Aug 20-28 2016

Venue / Kobe 819 Gallery

37, 4-3-17, Kaigandori, Chuoku, Kobe Hyogo

+81 78 360 3819

会場 / Kobe 819 Gallery

Tel/Fax 078-360-3819
Open 12:00〜19:00

This project is an artist incubation program that RAIEC requires selected artists to create one photographic series by a theme “Town of the Light”.

“Town of the light” was inspired by RAIEC director with his text about the people living in a town, village, city and metropolis. People used to live in very small amount of places in their life. For most of the people, they cannot choose place by their own wishes. They have to live, they have to move, they have to run, they have to return and they just spend short life in limited places.

So, the town. What is the meanings of living in a town?


Reiko Yagi / Sakamoto, Shiga-pref.

Mayu Yamamoto / Inami, Hyogo-pref.

Mayumi Suzuki / Onagawa, Miyagi-pref.

Hisato Kobayashi / Hamamatsu, Shizuoka-pref.

Yoshikazu Sakamoto / Miyama, Fukui-pref.




2013年の徳平尚彦「NAGASHIMA」からインスパイアされて2014年から始まった本プロジェクトは、育った町、住んだ町、離れた町、忘れられない町、通り過ぎた町など、生きていくこと、頑張ったこと、傷ついたことなどが無数に交差する町、街、まちをモチーフに「まちのあかり-TOWN OF THE LIGHT」を制作していただき六甲山国際写真祭にて発表するプロジェクトです。









Reiko Yagi / Sakamoto, Shiga-pref.


Sakamoto, the land where Shinto continues to blend with Buddhism. Here the Hiyoshi Sannou Festival has continued for roughly 1200 years, worshipping Tenka Taihei and Gokoku Houjyu, and the gods and goddesses of marriage and birth in various rituals featuring portable shrines that are carried for a number of days from the beginning of March.

The heads of the four districts allocate responsibilities to the men of each household, and each year the act of assuming a festival role means the youth who support their village by participating will mature into

adulthood. Men hobnob together as they exchange drinks, eat festival food with gusto, and charge ahead while carrying the portable shrines. Women steadily work in the background, bonding as they all support their families. By engaging in the festival, people magnify their faith, deepen their community ties of kinship and by staging the festival, the rites continue to be transmitted to the next generation.

But the unfortunate phenomenon of the younger generation leaving their hometown is not exceptional, even here in Sakamoto. With the declining birthrate, there are some rituals which are simply not performed. Despite these conditions the festival still takes place, and the hearts of those raised here refuse to let go of their traditions. Even those people who have left, return on this day to wrap their bodies in the festival costume and are drawn into the light of burning pine torches.

I was also born in this town, and although I am one of those who left when I became an adult, in the course of confronting this work that addresses how Lake Biwa and faith melt into the rhythms of life here, I realized it was these very things that raised my inner self. Before starting this project I was unaware of the irresistible power of my hometown. In the course of shooting this series, I was touched by this festival and felt I was able to understand something of what it meant for those people who came back to continue their participation in these rites.

At the same time as festivals are the form for transmitting the faith and worship received from the previous generation, there is a growing sensation that one element incorporated into our cultural DNA is running amok, perhaps giving shape to the love and the hometown nostalgia of the people living in this area. That is the value of festivals for the villages of Japan.


八木玲子 / 滋賀県大津市坂本町







Mayumi Suzuki / Onagawa, Miyagi-pref.


This project is my family’s story.

My parents, who owned a photo studio, went missing after the 2011 tsunami. Our house was destroyed. It was a place for working, but also for living. I grew up there. After the disaster, I found my father’s lens, portfolio, and our family album buried in the mud and the rubble.

One day, I tried to take a landscape photo with my father’s muddy lens. The image came out dark and blurry, like a view of the deceased. These scars are similar to the damage seen in my town, similar to my memories which I am slowly losing.

Through taking it, I felt I could connect this world with that world. I felt like I could have a conversation with my parents, though in fact that is impossible.

I hope to retain my memory and my family history through this project. By arranging these photos, I have attempted to reproduce it.







Mayu Yamamoto / Inami Hyogo-pref.


I spent my youth in a small town in Hyogo Prefecture. Its name is Inami-cho, and its characters mean “rice plants” and “beautiful”. Just like its name, it’s a quiet town with rice fields in all directions.

Recently, I went back to Inami-cho for the first time in 15 years. I felt at peace, looking upon its familiar scenery, awakening forgotten memories. I thought ” This, this is my home town.”  I no longer have a home here. But I am home here.

I wish this scenery would exist forever, unchanging.



私は兵庫県の小さな町、稲美町で青春時代を過ごした。その名の通り、田園風景が美しく広がるのどかな町だ。今、私は1 5年ぶりに町を歩いている。懐かしい景色は、あの頃の記憶を鮮明に蘇らせ、心地よい風が吹き抜けていく。この小さな町には、あふれる程の思い出が染み付いていた。ああ、これがふるさとなのだろう。この町には、もう私の帰る場所はない。けれど、この景色が私のふるさとなのだ。



Yoshikazu Sakamoto / Miyama Fukui-pref.

