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SHA-KO-SEKI in Futaba

I have created 300 "SHA-KO-SEKI", themed on the sea in Futaba-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. This project was part of the "Messenger in Residence" program organized by Team Hiraku Futaba for the fiscal year 2023. I visited the site at the end of February and then created the pieces in my atelier. This town was one of the areas that had been designated as a difficult-to-return zone and off-limits for nearly 11 years due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident that occurred in March 2011. Many people suddenly lost their homes and had to leave this place. I decided to create a work of art based on the theme of the sea in order to provide them with emotional support, even if only in a small way. The finished work was to be installed in the town hall. Not only former residents of the town, but also anyone who visits the town can exchange letters with the artwork, writing about their memories of the town. I hope that many people will know about the present situation and the future of Futaba Town through this artwork.








Futaba Town, once bustling with life, became deserted after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. I must confess, I remained oblivious to the gravity of the situation until I was invited to join this program.

Recently, I visited Koriyama Beach, just a short drive east from Futaba Station. The once lively sandy shore facing the Pacific Ocean now appeared somber, with its darkened hue, and the sea wore a tense, leaden color. This beach used to be a summer destination for families, a place for daily strolls, perhaps even a site for heartfelt promises. Many were abruptly forced to abandon such cherished memories, and there are still those who cannot or choose not to return home. Witnessing this, I couldn't simply turn a blind eye. A sense of loneliness and sorrow enveloped me as I captured moments with my camera.

"Don't forget your hometown's sea. Even if you wander far, it will always watch over you. Don't worry." These words echo the sentiments of the townsfolk who reluctantly left their beloved shores. I felt a calling to this sea, to create and share artwork that could offer solace to their weary hearts.













[About the location of the artwork]

The works will be installed in public facilities in Futaba Town Hall mid-April 2024. You can take one of the artworks home in exchange for a letter you write about your memories of this town at the site. Please fill out the designated form and drop the letter in the dedicated box. Your letter may be included in a collection of your work and shown to the public. Please understand this beforehand. For more information, please contact the Hirak Futaba Secretariat.


Hirak Futaba Secretariat







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