Prints from Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Mira help restore Byodo-in temple in Kyoto

Yoshio Ushijima.
King Printing President Yoshio Ushijima.

If you thought that print was dying, or that it doesn’t affect virtually every aspect of our lives on a daily basis (whether we realize it or not), this brief story might give you a new perspective. Sometimes, striking wide-format prints are used for more than just retail or outdoor advertising. King Printing (Osaka, Japan) recently had the opportunity to take part in the restoration of the Shumidan (a raised platform for a Buddhist image) at the Byodo-in Temple in Uji-city, located in Kyoto, Japan.

“This project was part of our advance into the industrial printing field,” said Yoshio Ushijima, President of King Printing. As a large Japanese commercial and sign and display printing company, King Printing recently installed a Jeti Mira wide-format printer from Agfa Graphics to support its plans to be more active in the industrial printing sector.

A hundred years of history

King Printing actually began business by creating handwriting signboards for movie theatres. This year, the company will celebrate its 100th anniversary. It currently handles large offset and inkjet, and produces mainly wide-format printing jobs – in particular posters.

Panels printed from Agfa Graphics' Jeti Mira decorated the Byodo-in temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Panels from Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Mira wide-format inkjet printer adorn the Byodo-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan.

We need to create new, recurrent business in order to keep growing,” said Ushijima. “Adding value to print jobs is the key to survival in this business. Therefore, I want to produce prints that are not meant for simple consumption, but that are memorable. I can’t reveal much yet, but we’re planning to use the new Jeti Mira for some new projects. The Jeti Mira gave us new options. Agfa made a clear proposal on the solution they would be offering us, and they made it clear what we would gain by introducing this new printer. I expect Agfa to keep developing new solutions in the field of inkjet printing. The printer is, in fact, quite unique. It’s able to do things that competitive products can’t. First of all, the Jeti Mira can print primer, which enables us to print boards that were difficult to print on before, due to adhesion issues. Moreover, we can do relief printing by applying the white ink in thick layers. This supports certain designs. Last but not least, it’s fast and delivers high-quality prints.”

Agfa Jeti Mira MG2732 LED.
Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Mira MG2732 LED.

Decorating the Byodo-in temple in Kyoto was one of King Printing’s first forays into the industrial printing field and involved the printing of several stunning flower-themed and dragon-themed large-format prints. Print quality and durability were essential. Ushijima summed it up best: “I told my staff to take on this job as if we were creating a new cultural asset, not just restoring one. I hope these kinds of jobs will continue to come in, as contributing to our country’s cultural assets will also enhance our company image.”

Agfa Graphics Canada is located in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.