various things to make it easier for people to connect with the exhibits. Since 2011, we have used the Tsuzuri Project facsimiles in special annual workshops and other events that enable people to experience folding screen artworks and gain an appreciation of how they were used by people several centuries ago. For the “Diving into Screen Paintings” event that we held in the summer of 2017, we installed a facsimiles of the National Treasure Pine Trees by Hasegawa Tohaku in a viewing room lined with tatami mats. Adults and children alike found the exhibit fascinating because the technology coupled with the high quality of the facsimiles gave them a multi-sensory experience of this work of art. The technology used by the Tsuzuri Project enabled an installation design that provided a new experience in terms of art appreciation, and that at the same time contributed greatly to our work.
Canon Group company Océ contributed to efforts to restore part of the tomb of the Ancient Egyptian 19th Dynasty monarch Seti I in the Valley of the Kings using its advanced elevated printing technology. In collaboration with Factum Arte, Océ deployed this digital technology to assist the NPO Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation in recording and replicating this cultural asset of global significance. Elevated printing technology enabled production of reliefs up to 15mm thick for walls, columns and sarcophagi. The restored items went on display in a special exhibition hosted by the Antikenmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, from October 2017 to May 2018. Elsewhere, Océ is also using its technical expertise to create reproductions of art works by famous Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh and Vermeer, and to support the production of signage, maps and Braille displays for the blind and visually impaired persons.
Canon Junior Photographers is a photography class for children 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, as many as 20,000 children all over Japan have taken part in Canon Junior Photographers classes.
In 2017, classes were held in 36 locations nationwide. The 1,755 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 started New Cosmos of Photography in 1991 as a project to support art and culture. The aim of the project is to discover, nurture, 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, 27,406 people (groups) have submitted entries. A number of these entrants have become well-known photographers both in Japan and abroad. In 2017, of the 1,705 entrants, one was selected for the Grand Prix, six for Excellence Awards, and eleven for Honorable Mention Awards. 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 need to develop the level of girls soccer in Japan, in 2014 we decided to focus on supporting girls soccer. 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, through our partnership with the Future Nadeshiko Project hosted by the Japan Football Association (JFA).
In 2017, we took various photographs at tournament and training camp venues, and supplied them to the JFA, players, and coaches. We 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.
Canon Inc. is supporting Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games through photography as a Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner in the Still Cameras and Desktop Reprographic Hardware product category. In July 2017, Canon supported a photography seminar held at Machida Municipal Athletic Stadium, providing photographic equipment and helping to run the seminar. The event was sponsored by The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center.
The seminar attendees comprised university students taking part in a public relations project to support the Paralympic Sports National Federations as PR interns. Canon invited sports photographer Adam Pretty of Getty Images, the official photography agency for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), to teach the seminar. After discussing how to photograph major sporting events based on his extensive field experience, Mr. Pretty challenged the students to take images of Paralympic athletes in action. A group of 17 Canon employees volunteered to assist with the event by helping the students and recording what happened.