Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » New Japanese Coins and Stamps Commemorate Links to Scottish Heritage

Home » Destination Europe » Currently Reading:

New Japanese Coins and Stamps Commemorate Links to Scottish Heritage

August 18, 2016 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

An industrial heritage site in Japan that earned UNESCO World Heritage Status with the help of data created by the Centre for DigitalDocumentation and Visualisation (CDDV) – a partnership between Historic Environment Scotland and The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio – has been celebrated with the creation of commemorative coins and postage stamps.

The Scottish-designed and built Giant Cantilever Crane, and No. 3 Dry Dock in Nagasaki, Japan, are two of four historic monuments in the The Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Site to be marked by the Japanese Government, using 3D visualisations created by the Scottish Ten team.

Built by Appelby of Glasgow and erected by the Motherwell Bridge Company over 100 years ago, the Nagasaki crane remains in service to this day, and is the same principle design as the iconic cranes on the River Clyde, including ‘Titan’ in Clydebank, Finnieston and James Watt Dock in Greenock. Nagasaki’s No. 3 Dry Dock, meanwhile, was the largest dock in Asia when it was built in 1905, and is the only Meiji era dock still in operation over a century later.

The Giant Cantilever Crane and dry dock are important components of The Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Site, which also includes the abandoned Hashima Island, which featured in the James Bond film, Skyfall.

The coins and stamps were presented to staff from the Scottish Ten project who digitally documented the crane, the No 3 Dry Dock, the Kosuge Dock, and Hashima Island in late 2014. The data was integral to the Japanese Government’s bid to have the sites of Japanese Industrial Heritage collectively recognised by UNESCO as being of Outstanding Universal Value, and inscribed as a World Heritage Site, which was achieved in 2015 at the same time as the Forth Bridge.

The Scottish Ten is a ground-breaking international 3D project using laser scanning to document digitally Scotland’s as-then five World Heritage Sites and five international sites. It has been delivered as a partnership between specialists at Historic Environment Scotland and experts in 3D visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio, together with not-for-profit digital heritage organisation CyArk. The team worked closely with the Japanese Government’s Cabinet Secretariat and the National Congress on Industrial Heritage, led by Koko Kato, to deliver the project in Japan.

Dr Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager at Historic Environment Scotland and project manager at CDDV said: “As part of the Scottish Ten project, my team and I were delighted to be given the opportunity to document digitally the iconic Nagasaki Crane, the No 3 Dry Dock, and other fantastic sites. The Japanese are rightly very proud of these important, extremely well preserved monuments to their industrial heritage, and we in Scotland should be proud of them too, as many were designed and built by pioneering Scottish engineers.”

Alastair Rawlinson, Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art, and GSA lead for the Scottish Ten project, added, “We were very pleased when the sites were recognised as being of Outstanding Universal Value by UNESCO. The creation of these stamps and coins not only helps to celebrate that, but potentially raises awareness of these sites to people in Japan and further afield, helps to protect them in the long run, and strengthens historic links between our two countries.”

Koko Kato, Director of the National Congress of Industrial Heritage and Special Advisor to the Japanese Government said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with the CDDV team to digitally document the Meiji Industrial Heritage Sites, and for these to be recognised by UNESCO in 2015. We are now excited to commemorate the global significance of these sites through the issue of these special stamps and coins, which continues our partnership with CDDV.”

The coins are made of silver and weigh approximately 20 grams, with a diameter of 35 mm. 20,000 sets of the coins have been minted. They are available for purchase via the Japanese mint:

The Giant Cantilever Crane

The Crane is thought to have been ordered on the advice of Fraserburgh-born Thomas Blake Glover, who is regarded as a key figure in the industrialisation of Japan in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. It was designed by the Glasgow Electric Crane and Hoist Company, which had previously bought the engineering company, Appleby. It was erected by the Motherwell Bridge Company in 1909, sits in the heart of Nagasaki Harbour – the birthplace of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  Giant Cantilever Cranes were state-of-the-art structures designed to lift, with the utmost accuracy, the heaviest and most valuable components into the hulls of ships under construction, being re-fitted or undergoing repair.

The Crane was considered to be so important that it has been included in the ‘Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution’ World Heritage nomination, submitted by Japan in January 2014, for consideration by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2015.

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication