Every culture treasures its arts, and art museums are at the forefront of art preservation, engaging curators and specialists to ensure works remain as faithful to the originals as possible.

Japan, however, has a long cultural and philosophical tradition that runs counter to the contemporary preservation movement; one which values innovation embodied by the terms kufū, the practice of skillfully creating through innovation, and kaihen, the transformation of objects.

Examples of such practices in the arts stretch back to the Heian Period (794-1185), supported by the philosophy that life is in flux, and that the environment we create is constantly subject to reinterpretation and reinvention. Aesthetic practices of later periods, including the Momoyama (1573-1615), and early Edo (1615-1868) reinforce this approach, incorporating values such as sabi, the appreciation of objects made more beautiful through the process of aging.