Watercolor illustration of clouds
Skip to main contentThe eight-spoked wheel of Dharma, with a graphic representation of a lotus at its center.

Shinnyo-en Contributes to Preservation of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

December 06, 2023

A large, ancient Cambodian temple ruin with long, single storey stone arcades arranged around high conical stone towers sits under a pale blue sky with a sting of clouds in the distance and palm trees in the foreground. The whole scene is reflected in a serene pool of water.

Siem Reap, Cambodia / Credit: Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

On November 4th, representatives of Shinnyo-en were invited to attend a ceremony held at Angkor Wat to commemorate the completion of the second phase of the Wat's western causeway restoration. The project was led by Professor Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Chief of the Angkor International Mission of Sophia University, in collaboration with the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA) National Authority of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The event was attended by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, and former Prime Minister Hun Sen.

An elderly, distinguished looking, bespectacled Japanese man in a charcoal gray suit with his arms folded behind his back speaks to someone out of frame in a banquet hall. A younger Japanese man in a suit in the background listens to the conversation.
Professor Yoshiaki Ishizawa speaking with media.

Shinnyo-en has supported preservation and restoration work at Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, since 1996. While efforts to restore Angkor Wat come from all around the globe, Professor Ishizawa's team have advocated for “conservation and restoration by the people of Cambodia.” His team worked for many years to provide onsite training that would build the local human resources necessary to sustainably conserve and restore the ruins, including conservation officers and stonemasons whose craft had almost entirely disappeared since the civil war. Many of his students have continued their education beyond the program, going on to earn degrees and further develop skills in the restoration and preservation of archaeological sites.

For nearly three decades, Shinnyo-en has contributed financial support of approximately ¥59.6 million ($4 million USD) to the joint effort to train local conservators for Angkor Wat. The APSARA National Authority expressed deep appreciation for Shinnyo-en’s support for the conservation and preservation of the site, and for aiding the training and development of local conservation engineers.

The camera looks down a long causeway across a large moat toward a temple ruin rising from the palms beneath a blue, cloud dappled sky in the distance. Small groups of people are visible far down the causeway, which is paved with giant slabs of stone.
The fully restored causeway is open for visitors.

View more news and events