Member of Japan Professional Photographers Society
Public transportation system is something we use for everyday commute and also for traveling. In order to bring a new perspective to public transport system, every year, we invite photography and haiku submission. (Application period is from mid June to the end of July.) Themes for the photography category are “Transportation in Japan” and “New Tourist Destinations”. Themes for the Haiku category are things pertaining to railway or things that portray and appreciate Japanese values. Works selected are exhibited at venues like Ueno station around the Railway Day (October 14th) in October every year and those works judged the best receive awards such as Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award.
At Traffic Culture Exhibition, which is held annually in fall at stations, Japan Traffic Culture Association also holds “SAKURYOKAI, an exhibition to present new works by representative artists of Japan. The artists with whom Hisao Taki, Director General of our association has been interacting since 1970s participate in this exhibition. Currently, about 22 artists in Japanese paintings, Western paintings, and calligraphy present their works. Among the artists, an American who works at Biwako lakeside also a member. SAKURYOKAI implies “a society with full energy” as dragons going up the rapid river. Traffic Culture Exhibition is also an opportunity to be able to see works of leading artists in public spaces like stations.
In order to make public art widely known, since 2013, we have set up a section for “Promotion of Public Art Special Exhibition” within the Traffic Culture Exhibition. The effort of public art to create a pleasant environment by installing art in public spaces such as stations, airports, and libraries is unfortunately still not known enough in Japan. At the Traffic Culture Exhibition held every year in October, besides introducing public art installed across the country and artists, we also present picture panels, models, and actual art parts to showcase the process of creating public art, such as stained glass and ceramic relief from Creare Atami Yugawara Atelier (Atami, Shizuoka prefecture), which Japan Traffic Culture Association supports.
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro: Expressed like a scene from a movie is the beauty of the town at dusk just as the riverboat is turning around, and tourists move through the lighting event. All of this thanks to the photographer’s perfect shutter clicking timing, exposure and composition. The photo technique allows for the viewers to expand their own imaginative sense of the scene as they see unusual installation of lamps and Japanese paper umbrellas or even another boat in the distance. As I looked at the picture my impulse was to also join those Kurashiki visitors and experience this spring evening lighting event.
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro: The ice flow drifting in the blue sea in front of the island of Kunashiri as the sun rising adds a morning glow showing color gradation, is a breathtakingly beautiful scene. The white-tailed eagle bathing in this pale vermillion glow impresses me with its strong life force while expressing the fragility of life as well. Looking at this almost empty picture and its lone eagle struck my imagination deeply. I became aware once more of the magical charm of the Shiretoko Peninsula—a world heritage site.
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro: This photograph pictures a snowy night falling at the Aizu-Bange station. It’s a common scene imprinted in our unconscious memory because we experience it daily. Two trains coming opposite directions have stopped simultaneously at the station. Some of us will recall our own hometowns, and others may feel a traveler’s emotion. I applauded the photographer (a high school student) who has interpreted this scene of “the railway and the station” so lyrically.
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro: The scene is of a rice harvest under a beautiful sunny sky. We see kids helping their parents. The volume of the rice they’re carrying varies according to their age. The toddler walking at the head of the group looks so proud just to be included with her brothers. The vast natural beauty of these fully ripe rice fields makes it hard to believe that just three years ago the place had suffered a devastating earthquake. It was encouraging to see that these people as well as their land and agriculture have been making a steady recovery.
