Activities and Archives of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai: the 5th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi in a classroom; photo taken in 1950s.
He taught arts as an elementary school teacher, while playing a key role in Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai
Presentation at the seminar

 Have you ever heard about an organization called “Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai”? This private organization was founded in 1952 to pursue new art education that respects and nurtures children’s individual personalities. Artists such as KITAGAWA Tamiji and EI-Q, and the art critic KUBO Sadajiro played key roles in its founding. These educational activities have grown and expanded, and have resulted in the establishment of the organization’s branches all over Japan. Thus, these activities have had a huge impact on post-war art education in Japan.
 Ms. NAKAMURA Maki (part-time employee, Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History and temporary staff, Tokyo Keizai University Historical Data Office) was invited by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems to the seminar held on September 24th, 2021 on the materials left behind by SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi (1923-2015). SHIMAZAKI was an art educator and served as the Bureau Chief of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai. Ms. NAKAMURA gave a presentation titled “Art Education in Japan after World War II, tracked with the activity records of the ‘Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai’ – referring to the materials left by SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi.” She had interviewed SHIMAZAKI in the past, and after his death, has been engaged in organizing and studying the large amount of materials he had left behind. She explained that this organization has made immense contributions, not only by helping art education to evolve, but also by supporting artists, popularizing print arts, and nurturing art collectors.
 In the discussion following her presentation, Dr. KANEKO Kazuo, Professor Emeritus at Ibaraki University, delivered a commentary on the positioning of the Sōzō Biiku Kyōkai in post-war art education in Japan. Following this, participants from the institute and other facilities actively discussed how to conserve and utilize the materials of SHIMAZAKI Kiyomi. In the discussion, we also recognized the difficult situation related to the art education archives, for example, the fact that no institute so far has accepted these materials permanently.
 Ms. NAKAMURA brought some of the actual materials to the seminar and participants had an opportunity to see them in person. We hope that this seminar provided the participants an opportunity to understand the importance of these materials.

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