Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee

Mitsubishi Asian Children's Enikki Festa

Using Enikki as an effective means to
promote cross-cultural understanding of each otherfs lives and cultures

The Mitsubishi Asian Childrenfs Enikki Festa invites children in Asia to create Enikki, illustrated diaries that portray daily events and thoughts in the form of a picture and a short essay. The goal of the Festa is to use Enikki as a very effective means to promote cross-cultural understanding of each otherfs lives and cultures and, eventually, to work for promotion of cultural exchange among the children of Asia.
    The Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee (gthe Committeeh) launched the event in 1990 together with the Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations and the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan. The event was designed to support the gYear of International Literacyh proclaimed by the United Nations in 1990 for the purpose of gcreating a world in which all people are able to read and write.h The Committee started the Festa as the gMitsubishi Impression-Gallery-Festival of Asian Childrenfs Arth in the hope that creating and reading Enikki would promote literacy education for the children of Asia. While retaining its original aim, the event was subsequently renamed the gMitsubishi Asian Childrenfs Enikki Festah to highlight a greater emphasis on international exchange in the hope that through Enikki Asian children would understand and respect each otherfs cultures and work together towards building a better future. Grand Prix Award winners for the 12th Enikki Festa were selected in April 2016.

The Spread of Enikki to the Countries and
Regions of Asia, and Contribution to Raising Literacy Levels

Starting in 1990 with eight Asian countries, the Festa has grown each time and with the participation of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the first time the 9th Festa received entries from 24 countries and regions[virtually the whole of Asia. The total number of entries since the event began has amounted to more than 680,000.
    The Enikkifs theme is gLet me tell you about how we live.h Children are invited to paint and write anything in their daily lives that they have gdone, seen or felt,h such as festivals, favorite pastimes, family and friends or something that happened at school, in order to introduce their daily lives and cultures to other children throughout Asia.
    All the entries first go to the national screening process in each country or region, and eight selected entries from each country and region proceed to the international screening in Tokyo to determine the recipients of the Grand Prix Award, the Organizerfs Awards and the Excellence Awards. All the award winners chosen by the International Screening Committee receive certificates and supplementary prizes. Exhibitions of award-winning artworks are held in Japan and overseas. These artworks are also displayed at the head office or branch offices of member companies of the Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee and lent out to the events planned by school, libraries, public organizations and others to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see the childrenfs work.
    In addition, collections of award-winning artworks with essays translated into both Japanese and English are published and distributed to all those connected with the Festa in Japan and overseas and are also donated to elementary schools and libraries throughout Japan.
    Moreover, in participating countries, the Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee also subsidizes the cost of producing literacy education materials that use prize-winning artworks in an effort to contribute to further raising literacy levels.
    As the organizer of this Festa, the Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee is very happy to see the practice of Enikki, a distinctive Japanese cultural activity, spreading to the countries and regions of Asia. The Committee believes that Enikki contributes to raising literacy levels and serves as a conduit for cultural exchanges between budding artists in different countries.

Members of the International Screening Committee

Head of the Jury
Teruo Onuma
(Oil painter; professor emeritus, Tokyo University of the Arts; vice president, Bunsei University of Art)
Assistant Head
of the Jury
Ichiro Sato
(Oil Painter; Professor emeritus, Tokyo University of the Arts; Professor, Kanazawa College of Art)
C.W. Nicol
Yoshino Ohishi
(Photo journalist)
Akira Ikegami
(Journalist; Professor, Center for Liberal Arts, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Machiko Satonaka
(Manga artist; professor, Osaka University of Arts)

Comment from the International Screening Committee for the 12th Festa

The submissions to the 12th Mitsubishi Asian Childrenfs Enikki Festa included countless splendid works. They were uniformly excellent, which made the work of screening extremely difficult. The uniformly high quality extended across all the nations, and, as in previous Festas, we witnessed a steady rise in artistic attainment in each nation. I found myself feeling envious of the talent evinced by the young artists in every nation, especially the grand prix winners.

A lot of the works deal with the subjects of helping with housework, going on family trips, and visiting local festivals, and those works project a palpable sense of warmth. The subjects chosen might reflect guidance from teachers and parents, but the works clearly present the personal experience of the artists. Thus do the works convey a powerful, from-the-heart vitality. Perceptions of that vitality figured decisively, I believe, in the selections for the different prizes. For the most important aspect of these works is the way the children express their candid impressions of daily life-their responses to what they have seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears.

The texts, too, are important in these illustrated diaries. I was especially impressed at how the text functioned as a graphic element in numerous works in this Festa. That was a bittersweet reminder that I had become a painter because I was unable to express myself in words!

Head of the International Screening Committee@Teruo Onuma