July 08, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> Exhibition Report (Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples)

The exhibition “The Call of the Living Earth: Photographs of Australian Aborigines by Minoru Hokari” closed on June 20. Even though it was a very, very small exhibition, I have the impression that it attracted more attention than any of our previous exhibitions.

At first, even my colleagues had asked, “Hokari Who?” But on opening day, Naoko Terada (travel journalist) sent a beautiful bouquet, and there was a sense throughout the museum that this exhibition was not going to be like the others. Then scores of visitors came from afar specifically to see this exhibition, many copies of Radical Oral History and Kaze no Tabibito (“Traveler of the Wind,” a magazine that published an excerpt of the book along with photographs by Seiichi Motohashi) were sold, and Ronin Films came to film it all. Requests for informational postcards far exceeded the five or so inquiries that I had expected. Thus the initial reaction of “Hokari Who?” shifted to “Who IS this Dr. Hokari?!”

To be honest, I had been a little worried whether a collection of photographs taken by a graduate student would hold up as an exhibition in a public museum, free admission notwithstanding. But such worries turned out to be utterly needless; The composition of the photographs, their horizontals always true, made it clear that each scene, each frame had been photographed with the utmost care. While the exhibition consisted of more text than images, the photographs certainly held their own.

In putting together this exhibition more than any other, I have appreciated the support and cooperation of so many people, and I am grateful for the encouragement I received throughout the process. The satisfaction of knowing, from the visitors’ reactions, that this exhibition has been an inspiration is one of the privileges of being a museum curator.

The total number of visitors to the exhibition was 3,509.

Irumi Sasakura

(Translated by Kyoko Uchida)

>> 展示報告(北海道立北方民族博物館)

「保苅実写真展 カントリーに呼ばれて オーストラリア・アボリジニとラディカル・オーラル・ヒストリー」は、6月20日に終了しました。小さな、小さな展示でしたが、これまでのどの展示よりも注目されていることを感じていました。

職場の者たちも、最初は保苅さんって誰?だったわけです。ところが、まず初日に寺田直子様からとても素敵なお花が届き、館内で一気に今回の展示はどうもいつもと違うのでは、となったのです。その後もこの展示をめがけて大勢の方々が、遠方よりおこしくださったり『ラディカル・オーラル・ヒストリー』や『風の旅人』が売れていったり、Ronin Films社の撮影があったり、また5件くらいかなと思った、案内はがきの請求も5件どころではなく、「保苅さんって誰?」、から「保苅さんって一体何者?」となってゆきました。





June 16, 2010 [ Mailing List ]

>> More about the Exhibition/Another Project Completed.

Hi Everyone -

There are a few more days until the closing of the exhibition on June 20. My children are moving toward summer vacation and I've had a few opportunities to introduce my brother to their classmates' moms. They are enjoying Mino's writing ("The Living Earth: The World of the Aborigines" from the "Conversations": As you know you can find it on this website.)

One of them suggested to have an exhibition in New York....That's not a bad idea, isn't it?

Australian Embassy Website has a page about the Exhibition now.

I have another news to share. Unfortunately, I have not promptly notified by either an author or its translators, but I found out that a book that Mino had worked on its English translation has been published in the US. "Otaku: Japan's Database Animals" (Hiroki Azuma, Minnesota Press 2009)

I negotiated for the Mino's credit with the author a few years ago. Mr. Azuma and, Mr. Abel and Ms Kono, the translators, kindly mentioned Mino's name in Preface and Introduction. It explains that this translation project began with an e-mail from Mino in February 2003, suggesting the original Japanese version to be translated in English.

Mino worked with Julia Yonetani only on the first chapter and had to stop it due to his illness. As Mr. Azuma wrote, the final version of the translation belongs to the two translators, but I am very pleased to see an idea and a work that Mino started has been completed.

One more thing is done! :-)

I will have more things to share soon. Until then....

Yuki Hokari

>> もっと写真展、そしてもう一つのプロジェクト完了。









"Otaku: Japan's Database Animals" (Hiroki Azuma,Minnesota Press 2009)が、去年の初めに出版されていたことがわかりました。





June 08, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> Student Group Tour and "Connection"

Dear Everyone -

There will be less than 2 weeks until the closing of the exhibition, June 20th. Several people told me about their upcoming visits, from Tokyo and Niigata. Thank you very much!

