Memories of Shionoe
(20 Images)

by Bruce Akizuki
Shionoe, Shikoku, Japan

Click on images to see a large version.
“Misaki” Oda Misaki. “Developing” Yamasaki Atsuko “Me and Ochazuke Nori” Yamagi Megumi
Developing. Yamasaki Atsuko.
Misaki. Oda Misaki.
Me and Ochazuke Nori. Yamagi Megumi.

I was invited to the 2002 Shionoe International Youth Arts Festival by my friend Naoya Yoshikawa. I brought two people from San Francisco -- Clarence Towers who is the director at the San Francisco Photo Center in San Francisco U.S.A. and Asami Hashirano, one of my students (who is originally from Osaka). (Please see more text below ...)
“Friends” Oda Misaki and Nakamura Kanami
“Master of the Darkroom” Sakai Sakiho “Thinking” Matsuki Kousuke
Master of the Darkroom. Sakai Sakiho.
Thinking. Matsuki Kousuke.
Friends. Oda Misaki and Nakamura Kanami.
“Model” Nakamura Setsuko “Having a Laugh” Nakamura Ryouko and Inagaki Akane
“Loading Film” Asami Hashirano and Yamagi Megumi
Loading Film. Asami Hashirano and Yamagi Megumi.
Having a Laugh. Nakamura Ryouko and Inagaki Akane.
Model. Nakamura Setsuko.

Shionoe International Young Artist Festival

The Shionoe Festival is a two-week photography festival for college students and young adults from Japan, Korea, and the United States. At the festival there were also teachers, assistants, translators, and volunteers to assist with the festival. The festival began on August 5th and ended on August 18th. I also cannot forget the gracious host families from Shionoe town, and especially Shiro and Chieko Kawada, who opened up their house to us for two weeks and treated us like family.

Shionoe, the firefly and hot springs town, is located on the island of Shikoku -- one of the four major islands in Japan. It is located about one hour drive south from Takamatsu in a mountainous and forested area and is a major island off the coast near Okayama. (Please see more text below ...)

“Group Shot” “Smoking”
Smoking. Nakamura Ryouko, Inagaki Akane, and Sano Manami.
Group Shot. L to R Matsuki Kousuke, Tamekawa Gou, Sakai Sakiho, Clarence Towers, Nakamura Kanami.
“River” “Abandoned Truck”  “Roadside Shrine”
Roadside Shrine.
River. Abandoned Truck.
Farm. “Loading Film” Asami Hashirano and Yamagi Megumi
Shionoe at Night Rice Field.
Shionoe at Night.
Rice Field.

Impressions of Shionoe

When I arrived in Shionoe I noticed right away it had a very small town atmosphere. The people were very friendly and kind -- one time a family invited myself and other students in for conversation and snacks before they even knew us. Generally speaking the town is very quiet and peaceful during the day and night. There is a much slower pace to life in Shionoe than in Osaka or Tokyo. Every family in the town seems to know one another. Shionoe is one of the few places in Japan where you can still catch ayu fish in the rivers. Almost every place in Shionoe town is within biking distance. It is also known for the hot springs that attract many tourists and locals. The local farms grow rice, vegetables and fruits available to the people.

I wish to thank Shionoe town for the special trips we took. We traveled to Awa Odori Matsuri in Tokushima -- it was a most enjoyable trip. In Takamatsu we visited the governor of Kagawa Prefecture, Mr. Manabe, we visited the beautiful Ritsurin Park, we saw the wonderful Takeshi Kawashima exhibition, to the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Comtemporary Art, and the spectacular Seto Ohashi Bridge. In Shionoe met the major of Shionoe, Mr. Nakai, and we learned how to make Sanuki noodles -- it was a great learning experience and wonderful to eat. In town we traveled to Fujikawa Farms and did some sightseeing of local attractions. I would like to thank Shionoe town granting us free admission to Gyo Ki No Yu onsen-- it was wonderful experiencing a Japanese onsen.

Special Thanks to:

Naoya Yoshikawa, Tanaka Katsuji, Yusuke Tanaka, Hashirano Asami, Miyake Yasuyuki, Hasui Takao, Fujisawa Akiyoshi, Sakai Sakiho, Tatsumi Naoya, Fujisawa Syouko, Ogata Yuri, Fujisawa Mako, Miyagi Nao, and Tamekawa Gou

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!

-- Bruce Takeo Akizuki

Bruce Takeo Akizuki: Photographer for over 15 years. Founder and coordinator of Community Images, a community-based photographic program in San Francisco since 1992.

Published April 12, 2003.