DOHA – The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided Saturday to add the Tomioka Silk Mill, a historic factory building in Gunma Prefecture symbolizing Japan’s industrialization from the 19th century, to the World Cultural Heritage list.
Including natural heritage sites, the mill and related sites become the 18th World Heritage location in Japan. They are also Japan’s first modern industrial heritage sites to be listed.
The Tomioka Silk Mill was built in 1872 as a government-run factory that served as a model for other mills in Japan, which eventually came to play a leading role in the global silk industry.
The related sites are the Tajima Yahei sericulture farmhouse in the city of Isesaki, the Takayama-sha sericulture school in the city of Fujioka and the Arafune cold storage site for silkworm eggs in the town of Shimonita.