There have been a few student group tours from local middle schools. Irumi Sasakura, Curator, wrote to me:

* * * * *

Today I gave a talk on the photography exhibition in front of a group for the first time (not counting interviews).

The middle school students were a very attentive audience. Even their teacher had known almost nothing of the Australian Aboriginal peoples! Naturally I cannot expect such a brief encounter to change things significantly, but it is my hope that the story of Dr. Hokari has touched them, has left an impression somewhere in their hearts. Perhaps not only their exposure to Aboriginal culture but also the narrative of how this young man took wing to explore the wider world, soaring to great heights, will be an inspiration to these small-town middle school students.

This, too, has been one of our goals since the planning stages of the exhibition.

They all listened wide-eyed as I described how Dr. Hokari had sped across the Australian continent on his motorcycle. I also read to them from the beginning of "Radical Oral History". You know how middle-aged women tend to nod their heads when listening to someone talk? One of the boys kept nodding as he listened; I feel that Dr. Hokari must have made a strong impression on him.

Later, when I went to see how the kids were enjoying the exhibition, I saw a somewhat elderly couple among them -- they would first read the panel explaining the photograph, then take in the image itself, discuss something between themselves, and then move a few steps to read the next panel, look at the next photograph, and so on. They must have spent over an hour at the exhibition.

(Translated by Kyoko Uchida)

* * * * *

It is such a great pleasure to see the possibility that Minoru's life might have touched a local boy. This is exactly what I hoped for and one of the reasons why I agreed to have an exhibition in such a remote city in Japan.

Some people have asked for having an exhibition in Sapporo, a major city in Hokkaido as well as Tokyo, of course. I personally want to plan one in Niigata, where Minoru and I grew up and where my parents live. Perhaps one in Daguragu? We never have expected such a reaction and this exhibition was not planned or organized as "to be repeated" exhibition. Therefore, I realized that it was not clear where to contact with such an inquiry. I decided to create an organization "Connection (to Minoru Hokari)" which will be an official contact for any future Mino-related events from now on. (E-mail: A committie will be set up for each event within the "Connection." If you wish to have an exhibition coming to your town or a group tour to Mino's hometown in Japan or any other exciting idea, please let us know.

As the name of this organization "Connection" implies, I hope to extend the Mino connection to someone in somewhere through many diffferent ways, with you who are connected with him. Thank you very much.

Yuki Hokari

>> 写真展に中学生団体、「保苅実とつながる会」




* * * * *






* * * * *





May 19, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 続・写真展の反響

5月15日付けで、読売新聞に写真展の記事「写真展で知るアボリジニ:研究者 保苅さん足跡も」が掲載されました。


May 18, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> "Experimental" Exhibition

This is an article that appeared in a local newspaper, Abashiri Times, on May 14th, written by Mr. Atsushi Nakada, Irumi's colleague at the museum.

* * * * *

A Photography Exhibition on Aborigines

“The Call of the Living Earth: Photographs of Australian Aborigines by Minoru Hokari” — this is the rather long title of a photography exhibition currently at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples.

This is an unusual exhibition for the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples in that its thematic subject is of the south: Australia and its indigenous peoples. The photographs are the work of Dr. Hokari, a historian who has taken an innovative approach to studying Aboriginal history — the practice of a “radical oral history” that respects, preserves, and prioritizes the narratives told by the Aboriginal people themselves.

While many of the photographs are of simple images, the dry, reddish-brown earth and distinctive Aboriginal features strike those of us accustomed to northern landscapes as fresh and revealing. Accompanying the pictures are excerpts from Dr. Hokari’s book. In pairing the images with the photographer’s own words, the exhibition attempts, in a sense, to retrace the trajectory of his research.

In some ways, this exhibition is an unprecedented, experimental endeavor for the museum. We invite you to visit and see for yourself whether it has been a success. Admission for the photography exhibition is free.

In connection with the exhibition, we have invited an expert to give a talk on May 29 on the theme: “Who Are the Aboriginal Peoples? Indigenous Australians: Their Past and Present.” We hope you will join us.

- Translated by Kyoko Uchida

* * * * *

Friends of Mino and mine are visiting the exhibition from Tokyo as well as Niigata. This is a great news for the museum since most of their visitors have been limited to local residents or tourists. Total 8 copies of Mino's book have been sold there so far.

