Home > Event Infomation > Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road,Camino de Santiago, Photographs by Sanjiro Minamikawa.
  • Exhibition dates
  • December 28, 2007 to January 30, 2008

  • Number of exhibits
  • approximately 150
  • Venue
  • Admission
  • Free
  • Art direction
  • Keisuke Nagatomo
  • Current exhibitions & events

Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road,Camino de Santiago, Photographs by Sanjiro Minamikawa.

Flash Area.

Please note that this exhibition closed on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The "PHOTO IS" Gallery at FUJIFILM SQUARE is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs from the Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage Route from December 28, 2007 to January 30, 2008. The exhibited photographs are part of the exhibition "Pilgrimage Routes of Japan and Europe." Photographs have been kindly supplied by photographer Sanjiro Minamikawa, and the exhibition is jointly organized by FUJIFILM Corporation and the Executive Committee of "Pilgrimage Routes of Japan and Europe."

In the 9th century AD, the remains of the Apostle Saint James were discovered in the present-day city of Santiago de Compostela in northeastern Spain, and since the Middle Ages, pilgrims have made the arduous journey along the 800-kilometer pilgrimage route known as the "Way of Saint James." The route is dotted with Romanesque buildings and artifacts, and in 1993 the route was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, this historical pathway still draws a constant stream of hikers of all ages and backgrounds.

The exhibition provides a multidimensional yet easy-to-understand introduction of pilgrimage routes, which are gradually becoming popular among Japanese hikers, along with photographs of some exquisite works of medieval European art and buildings. Some of the exhibited photographs were taken after special photographic permission had been received, allowing visitors to the exhibition a real taste of medieval European culture.

In addition, a photographic exhibition featuring images from the Kumano pilgrimage route in Japan, also a part of the "Pilgrimage Routes of Japan and Europe" exhibition, will be held at the Wako Hall in Tokyo's Ginza district from December 15 to 25.

The pilgrimage routes of Japan and Europe developed during similar periods of history, and have been traveled by hordes of people throughout the centuries. We hope very much that the exhibitions will provide visitors with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and interest in the pilgrimage culture that has developed simultaneously in both Japan and Europe.


Sanjiro Minamikawa

Sanjiro Minamikawa

Born in Mie Prefecture in 1945. After graduating from the Tokyo College of Photography, Sanjiro Minamikawa attended the Soichi Ohya Tokyo Institute of Mass-Communications. Thereafter he based himself in Paris and immersed himself in photographing European people and culture. He currently divides his time each year between Tokyo and Paris, and remains an extremely enthusiastic photographer and exhibitor. In 1980, Minamikawa's efforts were recognized with by the Photographic Society of Japan, which awarded him the Newcomers Award. In 1986, he was the recipient of the Annals Award of the Photographic Society of Japan, and in 1993 he received the Badge of Honour in Gold from the Austrian National Tourist Office. Minamikawa has had his photographic works exhibited at the Fuji Photo Salon in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 1980, 1985, 1987, 1992 and 2004.

Website →S-Minamikawa.com


Message from Sanjiro Minamikawa

In recent years Europe has been quietly swept up by a form of "walking leisure" in which trekkers travel along historically and culturally significant pathways. One of the more popular destinations for this pastime is the pilgrimage route the "Way of St. James," which encompasses dozens of Romanesque churches dotting along the path from central to southwestern France, as well as the Camino de Santiago route which stretches across northern Spain. Designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites, these areas attract a diverse array of visitors, ranging from college students to sophisticated retirees.
In medieval times, pilgrims made an arduous journey over mountains and plains, often at a pace of 40 kilometers per day, to reach Santiago de Compostela, a sacred land swathed with lush greenery in the Galicia region at the Iberian Peninsula's northwestern tip.
The "Way of St. James," -- an 800-kilometer trek through France, followed by another 800 kilometers across Spain -- allows one to experience through sight, sound, touch, and the heart, the different atmospheres and cultures of the surrounding regions. As such, this historical pathway, and part of the world's heritage, still draws a constant stream of visitors.
The route also brings one into contact with simple yet beautiful scenery that even today retains a medieval charm. Visitors are also able to view the exquisite Romanesque art that quietly survives in the churches of the towns and villages lining the way.
In the same era that pilgrims in Europe followed the "Way of St. James," on the other side of the globe, the faithful made the arduous trek along the Kumano pilgrimage routes in Japan seeking rebirth in the Pure Land.
I have attempted to capture the essence of these two holy pilgrimage routes by drawing upon my innate spirit and sensitivities as a Japanese, and upon my encounters with European civilization through more than thirty years of consistently focusing on the peoples and cultures of Europe.
What is the faith of people in Japan and Europe? Why do people pray? Why do people continue to walk these grueling pathways? Intrigued by these questions, I set out as a pilgrim bearing a heavy camera and seeking to express the similarities of the two pilgrimages through photos. And, enthused by the St. James' scallop shells and crosses marking the way, I continued to snap pictures as I traced my way along the route guided by the starry path of the Milky Way.

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