1-16-1 Higashimachi Higashikawa
Hokkaido Japan 071-1492
TEL. +81 166 82 2111
FAX. +81 166 82 4704
>Phototown Higashikawa
>Higashikawa Award[JPN]

We thought that we ourselves should be exposed to various works of outstanding photographers and these works should stimulate our cultural interest. For this reason, at the beginning of the proclamation of "Town of Photography", we established an international photography award, i.e. "Higashikawa Prize" in order to enable us to appreciate and contribute to photographic arts.
"Higashikawa Prize" consists of the following four categories: (1) overseas photographer prize; (2) domestic photographer prize; (3) new photographer prize and (4) special prize to one photographer from Hokkaido. The four photographers are judged by the Jury Committee of the Higashikawa Prize. We annually invite these photographers to the town in order to award prizes.
The Higashikawa Prize is very unique: the prize was the first to be established by a municipality; second, photographs of any kind taken within the past three years that have significance either in the history of photography or as some unique expression of the art of photography are acceptable. In other photography prizes, photographs are annually acceptable. Third, in Japan foreign photographers are awarded only by the Higashikawa Prize.
The purpose of the overseas photographer prize is to introduce outstanding works of little known foreign photographers. We attempt to encounter many people from other countries, to communicate with them and to promote peaceful friendship with people of the next generation. In 1901, people in Sweden established the Nobel Prize in order to promote peace and goodwill with many countries of the twentieth century. We also established our prize in order to promote borderless communication in the twenty first century.
In the town of Higashikawa they permanently keep at the Higashikawa Cultural Gallery, opened in 1989, original prints of prize winners works (The Higashikawa Collection) as a symbol of friendship. The works are at times exhibited at the gallery and other museums to promote photographic arts.

We have been holding annually an international photography festival (Higashikawa Photo Fiesta) during the summer in order to encounter the photographic arts and artists.
During the two month festival, various events are held with more than ten thousand people in attendance. The main event is the "Higashikawa Award Ceremony" along with an exhibition of photographs by prize winners and a symposium on the photographic arts. Other events are also held. For new photographers, the independent exhibition is very important to be recognized as a professional photographer. Other events are performed in different fields than photography such as modern painting, poetry, and novel writing.
Other programs, for citizens as well as visitors, those interested in photographic arts, are also held. For example, an exhibition of various types of photographs, a photography workshop, hiking for nature photography, and more. These programs are sponsored and cooperated by photography companies and photographers. Many young students throughout Japan volunteer their help in these events. From this year, 1994, we begin an event especially for high school students interested in photography, in cooperation with neighboring towns such as Biei and Kamifurano.
These activities in the "Town of Photography" and highly estimated by various fields. In 1986, the town was awarded the "Second Event Special Prize". In 1987, the town was awarded the "First Special Prize for Agricultural Town". In 1991, the town was awarded by the Photographic Society of Japan.