The Era of Miner Sakubei Yamamoto- Visual Representations of Coal Mining Before and After World War II

Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels


Sakubei Yamamoto
In May 2011, Unesco entered the late Sakubei Yamamoto’s 589 coal mine drawings and 108 diary entries and notes into the Memory of the World Register. Now held by the Tagawa City Coal Museum and Fukuoka Prefectural University, Yamamoto created the journal to describe coal mining to his grandchildren. He also gave his drawings to visitors to his home, likely never expecting his artwork to spark an interest in mining for generations to come. The inclusion of these diaries in the MOW register has caused Yamamoto’s work to garner critical acclaim once again. Still, it is important to consider mining from several perspectives, examining artwork by people associated with it in a variety of eras and locations.

In addition to Yamamoto’s drawings, this exhibition presents many pre-war and post-war visual representations of mining, including works by other artists portraying Yamamoto’s town of Chikuhou, statues of miners created across Japan during WWII, and the Taisho-era photography of major mining companies. Through these works we get a glimpse of the conditions and problems faced by miners, their national petition against increased mine production, and their lives in the mines. They offer the opportunity to consider Sakamoto’s message to his grandchildren and the legacy of coal mining.

[Image: Sakubei Yamamoto “Standing and Digging” (1970)]

[Related Events]
Opening concert and talk “Visual Representations of Mining”
Date: 7/13 (Sat) 14:00

Gallery tours
Dates: 7/15 (Mon), 7/17 (Wed)-7/19 (Fri), 7/23 (Tues)-7/26 (Fri)
Held on and off from 10:00-14:00

Gallery Talk 1
“Talking About Coal Mining”
Date: 7/27 (Sat) 14:00

Gallery Talk 2
“Talking About Sakubei Yamamoto”
Date: 8/13 (Tues) 14:00

Reservations not required. Same-day admission ticket required.
Transportation from the south exit of Shinrinkoen station on Tobu Tojo line will be provided at 13:00 on 7/13 (Sat), 7/27 (Sun), and 8/13 (Tues).


Jul 13 (Sat) 2013-Sep 8 (Sun) 2013 

Opening Hours Information

Open 9:30-16:30 in December to February.
Closed during the New Year holidays.
Open on a public holiday Monday but closed on the following day.
FeeAdults ¥900; High School and Junior High School Students, Under 18s ¥600; Elementary School Students ¥400; Seniors 60 & Over ¥800
VenueMaruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels
Location1401 Shimokarako, Higashimatsuyama-shi, Saitama 355-0076
Access12 minutes by taxi from the South exit of Shinrin-koen Station on the Tobu Tojo line; From the East exit of Higashi-Matsuyama Station on the Tobu Tojo line, take the bus and get off at Maruki Bijutsukan Higashi. The venue is 2 minute walk from there.
Related images

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