Arakawa Africa


Forming a bridge with a distant continent, this art project was born in the bustling Ogu Ginza Shopping Street in the neighborhood of Higashi-Ogu in Arakawa, Tokyo. It was held every summer from 2010 to 2019. Once a place known for African workers, even today Arakawa is home to Japanese people involved in manufacturing carts in Africa. It boasts, for instance, shops with the best selection in Japan of African fabrics and drums. With artisans visible from the street, the area conjures up an atmosphere perhaps not so far removed from that of a city or town in Africa. This charming and unique character has attracted devotees of all things African to the district. In this way, Arakawa Africa shone a spotlight on the unexpected connections between Africa and Arakawa through artistic and creative activities, and created opportunities to reconsider the past and present of the two places, and to examine their futures.

Photo by Soichi Hayashi
Photo by Naoko Sakuragi

Arakawa Africa Executive Committee

Director: Hideko Saito

Vice director: Yoshinari Nishio

Coordinator: Sakiko Nishio, Takako Yamoto, Moto Kunimoto, Hiroko Kenmochi, Terumi Saito