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2023/09/06Special Exhibition: THE SAKUBEI YAMAMOTO's COLLECTION in 2023 - UNESCO "MEMORY OF THE WORLD"

This is the 2nd exhibition of Sakubei Yamamoto's paintings of coal mines.  The first was held last year and was very well received.  The exhibition is to be held from 19th September 2023 to 27th December 2023.

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Sakubei Yamamoto was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1892. At the age of seven, he began to work in the coal mines, helping his father. After entering the mines as a miner around the age of 14, he worked as a coal miner and blacksmith for about 50 years from 1906 to 1955 in small and medium-sized coal mines throughout the Chikuho area.

In 1957, while working as a mine guard, he decided to leave a legacy of coal mining life to his children and grandchildren. Based on his own experiences and observations, he painted coal mining scenes and the life of miners from the end of the Meiji era to the post-war period. By the time he passed away in 1984 at the age of 92, he had created some 2,000 works.  In 2011, Sakubei's works were selected by UNESCO as Japan's first inscription on the Memory of the World Register as the “Sakubei Yamamoto Collection.” This time, in cooperation with the Tagawa City Coal and History Museum, we've prepared to display 23 works* out of the Sakubei Yamamoto Collection.

These works depict a wide range of themes, from the working conditions, lifestyles and customs of the coal mines of the time, new mining techniques, mine accidents, and even ghosts and their stories. The works realistically convey sometimes the harsh conditions of working in coal mines and the humanity of the people living in the mining community.

It is our hope that you will get a sense of the atmosphere of the coal mines of those days.

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NB:  *Due to space limitations, nine paintings will be exhibited at a time, and will be rotated.

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