Preservation at Ise Shrine
riests at Ise Shrine, who have

The culturally motivated recreation of the Ise Shrine over 1300 years is also a terrific example of the sort of preservation that yields value-driven survival of physical artifacts. It makes the most of the transmission of knowledge from the elders who built to the younger generation who must rebuild. There is no sense of an “original” — no template, no ur-shrine as we have in the West (think of how we, in the West, preserve a painting or a sculpture by trying to recapture its original state, colors, etc. We do not preserve a Rembrandt by recreating it; we “fix” — and today using digital means, aligned with a linear and AI view of things. The new shrine doesn’t strive to be somehow identical to an original or a perfect replica; rather its preservation is a matter of values and negotiating the complexities of the old, the new, and the future.