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Bakuryo

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  • Japanese: 曝涼 (bakuryô)

Bakuryô is a traditional practice of "airing out" performed by many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Imperial archives, and similar institutions.

Archival documents, artworks, and other treasures are brought out to be laid out in large rooms open to fresh air and sunshine, as a traditional means of helping to eliminate bugs, mold, and the like from collections.

Originally performed sometime in the fifth to eighth months on the lunar calendar, in the Song dynasty, bakuryô came to be associated with the Weaver Festival (J: Tanabata), observed on 7/7 each year. This was not only a time to give one's treasures an airing out, but also to give oneself some sunshine and fresh air.

References

  • Jason Webb, "Kyôto gosho no higashiyama go-bunko no bakuryô gyôji," talk given at USC/Meiji University Research Exchange, Feb 16 2018.
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