Conventionally, mural paintings are documented by making artistic reproductions.
Such reproductions were also made for the murals at Takamatsuzuka Tumulus. But photographs were selected as the means of documentation for Kitora, because the murals themselves were extremely fragile and needed to be detached and treated as promptly as possible before they disintegrated. The selection was made to preserve accurate images using state-of-the-art technology of the time.
Images for the photographic map of the Kitora murals were taken with a digital camera. Images taken in sections were carefully analyzed by computer, and their central portions having minimal distortion were pieced together into a composite. The margin of error was a mere 3 mm over a distance of 1 m. High-precision records that could substitute for scale drawings or artistic reproductions may themselves become cultural properties.