Lights in the village “Genkai Shuraku / Marginal Village”

“Genkai Shuraku” (Marginal Village) means a village that experienced depopulation of working generation and more than 50% of whose population are elderly people. There are some “Genkai Shuraku” villages in Fukui. If they are left as they are, those villages may disappear from the map in the future.

In the past there were many cottages of a charcoal-burner and vegetable fields in those areas. Now those cottages were covered by overgrown plants and the fields were abandoned because residents had left their villages to live in town. A group, who are based in the town in front of Fukui station and acts to revitalize Fukui, borrowed an empty house and abandoned fields in a marginal village. Members of the group came not only from within Fukui prefecture but also from outside the prefecture. Most of the members had no agricultural experiences. They started cultivating the abandoned fields and made a new cottage of a charcoal-burner.

Of course, they were helped by people who still live in the village. Those who had never held a hoe cultivated a field and planted potatoes. They did a workshop for digging potatoes to bring people from towns and enjoyed harvesting together for a fun.

In the quiet “Genkai Shuraku” , now shouts of children and people’ s laughter echoed. Everybody enjoyed farming with getting muddy. Although it is not known if this Genkai Shuraku could become a non-marginal village in the future as a result of this kind of activity, people can experience the original scenery of Japan that have been kept for a long period of time there. Thinking that this steady and meaningful activity is wonderful and “Lights in the village” are not artificial fixtures but must be the things that make everyone’ s spirit bright, I point a camera.



「限界集落」とは、働き世代が減少し、高齢者の人口の割合が50%を超えた地域をいう。 福井にも「限界集落」と呼ばれる集落が存在する。ほっておけば、将来地図から名前が消えてしまう。

福井には元々炭焼き小屋が多数存在し、そして畑も至る所に存在していた。 今、炭焼き小屋は草木に覆われ、畑は耕作放棄地と呼ばれている場所が増えている。 元々の住民たちが集落を捨て街に出てしまったからだ。 そんな限界集落の耕作放棄地に、福井駅前を拠点に福井の活性化を目的に集まっているグループが、 空き屋を一軒借り上げた。メンバー構成は県内・県外の人達からなる。 そして、彼らの多くは農業未経験者である。そんな彼らが、自分たちの手で、耕作放棄地を耕し、新たに炭焼き小屋を作り炭を焼く準備を始めた。もちろん、限界集落の人達にレクチャーを 受けながらではあるが。鍬を持ったことのないメンバー達が、鍬で畑を耕し、ジャガイモを植えた。

そしてジャガイモを収穫する時には、「じゃがいも掘りワークショップ」を開催して、 街の人達を呼び、楽しく収穫を行う。 今まで、静かだった「限界集落」に、子供たちの騒ぎ声や沢山の笑い声が響く。 皆、ドロだらけになりながら、農業を楽しんでいる。 この活動で、「限界集落」が元の集落に戻るかどうかは、わからない。でも、農業の楽しさなど、 昔からある日本の風景の中に入り込む体験が出来る。そんな地道ではあるけれど、 とても素敵な彼らの活動が、「まちのあかり」は人工的な灯りではなく、 本来は人々の心の中を明るくするものではないかと思い、僕はカメラを向けた。


Hisato Kobayashi / Hamamatsu Shizuoka-pref.

Hamamatsu Festival

The Hamamatsu Festival, which is over 440 years old, is held from May 3rd to May 5th every year

The festival is attended by 170 towns and is held in Enshunada Kaihin Park (commonly called takoba) on the Nakatajima Sand Dunes. The festival celebrates the birth of firstborn sons (hatsugo) in the town *

*Recently the birth of girls are celebrated too

The Light of the Town

In Hamamatsu City where I live, many citizens center their lives around the Hamamatsu Festival. We fly kites to celebrate the hatsugo born in the town. We take time to prepare kite strings and threads, and place bridles on the kites then we fly the kites at the takoba where 170 towns participate. I participate with over 200 people in the Aritama group, and we fly the kite and blow trumpets. The star of the festival, the hatsugo, their family and relatives, can also fly the kites.

The annual festival is also a place where former classmates and old friends reunite. The takoba is large and we all have our roles so often we can’t talk to each other, but the fact that they’re attending the festival means they’re doing well, so it’s great just seeing them there.

I used to fly the kite when I was young. Flying the kite is the most fascinating and fun part of the festival. But as you grow older, you pass on the job to someone younger. Sometimes the hatsugo, whom the kite was flown for 20 years ago, is now a father and flies the kite. When you attend the festival for a long time, you feel history.

The birth of a hatsugo is indeed the “light of the town” and the festival that celebrates it is also the “light of the town”.






僕の住む浜松市には浜松まつりがあり、市民の生活はそのまつりを照準にして生活する者も多い。その町に生まれた初子をお祝いするために凧を揚げる。準備にも時間がかかり、凧糸や小糸を準備し凧に糸目をつける。そして、1 7 0の町が参加している凧場で凧を揚げる。僕の参加している有王連は200名以上が参加し、その凧を揚げるために揚げ付けをしたりラッパを吹いたりする。また主役である初子とその家族や親族も見守り、凧は揚げられる。