>> 「実験的試み」な写真展


* * * * *

「カントリーに呼ばれて オーストラリア・アボリジニとラディカル・オーラル・ヒストリー」。少々長いですが、北方民族博物館で開催中の写真展のタイトルです。





* * * * *


May 12, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 写真展の反響



May 11, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]






May 06, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 続・続・写真展

5月3日付けで、網走タイムスという地元新聞に「アボリジニの歴史紹介 ~故・保苅実氏の写真展」という記事が掲載されました。



April 30, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 続・写真展


5月1日付けで、北海道新聞に「豪州アボリジニ写真32点で迫る ~網走で故・保苅さん作品展」という記事がでました。






April 29, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 写真展、本日開催です。


本日、北海道北方民族博物館にて、「保苅実写真展 ~カントリーに呼ばれて オーストラリア・アボリジニとラディカル・オーラル・ヒストリー」が開催となりました。この企画をしてくださった学芸員の笹倉いる美さんからのメールです。












>> The Opening

Dear Everyone -

I am pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition. (Note: There is already one local newspaper article on May 1st and a visitor wrote a blog about it on April 30.)

Title: "The Call of the Living Earth: Photographs of Australian Aborigines by Minoru Hokari"

Date: 2010.04.29 ~ 2010.06.20

Place: Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples

*** It is in Hokkaido, a northern island in Japan, but it is just 2 hours flight from Tokyo and there is famous "Abashiri Prison Museum" (a Japanse version of "Alcatraz") nearby.

I have received a following mail from my friend, Irumi Sasakura, who works at the museum.


I am happy to report that preparations for the exhibition have been completed.

Yuki-san, this exhibition would never have been possible without you. It is thanks to your efforts that we were able to bring it about. Having finished curating and preparing the exhibits, my impression is that it is a very tasteful and dignified, if small and intimate, exhibition. My colleagues, who occasionally dropped in to see how the preparations were coming along, would watch the looping video (”The Story of Hokari Minoru”) and ask, “Isn’t his sister in it?” I wonder what is going to happen with the full documentary film?

It is also gratifying to hear the clerks, who otherwise might never have encountered Hokari-san’s book or considered the issues he raises, talking about him and his work.

Although we had not intentionally planned for it, the exhibition opened on a full moon. Of the 33 photographs exhibited, one is of the book cover of Radical Oral History, taken by Mr.Tsuyuguchi, so strictly speaking, Hokari-san’s works number 32 – the same as the number of years he lived. Perhaps I am reading too much into such connections, but after all that has occurred in the process of putting together this exhibition, I cannot help but feel that everything has a deeper meaning.

In that sense, while this project may at first appear to have been my idea, I believe that, just as Hokari-san had been “called by the Country,” I, too, was “called” by some place to put on this exhibition.

I can assure you that this exhibition will prove to be an extraordinary occasion in many ways.

Irumi Sasakura


If you visit there, there is an area that you can write the message to the Museum, Mino and his family. If you address to "Mino's family" with your name, Irumi will send them to me. I look forward to hearing from you.


April 22, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> The Photo Exhibition ~ related events

Dear Everyone -

We are getting ready for the opening day of the Photo Exhibition on April 29th. The following is the list of related events. If you want to receive a postcard, the deadline is April 24th.

I hope as many people as possible would meet Minoru Hokari again or for their first time.


*** Admission for all the events is free.

The below events will be held at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples.

May 2 (Sun) 1 - 4 PM
"Fun with Photos: Digital Photography Basics and Simple Picture Book-Making"
Instructor: Takuya Kodera (Photographer)

May 3 (Mon) 1:30 - 3 PM
"Learn to Throw Your Own Paper Boomerang!"
Instructor: Hideki Watanabe (Japan Boomerang Association)

May 29 (Sat) 1:30 - 3 PM
Lecture: "Who Are the Aboriginal People? Indigenous Australians: Their
Past and Present"

Prof. Sachiko Kubota (Kobe University)

All the events above will be held at The Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples and the one below will be at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

May 30 (Sun) 3 - 4:30 PM
Lecture: "The Birth of Indigenous Artists: The Development of Aboriginal Art"
Prof. Sachiko Kubota (Kobe University)
Hosted jointly by Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples and Hokkaido Ethnological Society
Sponsored by Hokkaido University Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies

>> Postcard (English version)

Here is an English version of the postcard.


