KOJIMA Ichiro : A Retrospective - Postwar Aomori’s Photographic Millet

January 10, 2009 (Saturday) - March 8, 2009 (Sunday)

※ Closed on January 26 (Mon), February 9 (Mon), and February 23 (Mon)

Hours : 9:30 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30)

Handbill (PDF/710KB)

The short but passionate life of a man who captured the North in postwar Aomori

With the spread of domestic cameras and the development of photojournalism in postwar Japan, an amateur photographer frenzy took the photographic world by storm. Part of that storm was a man who took up the subject of his homeland of Aomori, and left a brilliant mark on the world of photography in his wake.
KOJIMA Ichiro was born in 1924, as the eldest son of the owner of a toy and photography supply shop in Aomori city. KOJIMA attended Aomori Commercial High School and served in the war. After the turbulent times of the postwar period, he began his serious study of photography in 1954. With ordinary subjects such as a singular road in a snowy field, or garden fronts of farm houses in the Tsugaru area, KOJIMA gives life to these scenes in the extraordinary, using his precise mastery and pronounced artistic sense. It is such mastery that was acclaimed and introduced in Tokyo early on by the pioneer of Japanese photojournalism, NATORI Yonosuke.
In 1961, with hopes of becoming a professional photographer, KOJIMA moved to Tokyo. The same year, his work The Rough Seas of Shimokita was published and awarded the Novice Photographer Prize, increasing expectations for his future works. However, KOJIMA, who had up until that point mainly shot in the domain of his homeland, found it difficult to produce work in a new and unfamiliar environment. Amidst his growing frustration and in an effort to leave behind his failures in Tokyo, he decided to photograph the seasons of Hokkaido. He arrived there in the winter of 1963, but his shoots proved unsuccessful. KOJIMA became ill after repeated attempts to shoot in such harsh conditions, and returned to Aomori without fulfilling his expectations. In July of 1964, KOJIMA passed away at the young age of 39 years old.
Present in his work are farmers working the autumn fields of the Tsugaru plain from dawn to dusk, and a fisherman raising his boat with all his might while cold winds rage the Shimokita coast. Amidst the advancing waves of modernization from the urban centers to the countryside, a deep empathy with the people who live in these cold provincial villages is strongly captured, exposed, and etched onto the developing paper using techniques such as dodge, burn, and reduplication to produce this multitude of photographic works. These works continue to be reevaluated and examined by exhibitions and photographic journals, even after the premature death of their maker.
This exhibition displays approximately 200 prized original prints and other materials that richly illustrate KOJIMA’s life. This is the first large-scale retrospective exhibit to explore KOJIMA Ichiro’s strong unique quality that continues to entrance many to this day.

Press release September 29, 2008
Handbill November 6, 2008

Near Inagaki, Tsugaru City, 1960.
Near Inagaki, Tsugaru City, 1960.
Oma Town, Shimokita County, 1961.
  Oma Town, Shimokita County,   1961.
Jusan, Goshogawara City, 1957.
Jusan, Goshogawara City, 1957.
Shimokita County, circa 1961.
Shimokita County, circa 1961.
De-no-Sato, Kizukuri, Tsugaru City, 1960.
De-no-Sato, Kizukuri, Tsugaru City, 1960.
Kizukuri, Tsugaru City, 1958.
Kizukuri, Tsugaru City, 1958.


1 Exhibit name KOJIMA Ichiro : A Retrospective
2 Dates January 10th, 2009 (Sat) - March 8th (Sun)
Please note that the museum will be closed on the following Mondays : January 26, February 9, February 23.
3 Hours 9:30 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30) 
4 Location Aomori Museum of Art Special Exhibit Gallery
5 Orgnizers Kojima Ichiro Exhibit Committee (Aomori Museum of Art, NHK Aomori)
6 Sponsors Aomori Bank, Photo Gallery International, Horiuchi Color Ltd.
7 Corporate Grant The Pola Art Foundation, the Nomura Cultural Foundation
8 Special Cooperation The To-o Nippo Press Co., Ltd, Aomori City Board of Education
9 Supports Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture Photography Union, Hokuyokai
10 Under Special Supervision by Hiroko KOJIMA, Kiyoei KAMATA


KOJIMA Ichiro Exhibit
  • General / 800 Yen (700 Yen)
  • University & High School Students / 400 Yen (300 Yen)
  • Junior High and Elementary School Students / 200 Yen (100 Yen)

KOJIMA Ichiro Exhibit+Permanent Collection
  • General / 1,200 Yen (1,000 Yen)
  • University & High School Students / 600 Yen (450 Yen)
  • Junior High and Elementary School Students / 250 Yen (150 Yen)

※( ) Prices in parenthesis are for groups of over 20 people.
※People with disability requiring another person for assistance may enter as one person upon display of necessary documentation.

Aomori Museum of Art

Address 185 Chikano, Yasuta, Aomori,
Aomori, 038-0021, Japan
TEL 017-783-3000
E-mail bijutsukan@pref.aomori.lg.jp
Access (JR) 20 minutes by car from JR Aomori Station
(Aomori Municipal bus.) 20 min. by bus bound for "MENKYO-CENTER" from JR Aomori Station.The Bus Stop "Kenritsu-bijutsukan-mae"
(Airport) 20 minutes by car from the Aomori Airport.
(Highway) 5 minutes by car from the Tohoku Expressway Aomori Interchange