HIGASHIKAWA PUBLIC OFFICE
1-16-1 Higashimachi Higashikawa
Hokkaido Japan 071-1492
TEL. +81 166 82 2111
FAX. +81 166 82 4704
| 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.
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.