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 helped annually in fall at stations, Japan Traffic Culture Association also holds “Sakuryokai”, an exhibition to present new works by a representative artist group of Japan. Artists, who since 1970s have been in contact with the president, Hisao Taki, participate in this exhibition, and currently about 30 artists in Japanese paintings, Western paintings, and calligraphy present their works. There is also an American painter, who has been producing works in the region of Kyoto for many years. “Sakuryokai” implies “a society with full energy” as dragons going up the rapids. 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 Aletier (Atami, Shizuoka prefecture), which Japan Traffic Culture Association supports.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: Since this photograph’s motif is Kohata Hatamatsuri, a nationally known festival, it provides a strong sense of déjà vu and somewhat lacks its originality. However, the way it captures the light and its camera angle are so impressive that they emphasize a sense of movement and express the beauty as an image well. As it captures, in such a great timing, a split second when those with colorful five-color banners just started to move, the banners and the people are presented as one single entity, making this work a spectacular photograph.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: Terraced paddy field in Shimoakasaka is one of the top 100 terraced paddy fields in Japan, providing a beautiful landscape for each of the four seasons. It is so picturesque as the landscape of Shimoakasaka that derives from a historical event of Masashige Kusunoki. Shooting the beautifully curved lines of terraced paddy fields at a time of sunrise with a use of angle of view of wide-angle lens, this work presents an attractive sweep landscape with a full-scale of what the photographer intended to show.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: It is obviously expected that photographs have a great content, but title of work and comment are also important elements of photography. When you read the title of this work, the photographer’s feelings and sentiments that were touched by this scenery are clearly conveyed. The atmosphere of local railway in the beautiful bloom of cherry blossom and filed mustard is described with a soft touch, providing viewers a sense of comfort. The back of a mother with a little child on her back walking on a platform of an unmanned tram station is so impressive that I forget about the tough reality for a brief time.
Comment by KUMAKIRI Keisuke: Fumishima Island in Shimane prefecture is famous as a breeding ground for Umineko, black-tailed gulls, but depending on the season, the situation around black-tailed gulls changes in many ways. By sharply observing them in the midst of ever-changing situation, this photograph beautifully captured the very moment when flying black-tailed gulls and the sea created a beauty as one scenery. The blue ocean, rock-breaking white waves, and flying black-tailed gulls make a natural harmony and touch my heart. I feel the accuracy of the photographer’s eyes for observing the nature.
|Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award||[Adding Colors to the Festival]||NAKAGAWA Tsukasa|
|Minister of the Environment Award||[Terraced Paddy Fields at Sunrise]||SAWAI Yoshinori|
|Kyushu Railway Company President Award||[Sentiments in Spring Farewell]||MASUDA Shunji|
|Japan Travel and Tourism Association Chairman Award||[Flying in a Group]||KAKUBA Kaoru|
|First Place||[Rush Hour]||UESUGI Kazuhiko|
|[Water Shooting]||CHOU Yoshihide|
|Second Place||[Snowplow in Action]||TOMII Yasumitu|
|[Friendship Train]||ISHII Yoshiaki|
|[Illusionary Lion Dance]||KOJIMA Misako|
|Third Place||[Beach of Jewelry Ice]||KAJISAWA Hiroko|
|[Hadaka Matsuri (Saidai-ji Temple Naked Man Festival)]||NISHIYAMA Hiroko|
|[First Day of Opening of Hokkaido Shinkansen H5 Series]||YANAGIYA Masateru|
|Win a Prize||[Small Train Trip]||MATUSHIMA Hiroaki|
|[Heartfelt trip in Minakami, Jyoshuu]||OZAKI Hiroshi|
|[Running Along the Meadow]||TAKADA Yoshinari|
|[Hozukyo in May]||MATSUURA Tsutomu|
|[Season of Green Paddy Rice Fields]||INOUE Satoru|
|[Viewing Mt. Miminashi in Distance]||KUBOTA Osamu|
|[Traditional Japanese Dancing]||SUGAHARA Takuya|
|[Sa-Ku-Ra, Cherry Blossom]||NAKAMURA Genich|
|[Youtaka Kenka Andon Festival]||KOURO Masayuki|
|[Song of Departure]||YAMAGUCHI Masashi|
|[Seto Shirube (Red Lighthouse) in the Rain]||SAITO Nobuko|
|[A New Departure of Life]||HIRANO Masako|
|[Castle of Fantasy]||KURIIIHARA Shigeru|
|[Guidepost in Light]||TSUSHIMA Yukio|
|[Flying to the Sky Tomorrow]||TANABE Manabu|
|[Hakuba’s Big Snowy Gorge in the Height of Summer]||NOTO Masatoshi|
|[My “Ohina-sama (Empress doll)”]||SUKIMOTO Masahiro|
|[Waribanta in Bise]||NAKAHODO Rieko|
|[Winter Coming Soon – A Moment in Late Fall]||YAMAMOTO Hisao|
|[Shinkansen Blasting]||SAITO Mitsuo|
|[Flying Shinkansen]||YAMADA Hiroyuki|
|[Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)]||YAMANAKA Tadamasa|
|[Early Summer]||HAYASHI Hiroshi|
|[A Reddening Sky]||IIDA Hideyo|
|[Going on Coastline]||ASAMI Takashi|
|Japan Traffic Culture Association Chairman Award||[buying ticket
on your tanned face
I see your aspiration]
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
What is one’s aspiration? When you buy a ticket, it is not only about where you want to go. The author must have felt she saw an aspiration for life on the person’s face. In that sense, this “ticket” is also a “ticket for life”. Wishing you a happy future!
|First Place||[summer and me
both on train
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai:
This haiku is written by a junior high school student. It is a great idea that not only himself but also summer is on the train. Where does the train take them to? To the sea? To the mountain? Or somewhere far away, time and space-wise? Traveling the world with summer. This haiku has a lot of dreams.
|Second Place||[last train leaving
moon in sky]
|Third Place||[god of wind
green paddy fields]
travelling long journey
further than me]
with only one knapsack
on non-reserved seat]
|Win a Prize||[summer on platform
with train approaching
I am back to life]
|[station in hometown
straighten my back
summer is here]
by station master
|[butterfly in summer
one stop train ride
till the sea]
my summer trip]
glimpse of ocean
trip in summer]
four hours and two minutes
further to the north]
in last train]
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.