En Route to the G7 Hiroshima Summit Streetcar is decorated with vehicle wraps bearing heartfelt artwork
The G7 Hiroshima Summit will be held from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, 2023. This is the seventh time that the summit will be held in Japan, and Hiroshima, as the host city, is attracting attention from around the world. Local companies and community organizations throughout the city are implementing various initiatives related to the summit, such as Hiroshima Electric Railway who we spoke with to discuss their vehicle wrap initiative.
Mari Sakamoto, Hiroshima Electric Railway, who is in charge of the project
Hiroshima Electric Railway, which celebrated its 110th anniversary last November (2022), is using pictures drawn by high school students for its vehicle wraps. It all started when the office of the Hiroshima Summit Prefectural Council (an organization established by the public and private sectors to ensure that the G7 Hiroshima Summit goes smoothly) approached them.
We spoke to Mari Sakamoto of the Regional Co-Creation Business Department at Hiroshima Electric Railway, who told us: “They said they wanted to build momentum for the summit, so we were very happy to accept the invitation. We were grateful for the opportunity. We are usually involved in projects related to community revitalization, such as planning and organizing events in support of professional sports teams and other organizations.”
“I have been hoping for something we could do to help ever since it was decided that the summit would be held in Hiroshima. As posters and other promotional materials appeared on the streets of the city, I felt it was very meaningful for us as a local company to be involved in this project.”
Hiroshima Electric Railway has always wanted to involve the younger generation in community development, so the fact that the original illustrations were drawn by high school students was a welcome addition to the project.
Under the initiative of the Hiroshima Prefectural Citizens’ Council office, six schools were selected to contribute original artwork for the wraps: Sanyo Jogakuen Junior and Senior High School, Notre Dame Seishin Junior and Senior High School, Hiroshima Prefectural Kannabe High School, Hiroshima Minami High School, Hiroshima Municipal Hiroshima Mirai Sousei Senior High School, and Hiroshima Municipal Motomachi Senior High School. The theme of the entries were “Peace” and “Tourism,” and they were equally impressive.
Each school has its own design with a different twist on the themes.
At Notre Dame Seishin Junior and Senior High School, one of the schools participating in the project, members of the art club created original paintings. Ms. Fuu Yoneda, the club leader, said, “I already knew that the G7 Summit, a big event would be held in Hiroshima, so I wanted to give it a try. It turned out to be a very good experience, as we all worked together to complete the project.” She says, smiling.
Ms. Konoka Fukuda, who came up with the design, said, “I tried to depict the image of peace with a dove flying away from the city of Hiroshima, and the club members gradually provided me with ideas such as using flowers that bloom in May and a bright color scheme. I think we were able to create a soft and gentle vibe by drawing the design in an analog way rather than digitally.” she explains.
Ms. Rina Miyata, who took a central role in the creation, told us about the creative process and intent behind their artwork: ” I tend to paint lightly but I tried to paint thickly so the design would be clear even when wrapped on the vehicles. I used bright colors to create an image of warmth and peace and hope for the future, as opposed to the negative image of war.”
Ms. Miyata (left), Ms. Yoneda (middle), and Ms. Fukuda (right) of the art club, who were in charge of the original artwork.
The project members said that their opinions sometimes clashed with each other as they worked on the project. However, by listening to each other’s opinions and compromising with each other, we were able to create something that we were happy with. It may be an exaggeration, but wethink we discovered something about the origin of peace through our activities” they said, describing how much they had gained through the project.
A streetcar decorated with vehicle wraps featuring the original artwork of each school.
The streetcar decorated with the wraps, which also features other school-designed artwork of origami cranes, famous Hiroshima landmarks, sports, etc., will be in operation until the summit closes.
Sharing her thoughts on the vehicle wraps, Ms. Sakamoto told us: “The response from the public has been positive, with many taking pictures and uploading them to their social media accounts. These specially decorated streetcar will only be around for a short time, and I hope that many people will be able to enjoy them. Hiroshima Electric Railway resumed service three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, earning it the reputation as a “symbol of reconstruction” and a “symbol of peace”. We hope that people will learn about our history and that Hiroshima Electric Railway remains a symbol of peace in Hiroshima, a city known around the world as a symbol of peace.”
Hiroshima Electric Railway Company
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