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TOKYO

Photo show spotlights amateurs

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

An exhibition coming soon to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography provides a rare chance to see how contemporary Japan looks from the perspective of hundreds of the nation’s best professional and amateur photographers.

The Japan Professional Photographers Society, an association consisting of some 1,800 members, is holding its annual “Exhibition of the JPS” from May 21 until June 5. The show is in two parts, the first produced by members and consisting of five-photo sets by 50 members. The second section showcases the 303 best entries received in a competition that was open to the public.

Over 7,400 entries were received from over 2,400 photographers for the open competition — the most in the event’s 36-year history. The 303 works selected for inclusion in the show document various facets of life in Japan during 2010, from children’s sports events to scenes of nature and wildlife.

Awards are given to outstanding works in the exhibition. This year the highest-level prize, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister’s Award went to Yuriko Sakurai for a set of three photographs documenting a traditional wedding. Akira Nishimiya received the Gold Award for detailed depictions of waves washing against coastlines and Silver Awards went to Akira Noro and Hiroshi Shimada for various scenes of life.

The JPS is credited with pressuring the national government to reevaluate the categorization of photographs within Japan’s copyright law. In 1997 copyright for photographs was extended from 10 years from the time of death of the creator to 50 years — the same as is accorded works of literature, music and art.

After concluding at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography on June 5, the “Exhibition of the JPS” will tour to the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya (July 7-10), Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Aug. 9-14) and Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum (Aug. 30-Sept. 4). For more information, visit jps.gr.jp.