The Special Photographer Award

101 Group Photography Project in Hokkaido

Reason for award

For the 19 sets of shots taken by the All Japan Students Photographers Association in Hokkaido between 1968-77.

101 in its title means 1969.  In 1968, then All Japan Students Photographers Association (Zennichi for short) invited college photography clubs nationwide for participation in documenting the 101st year of Hokkaido since the start of the Meiji era (1868), jointly with Hokkaido Students Photography Association.  It was proposed by the photo critic, Fukushima Tatsuo.

From the 1960s to the first half of the 70th, not only in Japan, but all over the world, anti-war movements and students movements erupted.  At that time, the photography movement in which students asked themselves what photography could be used for started in Zennichi. 101 Group Photography Project in Hokkaido is one of them. Inspired and triggered by the superior nature of documentaries of the early development era of the Hokkaido photography group taken by Tamoto Kenzo and others at the exhibition, “One Hundred Years of Photography, the history of photography expressions by the Japanese” held in 1968, they collectively tried to face the reality of Hokkaido with photography. 

Using training camps, they took pictures 19 times all around Hokkaido for 9 years up until 1977.  More than 600 students in total gathered from all over Japan and a tremendous number of pictures were taken.  They are currently aiming to publish a new photography book.


Artist Statements

The photographs from the “101 Group Photography Project in Hokkaido” have not been publicly exhibited since they were partially introduced by Ryuichi Kaneko, a specialized researcher and photo historian at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, at the 1968 Japanese Photography Exhibition held in 2013. Mr. Kaneko, who was one of the initial members of “Hokkaido 101” and affiliated with Rikkyo University, showcased some of the photographs in that exhibition. The number of photographs being exhibited this time far exceeds those displayed at that exhibition, but it still does not encompass all of them.

In addition, along with receiving the Higashikawa Award this time, we were delighted to be able to include the precious films of Akira Sawada (originally from Asahikawa, graduated from Rakuno Gakuen University), who was one of the former members, and who had been painstakingly reproducing the original prints of Kenzo Tamoto and others back in 1968, at places like the Hakodate City Museum, as a gesture of goodwill from his family.

Although the group photography activities were suspended in 1977, “Hokkaido 101” still continues for us as we aim to publish our works.

101 Group Photography Project in Hokkaido