The 8th “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” in Ube City will be held this year. Since it is a biennale format, 16-year-old annual rings are counted, but since the exhibition at Tokiwa Park has been held twice until then, the connection between sculpture and Ube has continued for a very long 20 years. -ing
Ube City is a town that developed rapidly in the first year of the Meiji era with coal as the economic base. During the feudal era, it was a small agricultural and fishing village on the beach. Coal was also low-grade low-grade coal, which only served as a sideline for farmers as fuel for the Setouchi salt field. Even though the world has reached the dawn of civilization with a completely new life, the residents of Ube village were far from civilization and culture, and had to find a way to live in earnest.
With the arrival of coal as the energy of modern industry, this small village on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea has also come to life. Following the Battle of Nissin and Russo and the First World War, the population continued to flow into Ube, and by the time World War II entered, it had grown into a mining city with a population of over 170,000. On the sandy beach where the pine forest continues, a well was dug, a slope was opened, and houses were crowded around it, creating a town somehow.
In World War II, the three-minute noni in the city area became ash. Since the coal seam extends into the sea, in order to dig it, it is necessary to fill the sea surface and create land. For burying it, mud called Bota was used to reach the coal seam.
The cinder of coal is mixed in this. The upper town, which was made of sand, slag, and cinders of coal, turned into a desert by an air raid, but a miraculous coal settlement along the sea was left behind. Soon after the Korean War began, another inflow of population began in Ube.
However, the boom did not last long. With the end of the Korean War, coal mines were forced out of the flower industry, and policies for promoting coal-mining areas had to be considered in the politics of the country.
The postwar struggle would not have been a problem only in our town or our country, but the thirst of being left behind in rubble was something that made us want to cover our eyes. Originally built on a terrain where no trees grew, the only plants that survived are bamboo shoot peaches, and the red color of the bamboo shoot peaches that spread flowers in the midsummer sun seems to be a sign of burning life. It was a landscape. In such an environment, the crime of the gang continued and the delinquency of the youth increased sharply.
The city administration couldn’t wait for the national subsidy to put in the independent city expenses and began to paint the picture of the war-damaged city reconstruction plan. In this way, Ube’s greening started, but the budget for greening in Ube City, which started in 1950, was 500,000 yen. City officials went to the mountains with unattended laborers, dug out the trees and made seedlings. Today, the roadside trees that cover the town are its growth. A women’s group, who was impressed by the staff who planted trees with a small budget, started to cooperate. The neighborhood association destroyed the pile of rubble and made a flower bed, and a lot of flower movement began to spread throughout the city.
One day, a small imitation white sculpture was placed on the fountain pond in front of the Ube-Shinkawa station that had been maintained.
It’s a “woman who dreams”. The park clerk set up the rest of the 200,000 yen of gold collected by the women’s group as a flower seed.
How soothing this little sculpture was! Elementary school students gathered in drawing everyday with drawing paper.
This later developed into the “movement to decorate Ube with sculpture”. It was Mr. Jiro Iwaki, the now-deceased art adviser, who sought to grow the buds of the sculpture that he found by chance. At the time, Mr. Iwaki was the library director.
It was Mr. Toshio Hoshi, the mayor who was also the deceased, who sparked Iwaki’s passion. Mr. Hoshide, who became the mayor of the city with the aim of creating the most livable city in Japan, was struggling with difficult problems such as the collapse of the economic base, the gangsters of gangsters, and the delinquency of young people. In addition to that, in 1963, the main venue of the Yamaguchi National Athletic Meet must be visited. The Olympics will be held in 1939. The Yamaguchi National Athletic Meet was even said to be a rehearsal for the Olympic Games. With the belief that what people can do without money is to develop people, Mayor Hoshide worked on creating a town for sculpture.
The “exercise to decorate the town” was organized by the chief executive of the government, art critics, and a women’s organization that immediately started acting in a scrum. Mr. Iwaki’s activities, like the fish that got water, have begun.
The mayor’s and citizens’ passion for utopia construction moved the front line people such as Mr. Iwashiro’s pipe, Sadakazu Hijikata, an art critic, Ryokichi Mukai, a sculptor, and Masato Otaka, an architect. It was The 1st outdoor sculpture exhibition was held in Tokiwa Park in 1936 as a base for making sculptures. This was the first large scale event in Japan. There was a full cooperation of cement tankers from Ube Industries to bring in the works. The 1st National Sculpture Competition Application Exhibition was held at the same venue during the year of the National Athletic Meet in 1938, and it attracted a lot of attention. During the past three years, the town of Ube was home to Ryokichi Mukai’s “Ant’s Castle” and Yoshitatsu Yanagihara’s “Seating Woman”. In 38, “Otome Ogihara’s “woman” and Yuzo Fujikawa’s ” “Naked statue” was installed by the donation of citizens.
”Iwashiro, please put the titles of the librarian and the museum director in your title. I will give an appointment.”
One day in the mayor’s office, a story like this came out. “I’m a fine art museum director who made the outdoor sculpture exhibition a huge success,” said Mayor Hoshide to the surprised Iwashiro Library Director.
”What is it us to build the museum.”
”I in them. However, please put the title in large arrogant because the museum’s some of Datte now. Ube open-air Museum of Art, and I”
two people who this kind of promise is look at the art museum Without it, he became a deceased one after another in 1969. Mr. Iwaki’s death was an irreplaceable loss, but it was Yukihiko Aihara, a young employee who continued to immerse himself in his work. I’m renewing that emotion now that I’ve often been at the forefront of the movement to this day, even though it’s painfully painful by the side.
The sculpture exhibition has been renamed “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” since 40 years, and is now in its 8th biennale format.
Looking back at the path that the sculpture movement has taken, I remember the faces of the people who cooperated in the shadows. I opened an exhibition while installing sculptures in the town. Where is this main axis? What was the energy that encouraged exercise? I don’t know well even if I walked with me from the beginning. It will be remembered on December 26, 1966. I was called by the mayor on the day I was going to pay for it in two days. They say that we will cooperate because we will form an organization called the Greening Movement Promotion Committee. The purpose was to “beautify and improve the living environment through the greening of the city and contribute to the enhancement of urban culture,” and was to be implemented immediately. The bond that could not be cut off with the greening movement was made here.
While writing this manuscript, I remember the words of Sadaichi Hijikata. It is about the monumentality of the sculpture.
”Monuman is “to remind”. It refers to something that makes the memory of individuals, people, incidents, and ideas eternal.”
Ube has 70 sculptures.
Each installation has a drama. I agree with Yukihiko Aihara’s words that the town will eventually become the Museum of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture History.
(Chairman of Greening Promotion Committee)