Manifesto/ Conditions

Photo Town Manifesto

People are moved by encounters with nature, culture, and other people. If a camera is brought into these encounters, it brings out their eternal qualities and makes it possible to share the excitement with other people. These photographic encounters generate stories that celebrate humanity and extol nature. With a camera, anyone can turn into a poet or become capable of wordless communication.
In order to provide opportunities for the emotional excitement that comes with photography, we the residents of Higashikawa hope to create a new world that embodies the best of the four seasons in our town, to build a community with heart that is open to the people of the world and a place that is truly photogenic. Our town is located on a blessed spot of earth, and we want to preserve forever our spectacular scenery and magnificent natural environment, with its abundant flora and fauna, as well as the wonderful local customs and spiritual qualities that we have inherited from our ancestors and continue to cultivate together.
Here and now, we announce the birth of Photo Town Higashikawa to our friends around the world.

June 1, 1985
Higashikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

Declaring Higashikawa the Culture Capital of Photography

Declaration of Intent

Japan has been facing two opposite tendencies – a population decrease and overpopulation at the same time. In order to become a strong and decentralized multipolar society, Higashikawa is aiming to develop the local culture of photography.

Higashikawa is a place of just the right size, where:
※ Symbiotic society is constructed and rich natural resources used with
  precaution;
※ Culture of photography and other local characteristics being promoted
  – Local and global network are connected

Declaration of Intent

The purpose is to become the center of photo culture and link photography and people across the world, keeping in mind our motto “Take a picture, Save the picture, Share it with others”.

Background and Achievements
・Higashikawa was declared the Town of Photography in 1985.
 Photography has been present in people’s lives and human
 resource development for over 30 years.
・Over the last 30 years, Higashikawa has opened the Public Gallery as
 well as held a variety of photography-related events, such as the
 Higashikawa International Photo Festival and the National High
 School Photo Competition (Shashin Koshien).
・Higashikawa maintains the Higashikawa Collection (original prints of
 Higashikawa Prize winners’ works), books, cameras and other
 photography-related materials.
・Over the last 30 years, Higashikawa has participated in exchanges
 with people all over the world in promoting the culture of
 photography.

Higashikawa, the Culture Capital of Photography
In 1985, we declared Higashikawa the Town of Photography, where emotion is born through nature meeting people; people meeting culture; and people meeting each other, and since then we have been promoting Higashikawa through photo culture. Over the last 30 years, it has been a great honor to contribute to the culture of photography.
We hope that through the culture of photography we can make Higashikawa a place to gather photography of the world, meet people from across the world, and see smiling faces from around the world.
We can be proud that Higashikawa, a place of delicious water, fresh air, and rich land, has a 30 year-long history of photo culture. Celebrating 120 years of resource development of our land, we hope to make Higashikawa a place of balance and harmony. Keeping in mind our motto “Take a picture, Save the picture, Share it with others” and with the determination to link photography and people across the world, we declare Higashikawa the Culture Capital of Photography.

                                             March 2014

A place to unite photography from around the world
・Connect to the local and global network of photo culture
・Contribute to the cultivation and support of photographers
・Collect photography-related materials and hold exhibitions

A place to meet people from across the world
・Higashikawa International Photo Festival
・Exchanges of young people through photography-related events
・Promoting rich nature and industrial culture

A place to see smiling faces from around the world
・Creating a pleasant atmosphere in Higashikawa
・Making Higashikawa a place to gather, study, feel and depict
 photography.
・Making Higashikawa a place to enjoy a story (dialogue and
 conversation), calmness (peace and harmony), and a circle (a circle of
 people and a circle of wisdom)
Future development
・Web Album of the townspeople (photos from each household)
・Web gallery of the National High School Photo Competition (Shashin
 Koshien)
・Web gallery of the Award-winning photographers
・Web gallery of the Higashikawa Collection (original prints of
 Higashikawa Prize winners’ works), books, cameras, and
 other photography-related collections.
・Photo selling, bookselling, camera selling, etc.

Selecting the Higashikawa Awards

Purpose

The purpose of the Higashikawa Awards is to encourage and cultivate photographic culture and develop and stimulate the cultural awareness of the residents of Higashikawa. Every year since 1985, the town of Higashikawa has granted awards and prize money to photographers for excellent work that is capable of shaping the future. The first important feature of the Higashikawa Awards is that they are the first photography awards ever established by a Japanese municipality. The second is that the judging is directed toward photographs made during a three-year period prior to the exhibition rather than just the previous year, as is the case for most awards given for domestic or new photography in Japan. This implies an effort to properly reevaluate the work after the passage of time. The third feature is the ongoing appreciation of overseas photography, which results in providing information on exceptional but relatively unknown overseas photographers in Japan. The celebration of photography from other countries leads to encounters and communication with people from around the world while praying for peace and expanding our dreams for the future.

Awards

The Overseas Photographer Award
1,000,000 yen
Presented to a photographer in a country or region chosen each year. He or she must have been born or be a current resident in that country or region.

The Domestic Photographer Award
1,000,000 yen
Presented to a photographer whose work during the last three years has significance in the history of photography or as a unique expression of photographic art.

The New Photographer Award
500,000 yen
Presented to a photographer whose work during the last three years has significance in the history of photography or as a unique expression of photographic art.

The Special Photographer Award
500,000 yen
Presented to a photographer who was born or lives in Hokkaido or whose theme or subject matter is related to Hokkaido.

The Hidano Kazuemon Award
500,000 yen
Presented to a photographer who has contributed to society through photography, acknowledging a long-term achievement in taking photographs of local people, culture, or nature. This award is open to both professional and amateur photographers.
Selection
The works selected by nominators appointed by the executive committee are judged by the Higashikawa Awards Jury. An award ceremony is held each year during the Higashikawa Photo Festival and accompanied by a commemorative symposium and other events.
Other Conditions
The monetary gifts presented with the Higashikawa Awards are intended as compensation for the purchase of original prints of the prize-winning photographs. In exchange, each award winner is asked to voluntarily submit an original print or prints of his or her choice from among the award-winning works to the residents of Higashikawa.
The residents of Higashikawa shall be responsible for safely storing the photographs and exhibiting them to visitors who come to Photo Town Higashikawa. The award-winning photographs will be exhibited at the Higashikawa Bunka Gallery, promoting friendship and cultural development.
Other awards may be presented to recognize outstanding works, contributing to the development of photographic culture and the success of the Higashikawa Awards, and other committees and sponsors may negotiate for permission to present awards.
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