Comments from Asai Shinpei (Chairperson of the Awards Committee)

General Comment

Digital cameras are becoming widely available, which I think explains the large number of entries taken with a high level of technical skill. The quality on display is the very reason why I think there is still room to aim to take photos on a whole other level; like capturing a once-in-a-lifetime moment. This year's prize-winning images are all highly original pieces that portray the fascination, beauty, and delight felt by the photographer at the moment they were captured.
This aim of this contest is to create a calendar that showcases the seasonal scenery of Japan. Each image will be seen for an entire month, so it was essential for us to consider how well the natural beauty, atmosphere, and mood of each scene is expressed. Also, since the submitted photos were categorized by month, there were cases where many excellent photos had been submitted for the same month. This means that some remarkable photographs were ultimately not chosen for the calendar.
Even if the photograph you are taking is to be submitted into a contest, it is good to not think about that too much, and instead to simply enjoy the process of capturing a moment in a way you want to share with others.

Winner of the Gold Prize

"Collecting Seaweed and Shellfish," the winner of the Gold Prize, portrays a scene famous among photographers. That being said, it is difficult to create this kind of composition. The photo was taken at exactly the right moment, from an exquisite distance. The original framing of the two tarai-bune (tub boats) on the water gives us the feeling of watching a story unfold. The work's ability to display a moment of everyday life while conveying a fantastical feel is another interesting element. This work beautifully captures the mysterious side of nature

Winner of the Silver Prize

"Moon Rises Above the Kengamine Peak," the winner of the Silver Prize, squarely captures the subject matter, giving a feel of the photographer's stoicism. Both the Kengamine Peak and the moon are popular subjects, but what sets this unique piece apart is the fact that we—the viewers—can feel the presence of the universe, showing through in the background. The serious and harsh tones match the atmosphere of the subject matter, creating an incredibly memorable piece of work.

Gold prize

Seaweed harvesting
Collecting Seaweed and Shellfish
Nakamura Masumi

(Niigata Pref.)
Wall Calendar Jun.

Silver prize

Moon rising on the Kengamine mountain
Moon Rises Above the Kengamine Peak
Takemura Yukikazu

(Shizuoka Pref.)
Wall Calendar Dec.

Excellence in Photography Prize

Verdure Carpet
Kaneko Yukio

(Shizuoka Pref.)
Wall Calendar COVER

Majestic Mt. Fuji in the Sea of Clouds
Arif Delviawan

(Shizuoka Pref.)
Wall Calendar Jan.

Lights and Snow
Richard Roldan

(Yamagata Pref.)
Wall Calendar Feb.

Arabesque on the River's Surface
Kurose Hiroyasu

(Kumamoto Pref.)
Wall Calendar Mar.

Spring in Full Bloom
Sawai Yoshinori

(Wakayama Pref.)
Wall Calendar Apr.

Koinobori (Carp-shaped Streamers) Span the River
Otaka Hisayoshi

(Ehime Pref.)
Wall Calendar May.

Collecting Seaweed and Shellfish
Nakamura Masumi

(Niigata Pref.)
Gold prize Wall Calendar Jun.

Cho Yoshihide

(Miyazaki Pref.)
Wall Calendar Jul.

On the Cool Breeze
Ariga Yoshikazu

(Yamaguchi Pref.)
Wall Calendar Aug.

Autumn Performance
Hirose Yasuyuki

(Nara Pref.)
Wall Calendar Sep.

Admirable Helpers
Saito Takako

(Okayama Pref.)
Wall Calendar Oct.

The Colorful Surface of the Lake
Yokohata Ryoji

(Hiroshima Pref.)
Wall Calendar Nov.

Moon Rises Above the Kengamine Peak
Takemura Yukikazu

(Shizuoka Pref.)
Silver prize Wall Calendar Dec.

Honorable Mention

Over the Rainbow
Yamauchi Masaru

(Hyogo Pref.)
Desk Calendar COVER

Shirayama Kenetsu

(Aomori Pref.)
Desk Calendar Jan.-Feb.

Cherry Blossom Viewing With Mom
Tsuzuki Kazuo

(Aichi Pref.)
Desk Calendar Mar.-Apr.

Height of Spring
Nagatomo Itsuro

Desk Calendar May-Jun.

Lonesome Youth
Takemura Haruto

(Hyogo Pref.)
Desk Calendar Jul.-Aug.

Red Rice Plants Bowing Down
Saito Takako

(Okayama Pref.)
Desk Calendar Sep.-Oct.

Persimmons' First Snowfall
Torii Hideyuki

(Yamagata Pref.)
Desk Calendar Nov.-Dec.

Award of Merit

Running on the Beach
Matsuyama Susumu

(Kanagawa Pref.)

Jumbo Kamakura (Snow Hut) in Yokote
Nakamura Genichi

(Akita Pref.)

Evening Glow
Takeshita Kunishige


Tairyokigan-sai (Festival for Praying for a Good Catch)
Ban Hiroyuki

(Chiba Pref.)

Banquet of Lights
Oshima Masami

(Kanagawa Pref.)

Autumn Colors
Kurose Hiroyasu

(Kumamoto Pref.)

Tinged by the Setting Sun
Maezawa Mitsuaki

(Shizuoka Pref.)