Home > Event Infomation > The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes, Japanese Version of the Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road -- Photographs by Sanjiro Minamikawa
  • Exhibition dates and times
  • June 6 to June 30, 2008
  • Number of exhibits
  • Approximately 100
  • Venue
  • The "PHOTO IS" Gallery on the 1st floor of FUJIFILM SQUARE
  • Admission
  • Free
  • Current exhibitions & events

The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes, Japanese Version of the Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road -- Photographs by Sanjiro Minamikawa

Flash Area.

Exhibition ended on June 30, 2008 (Mon).

The "PHOTO IS" Gallery at FUJIFILM SQUARE is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs from the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes from June 6 to June 30, 2008. The exhibited photographs constitute the Japanese version of the Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road exhibition by renowned photographer Sanjiro Minamikawa.

This exhibition is the Japanese version of the popular Japan & Europe Beautiful Pilgrimage Human Road exhibition which we displayed in January this year and which featured photos from the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Route in Europe. The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes are a "sister route" of the European pilgrimage routes, and were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 as the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range.

From ancient times, the Kii Mountain Range was believed to be a sacred area inhabited by various deities, and pilgrims from far and wide would come to the area to trek the sacred mountain paths to pay homage to the deities. With the passing of time, several modern roads have been constructed in the area, and much of the original flavor has been lost. However, some parts have escaped the ravages of modernization and remain just as they were in former times; paths paved with cobblestones leading trekkers to beautiful mountain vistas and important cultural heritage sites. Even today the area attracts steady streams of eager visitors.

The exhibition features photos of the beautiful natural scenery, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines which themselves have been designated National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties, and scenes from several of the traditional festivals and other events held in the area. Through his photographs, Sanjiro Minamikawa seeks to bring the culture and history of the area to life through a variety of thought-provoking works.

Despite being located some 50,000 kilometers apart, 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 exhibition 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.

For real photo enthusiasts, the exhibition will display the actual camera that Sanjiro Minamikawa used to take his photos of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes. This camera is a US-made Deardorff 8X20 of which only three models currently exist in the world. An unmissable chance for camera fans!


Sanjiro Minamikawa

Sanjiro Minamikawa

Born in Mie Prefecture in 1945. After graduating from the Tokyo College of Photography (present-day Tokyo Polytechnic University), 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.

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