April 20, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 写真展・関連イベント



参加無料 定員20名
講師 小寺卓矢氏(写真家)


参加無料 定員30名
講師 渡辺秀樹氏(日本ブーメラン協会北海道地区代表)

「講座アボリジニってどんな人たち? オーストラリア先住民の経験と現在」

5/29[土]午後1時30分~3時 聴講無料
講師 窪田幸子氏(神戸大学大学院国際文化学研究科教授)



「講演会 先住民アーティストの誕生:アボリジニ芸術の展開」

5/30[日]午後3時~4時30分 聴講無料
講師 窪田幸子氏
会場 北海道大学人文社会科学総合教育研究棟W409会議室
主催 北海道北方民族博物館・北海道民族学会
後援 北海道大学アイヌ・先住民研究センター



April 15, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 絵葉書をご希望の方は

保苅実写真展 ~カントリーに呼ばれて


会期 平成22年4月29日[木]~6月20日[日]

会場 北方民族博物館特別展示室 観覧無料

主催 北海道立北方民族博物館 (北海道網走市字潮見309-1)



April 10, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 2010.04.10

Dear Everyone -

I was in Japan for 10 days from 3/26 to 4/4. It was so nice to see my children having a great time with their grandparents and great grandma, who just turned 89. It has been almost 4 years since I was there last. We spent 3 days in Tokyo, then moved to Niigata. I also took a day trip to Abashiri, Hokkaido, to see the Museum where Mino's photo exhibition will be held. Below is the details.

Title: "The Call of the Living Earth: Photographs of Australian Aborigines by Minoru Hokari"

Date: 2010.04.29 ~ 2010.06.20

Place: Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples

I have to tell you...this exhibition has been carefully thought out and planned by Irumi Sasakura, who met Mino after his passing through his book "Radical Oral History", found me on the web, and we became good friends. A photographer in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Keiji Tsuyuguchi, who also met Mino through his book, wrote about Mino on his blog. This blog entry inspired Irumi, who works at the Museum, brought me an idea of the exhibition.

In Hokkaido, I met her for the first time after a few years of e-mail only relationship. It is such a beautiful museum in the midst of vast nature. She walked me through the whole exhibition one by one and I found it as an amazingly fulfilling learning experience since it was with her who has extensive knowledge about the subject. Until now, the museum has never dealt with anything other than Northern Peoples such as Ainu and Inuit. It is fascinating to see Mino travels all the way to Hokkaido, a northern part of Japan, to present what he experienced with the Gurindji people.

At the exhibition, you will visit Australia, meet the Gurindji in their country through the pictures that Mino took, read excerpts from his book, and, at the end, you will grasp what Mino learned from the Gurindji and what he wanted to share with the rest of the world.

Thanks again for all your help to make this event possible. It has been a long way...but we did it.

Another Mino project that I am working on is to collect Mino's episodes for the website. If you have any interesting Mino episode that you can share with people who never got a chance to meet him, please write a few sentences and e-mail me at The first deadline is 4/30 and I am planning to present them on the website on May 10. Any small episodes will be appreciated. Thanks for your help.

Yuki Hokari

========= The following message is written in Japanese.=========



今月4月29日から6月20日まで北海道立北方民族博物館で開催される「保苅実写真展 ~カントリーに呼ばれて オーストラリア・アボリジニとラディカル・オーラル・ヒストリー」は、学芸員・笹倉いるみ氏によって注意深く計画・デザインされました。弟の死後、「ラディカル」を通じて保苅実に出会った彼女は、姉である私を探し当て、大変親しい関係になりました。同じく「ラディカル」で弟に出会ってくださった札幌在住の写真家・露口啓二氏のブログで、写真展というアイデアを思いつき、私に提案してくださり、そこから長い道のりを経て、今回の開催となりました。露口氏も、さまざまな形で展示にご協力いただいています。





March 21, 2010 [ 2010 Photo Exhibition ]

>> 2010.03.21



会期 平成22年4月29日[木]~6月20日[日]
会場 北方民族博物館特別展示室 観覧無料
主催 北海道立北方民族博物館