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 Tokyo station around 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 30 artists in Japanese paintings, Western paintings, and calligraphy present their works. Among the artists, There is an expatriate American who works at Biwako lakeside. 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 appreciate excellent arts in public space of station.
(Titles are omitted. By section, Japanese syllabary order. As of October 2017)
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 Aletier (Atami, Shizuoka prefecture), which Japan Traffic Culture Association supports.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: This is dynamic scenery, where sacred horses are dashing valiantly. As seen in the energetic expressions of beaters who are chasing the horses, this is a powerful piece of work, whereby you feel the excitement and the cheers of Yatsushiro Myouken Festival from the entire photograph. It looks as though the beaters desperately holding the reins, flying water splash, and voices of many spectators on the riverside come together as one to approach towards us.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: The landscape of so-called “Dragon-eye” of Kagaminuma, which can be viewed close to the peak of the Mount Hachimantai, creates a mysterious image. Only the part of the “Dragon-eye” is filled with a different atmosphere from the surrounding scene. It is like a cosmic space left in the snow and stimulates the creativity of viewers. If I ever encounter this scene, I would just stand still, not making any move for a while.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: An attractive photograph, which leverages natural landscape to capture the Train of Nemuro Main Line in Hokkaido together with the scene of ten-or-so Yezo deers moving in groups in the wilderness. The visual expression to incorporate the oblique ray on the wilderness into the screen is especially fascinating, proving a depth to the work. The attractiveness of the motifs, such as railway cars and Yezo deers, are fully exploited.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: I was impressed by the beauty of this photograph, which captures the scenery of Koinobori run spreading across the picture. Although it seems the photographer had a difficulty capturing this image, its beauty does not make us feel such a difficulty and he did absolutely a great job in vividly expressing the magnificence of the landscape. The stunning view of morning glow has been well captured with an outstanding camerawork, making this a very high-quality piece of work. Splendid emotions with colors are expressed on this photograph.
|The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award||[Shinme (A Sacred Horse) Dashing]||TANAKA Minoru|
|The Minister of the Environment Award||[Blue Eye in the Sky]||AKISHINO Shigehito|
|The Hokkaido Railway Company President Award||[Going Through the Wilderness]||SHIMIZU Atsutoshi|
|The Japan Travel and Tourism Association Chairman Award||[KOINOBORI (Carp Streamer) Run]||SHIMAMURA Tadayuki|
|First Place||[Brocade Autumn]||UMENO Hidekazu|
|[On the Hill Once Loved by Jomon People]||KUBOTA Taichi|
|Second Place||[To Have Been Inherited for Three Hundred Years]||KOJIMA Misako|
|[New Year Celebration]||ARATAKE Masaki|
|Third Place||[Setting Off]||NAGATANI Nobuaki|
|[Overnight Express Train]||TSUBUKU Shinichi|
|[Revival! The Golden Age of Steam Locomotives]||MIYAGAWA Kazunori|
|[Severe Winter]||MURATA Shigeru|
|Win a Prize||[Coloring Mt. Fuji]||NAKANE Eiji|
|[Tono Shishi-Odori (Deer Dance)]||MANABE Shintaro|
|[Santa Cruise]||KODAKA Kousuke|
|[Drumming Sound of Fox Movement]||NAKAGAWA Hideo|
|[A Path of the Sun]||UESUGI hiroaki|
|[Forest of Fantasy]||KINOSHITA Shigeru|
|[Fire-Walking to Burn Evil Passions]||ITO Takehiro|
|[A Perfect Day for Cruising]||KOBAYASHI Kenichi|
|[Route to School]||TAKAHASHI Hiroyuki|
|[Two Sunsets]||FUKUMOTO Hideyuki|
|[Yellow Carpet]||HAYAKAWA Noriyuki|
|[Dancing on a Lake]||TAGAMI Kazuki|
|[Come and Beat the Drum!]||ITO Masaaki|
|[Gun Salute]||USUI Yutaka|
|[What a Magnificent View! The Tatara Bridge!]||OKUBO Shigeyoshi|
|[Flame of the Ancient Times]||KASAHARA Akio|
|[Pulse of Dawn]||MASUDA Shunji|
|[A Fine Day of Big Moments for Horses]||TAKII Chieko|
|[Lakeside in Sunset]||HIGUCHI Kazuo|
|Japan Traffic Culture Association Chairman Award||[linear motor car
it came, it saw, it disappeared
a bank of clouds]
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
“veni (I came), vidi (I saw), vici (I conquered)” is a phrase that appears Julius Caesar’s Gallic War. Borrowing that phrase, the author describes the speed of a linear motor car by saying, “It came, It saw, It disappeared”. The expression, “It disappeared” is especially great. All of this was a blink of an eye under a bank of clouds.
sitting by the window
return home in summer]
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
This haiku describes a scene where a young man returns to his hometown with what appears to be his finance. The author must have seen them in a train. The young man let his fiancé sit by the window so that she can see the landscape of his hometown, as if he protects her. This is a congratulatory haiku for this couple the author happened to see in the train.
holding it on platform
|Third Place||[a local train
hope for autumn]
with a ticket
would be a traveler]
|[the Sea of Japan
in the glow of sunset
|TSUSHIMA Mitsuru (Komatsusho)|
|Win a Prize||[crab meat rice
eating on the seat
spring in the North]
|[a bank of clouds
unlimited train ticket
three more days]
here it arrives]
train passing through
|[a young boy
sweating with a ticket
|[the farthest station
attracted by the phrase
wet hat waits for
train to come]
summer clouds rise
what a fun trip]
the station platform
comes afternoon sun]
|[the very first ticket
holding it tightly
with summer hat on]
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.