Photography and Beer Museums at Ebisu

The Ebisu Garden Palace is an office, shopping and cultural precinct that includes the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the Yebisu Beer Museum.

Heading for the Beer Museum, the Museum of Photography was a nice surprise. There were 4 major exhibitions going on, and given it was already beer-o-clock, I just went for two. The Story of Children in Photography was interesting in that it ran through the evolution of photography, the pioneers and technology.

The Enari Tsuneo exhibition Japan and its Forgotten War – Showa was something else. Tsuneo is a photojournalist who has devoted nearly 40 years to documenting the negative consequences of Japan’s Showa era wars, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fales Manchukuo, The Children’s Manchukuo, and Island of Wailing Ghosts. Check out the link.


Black and white photography can be stunning at the best of times, and Tsuneo is an expert. In the Hiroshima and Nagasaki elements, a black and white portrait of an atomic bomb survivor is next to a colour image of a bomb relic – melted glass, a burnt cap. and then another portrait and the cycle continues. The juxtaposition is stunning and is reflected in the those aged survivors who, at least, are 70 years old. What horrors do these eyes portray? How had their lives been directed by the atomic bombs? Haunting.

Back into the real world……the Beer Museum. A bit disappointing really, not much history and back story, rather just an up market beer tasting lounge. Did top it off though with a very nice Yebisu beer from the Beer Hall next door.

(Thursday 28th July, 2011)

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