Ken Tanimoto Ken Tanimoto
Eight views of Yanbaru old elementary school songs

"Looking at far away Mt. Rokko, the mountain embracing the people warmly ------"
Above is a line from a song of an elementary school I attended myself in the mountainous area of Kobe. It was imprinted in my mind as a "sound" before I knew the song's nature. And although I haven't sung it since the graduation ceremony, when I contemplate the lyrics that remain in my memory, I remember the scenery peculiar to my hometown carved out of the Rokko Mountains.
Participating in this festival with the former Shioya Elementary School as the main venue, I learned that many elementary schools in Yanbaru were closed around 2016. With many eyes from the outside watching, it was finally selected as a World Natural Heritage site this year. By unraveling the school songs engraved in the memories of everyone who has been born and raised in such an area any place, I thought it would be possible to create an artwork that illuminates Yanbaru from inside. And I think about the scenery sung in the school songs of the eight closed elementary schools in Ogimi and Kunigami Villages (Tsunami Elementary School, Shioya Elementary School, Former Ogimi Elementary School, Kijoka Elementary School, Sate Elementary School, Benoki Branch School, Kitaguni Elementary School, Sosu Elementary School).
Discover the region's pride weaved in the breeze of the rocky shores, the shining mountain waves, the dripping green forests, the flow of the Tsukinu River, and the feeling of surrendering to the simple tunes.
Image: Eight views of Yanbaru old elementary school songs (draft)




  • Ken Tanimoto Ken Tanimoto

    Born in Kobe in 1973. 1998 Completed the Department of Art and Design, Kyoto City University of Arts.
    His main business is planning while simultaneously being involved in art and anything related. Since the exhibition "Tourism in the World" at a hotel in Kyoto in 1999, his subject has been "sightseeing." From 2002, he has been developing the "Jizo Project" centered on the ongoing fieldwork at Satoyama at Ogi, Shiga Prefecture. In 2014, he started a project named "Tile, Hocolat and Tourism," focusing on roadside shrines with artist Yuta Nakamura. As a part of the project, he participated in "Yanbaru Art Festival 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.”
    He has also worked on manga designs and contributed illustrations to the catalogs of "Pre-collage Art Now - Everyday Adventurers" (National Museum of Ethnology, 2005) and "Dan Graham: Beyond" (MOCA, 2009). "French Colors: A Journey Through Photography and Colors" (Chihiro Minato and Manabu Miki, Seigensha, 2014), and designing the book "Searching the Area around School: North Shirakawa Children's Environment," (Koshikosha, 2020) Book. His book "Pennant Japan" (PARCO Publishing, 2004) became immediately a popular tourism event publication.

    Photo: Mugiuda Hyogo