Exhibit in Sendai, Japan •May - August 2018

Poster 1700x1200.jpg

Miyagi 1951

A Portrait of Coastal Japan Six Years After World War II by American Military Doctor George Butler

May 1, 2018 to August 26, 2018

at the

Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

Araikutsugata85-4, Wakabayashi-ku 

Sendai-shi, Miyagi, Japan,984-0032

Hours: 10:00 to 17:00

Website:   http://sendai311-memorial.jp/


In 1951, six years after the end of World War II, George Butler, then 40 years old, was called up by the California National Guard to serve as a physician during the Korean War.  While training for seven months in the Miyagi region of Japan, he took about 2,000 photographs while staying at Camp Matsushima, currently the Air Self Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima, Japan.

In 2013, Alan Butler, his son, began restoring the color slides and black and white negatives in the collection. About one hundred and thirty photos are being shown in this exhibit. They provide a rare portrait of the coastal area of Miyagi Prefecture in 1951. The photographs are a vivid picture of the region six years after the end of World War II and will be all the more poignant to those who experienced the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, which devastated the region in 2011. 

Production Cooperation / Alan Butler,

Space Design / Kinya Sekimoto (Turnaround),

Public Relations Design / Hirokazu Watanabe,

Translation Supervision / Communa Inc.


※ In addition to exhibiting the photographs, we are seeking information about the people, locations and activities shown in the photographs.

※ Alan Butler also shares additional photographs on his website www.miyagi1951.com .

※ The copyright of the photographs is held by the Peabody Museum of Archeology Ethnology Museum at Harvard University.

Galleries of Photographs in the Exhibit

Click large Photo below to view Gallery • Click on any photo in gallery to enlarge





Exhibit Related Events at the 3/11 Memorial Community Center Sendai

Welcoming Alan Butler

Our guest will be Alan Butler, son of photographer George Butler who restored and printed the photographs in the Miyagi 1951 exhibit.

Event Details

Date and Time Saturday, May 19, 2018, 14: 00-16: 00

Venue: Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center,  Interchange Hall 1F, Interchange Space

Guest: Alan Butler

Host: Katsusuke Iwasawa (Jun Sugimura Art Museum)

Translation: Kamada Midori

Recording : Communa Inc.

Free Admission: Limited to 40 people, priority to those pre-registering.

Despite his short stay in Miyagi in a few months, why did George Butler develop such a lifelong attachment to Japanese culture in the coastal area? 
The creation of the website and the subsequent exhibit in Sendai has been a voyage of discovery for myself and my family.  Through this process, all of my family has grown to understand my father in a greater depth than we had before.  His rapport with the people he met and photographed is obvious in the photographs and explains why he developed a such a strong attachment to Japan and Japanese culture during his months in Japan”
 - Alan Butler

Alan Butler will discuss the history of photographs and their later restoration. Host, Katsusuke Iwasawa, of the Atsushi Sugimura Art Museum, will discuss the cultural background of the photographs. They will then discuss the photographs in the exhibit.


Director’s Discussion, Slide Show and Tea

"Sendai / Ishinomaki Monogatari"

Our guests will discuss the reconstruction of Ishinomaki after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the historical background of some of the images in the exhibit.

Event Details

Date and Time: July 21, 2018 (Sat) 14: 00-16: 00

Venue: Sendai 3.11 Memorial Interchange Hall 1F Interchange Space

Guest: Richard Halberstadt (Reconstruction of the city of Ishinomaki Information Exchange Center Central Hall)

Host: Hachimaki Toshibumi Yamaki (Sendai 3.11 Memorial Exchange Center)

Co-Host: Ishinomaki Archive, Specified Nonprofit Organization

Free Admission: Limited to 40 people, priority to those pre-registering