Machi no Kioku wo Atsumeru, Kataru Preserving, collecting, and sharing hometown memories



illustration:Misato Fukuda

A project documenting Shiogama City at the heart of Japan’s Showa era: from 1945 to 1974 Featuring selected photographs and documents focusing on the everyday life by the sea

As an important part of Shiogama City – and this museum’s mandate to preserve its cherished history, this annual series of exhibitions aim to gather, preserve, and share photographs and memories from the many people who made Shiogama what it is today.

Let us take you back during a time in Shiogama after the Second World War, a time when Japan was on its way to re-emerge as a prosperous nation, and a time that is considered as Japan’s modern golden age – the early to mid Showa era, corresponding to the years between 1945 and 1974.

Machi no Kioku turns the spotlight on the everyday lives of people who helped create what this coastal city is now known for, how they cherished it, and the hard effort it took for local residents to capture these fading memories amidst a fast-developing post-war society.

The majority of the curated photographs and printed media include Shiogama’s marine farming culture, from seaweed farming and oyster farming off-coast to the incomprehensible hauls of fresh fish hastily dumped across the streets of the fishing port. In addition, the exhibit also includes the port city’s long-established tourism culture tracing back to the sightseeing boats often dashing over from the scattered lush green-covered islands of Matsushima. Documented on film are the prestigious, giant, royal-like, vivid and colorful phoenix and dragon boats parading through the water carrying the historical deities that protect the city from danger and natural disasters.

Without a doubt, the bay surrounding Shiogama City has long been and continues today to serve as center-stage as a dynamic city on the bay rich with history and local heritage. In times of both harvest and gratitude, good times and bad, a large amount of this city’s heritage gathered from the public and curated is indeed astounding.

This exhibition is an open invitation to follow the footsteps of what locals once experienced that happened in such a much simpler, exciting time. Get the chance to learn the personal and raw accounts of people who once lived in that era. Moreso, we hope that through their narratives featured in this exhibition, it can give you the chance to discover the community camaraderie and support that makes Japan’s Tohoku region very special to those who once lived here.

These snapshots of a completely different world back then have been vividly captured on film, shared by locals, intimately curated and proudly shared to the world as a way to instill community involvement among the locals and inspire those who visit to discover and learn more about what north eastern Japan has to offer.

Machi no Kioku serves as a virtual time capsule, a testament to what this suburban port city has once been, and serves as a blueprint for what this city and for what similar communities overseas can become for future generations.

Date: Friday April 29th through Sunday June 19th 2022
Hours: 10:00–17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Closed Mondays

At the special exhibition room of Sugimura Jun Museum of Art (Shiogama City), 30 minutes east of Sendai. Map

Admission (incl. permanent collection)
• Adults: 200 yen
• High school students: 100 yen
• Museum member, Junior high school students and under: Free

Groups (20 or more)
• Adults: 160 yen
• High school students: 80 yen
• Junior high school students and under: Free

Contact us: sugimurajun-museum● ●=@
Translated by JUNBI Supporters