|The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award||“Shining in the River”||USUI Yutaka|
|The Minister of the Environment Award||“Seif-Righteousness”||LIN Weiming|
|The East Japan Railway Company President Award||“Hometown”||GOTO Yoichiro|
|The Japan Travel and Tourism Association Chairman Award||“A Perfect Day for Rice Reaping”||MASUDA Tetsuko|
|First Place||“Encounter on the Bridge”||YOKOYAMA Kazuo|
|“Beyond the Heisei Age”||NIWA Akihito|
|Second Place||“Go Down a River on a Raft”||SAITO Nobuko|
|“Wind from the Sea” (Set of Four Photographs)||SAITO Hisao|
|“Spring has Come”||YAMAGUCHI Motohiro|
|Third Place||“Fire Flowers in the Coldest Winter”||NAGUMO Makoto|
|“Winter’s Forest”||MURAKAMI Takaomi|
|“Waiting for Sun Set”||TAKUSHIMA Masanori|
|“Festival on the Sea”||KADOWAKI Koetsu|
|U-22 Award||“Cool Flow”||TATEISHI Ryutaro|
|“Joined Forces”||ENDO Yoshio|
|“Cherry Blossoms at Night”||ASUKA|
|“Have fun in the Tottori Sand Dunes”||SHIMOKAWA Takanao|
|“A Blow of Tradition”||KOGUCHI Tsuyoshi|
|“Looking for Azalea”||YOSHITAKE Toshimi|
|“Brilliant Terraced Paddy Field”||GOTANI Hiroshi|
|“Ran Through Beautiful Scenery”||KITAMURA Kazuhiko|
|“Borderless World of Fireflies”||NAKAMURA Genichi|
|“Artwork of Paddy Field”||TYAYAMA Masako|
|“Chuggington in Okayama”||HAYASHI Takayoshi|
|“Rice Planting Season”||TSUCHIYA Katsunori|
|“Beautiful Beach for Instagram”||MIKI Masaya|
|“Night Landing”||TAKAMURE Junichi|
|“Sky High”||WASHINO Tetsuo|
|“Girl in The Terraced Paddy Field”||HIGASHI Kiyoshi|
|“Full Bloom”||YASUDA Toyoji|
|“Memory of Summer”||YANASE Shin|
|“Receive a Wellcome from Humpback Whale”||IMAI Kanji|
|“Japan Color”||SHIMIZU Susumu|
|Japan Traffic Culture Association Chairman Award||[just to see
the big tree
my summer trip]
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
What a wonderful trip just to see a tree! Usually we travel for sightseeing, business, or perhaps for recreation. Unlike practical trips, here the author travels to see a tree. I wonder what kind of tree it is. One day, I shall make such a journey.
|First Place||[clickety-clack . . .
an alien sky
high in the window]
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
Just looking up at the sky makes one feel like traveling. Although this haiku is composed with simple words that everyone can understand, it depicts the mind of the traveler well. In the vibrating train, traveling to a new place, we see the spread of a blue autumn sky through the window.
|Second Place||[dandelion puffs
stuck on the train car
|Third Place||[in Osaka
through the heat wave
|[in the old days
inside a freight train
cows were hot]
of a single-track line
jump into view
|[in my station bento
all the tastes
of autumn mountains]
|[one last station
before I reach my hometown—
rice planting over]
|[preparation for New Year—
in Tokyo Station
|[the day stays fine
for the tea-pickers—
tea at the station]
at the platform’s end]
|[leading the children
on their sports trip
|[a limited express
from Haneda to Narita—
|[back to my youth—
in the middle of summer
I travel alone]
|[my paperback lasts
just as long
as my summer trip]
Harajuku, Tokyo is known to the world as a hub to create youth culture. Young people in the world are drawn to, and follow, young fashion, goods and design, and life style created in Harajuku. Harajuku is a “sacred spot” for Kawaii culture and we can say it is an originating place for “Japan is cool”. Along the platform of Harajuku station, there are sixteen big signboards (height 3m, width 4m) that Japan Traffic Culture Association owns. Harajuku Fashion Joy Board Culture Festival is an event whereby big posters with social and cultural messages are posted on these big signboards and has become a seasonal tradition of Harajuku. Recent posters include “Bring Olympic and Paralympic Games to Japan!” and “Travel campaign to rediscover the charm of Fukushima” with a aim to bring back tourists to Fukushima prefecture damaged considerably by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, 2011, getting attention of young people passing through the station.
At Harajuku Fashion Joy Board Culture Festival from April to October 2015, Japan Traffic Culture Association and Information-technology Promotion Agency have co-hosted a campaign called “Protect and foster IT society; Striving for realization of a reliable IT society”, in which Manga is used to appeal the importance of password strengthening to prevent unauthorized log-ins.