TJF’s “Lives of Japanese High School Students: Photo and Message Contest,” held from fiscal 1997 to 2006, introduced young people in Japan and overseas to the everyday lives and thinking of Japanese high school students as revealed through their own words and photographs. To commemorate the contest’s tenth anniversary, TJF hosted the “Focus on Japan 2007” photo and exchange program for high school students around the world in August 2007. In this program, eight Japanese and foreign high school students were divided into four groups. The groups visited Miyagi, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima to create photo essays of the lives and lifestyles of people who live there. Here are their photo essays, member profiles and some behind-the-scenes shots and stories about the students and people who helped make the program possible.

Focus on Japan 2007

Term Friday, 3 August to Saturday, 11 August 2007 (9 days)
Itinerary 3 August (Fri):     Gather in Tokyo
4 August (Sat):      Introductions; orientation; welcome party
5-9 August (Sun-Thu):  Four teams visit assigned locations, take             photographs, and compile a photo essay
10 August (Fri):     Photo essay presentations; farewell party
11 August (Sat):     Farewell; depart Tokyo for home
Participants 16 high school students, 8 from Japan and 8 from overseas (2 each from China and Korea, 1 each from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States)
Photography assignment locations Miyagi, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima
Organizer The Japan Forum
Auspices Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Association of Prefectural Boards of Education Superintendents
The All-Japan Association of Photographic Societies
National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
The Asahi Shimbun Company
All Japan Senior High School Cultural Federation
Sponsors Kodansha Ltd.
Toppan Printing Co.,Ltd.
Nikon Imaging Japan, Inc.
Joho Center Publishing Co.,Ltd.
Grant Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition ‘70
The Japan Foundation
Collaboration Shiogama High School Photography Club
Wako High School Photography Club
Kogei High School Photography Research Club
Shobara Kakuchi Senior High School Photography Club
Project Advisor Ke Yue (Representative, “Tokyo Shiten” Internet Broadcasting Site)