On March 11, 2011 an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 struck Japan, and the worst damage was concentrated in the Tohoku region. The impact was devastating. It left 20,000 people dead or missing and caused the unprecedented nuclear accident at No. 1 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The media coverage of the destruction made many people familiar with the names of Tohoku cities and prefectures, but few are likely to have a broad knowledge of other aspects of the region - its climate, natural and cultural environment, history, way of life, or people.
This exhibition is composed of photographs of the Tohoku taken by nine individual photographers and one photographers’ group. Teisuke Chiba and Ichiro Kojima photographed Tohoku in the 1950s and 1960s. Hideo Haga, Masatoshi Naito, and Masaru Tatsuki have recorded festivals and folk religious rites throughout the region. Hiroshi Oshima and Naoya Hatakeyama have combined their personal histories with the landscapes of their home regions. Meiki Rin turned his camera toward the beautiful natural environment. Nao Tsuda searched for the source of the Japanese spirit in relics and artifacts of the Jomon period. A group of photographers led by Toru Ito have created the Sendai Collection, a series of photographs of anonymous scenes in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
These photographs represent the varied faces of Tohoku, and we hope that this relatively unknown region will be rendered more familiar by the brilliant artistic expression of these marvelous Japanese photographers.