As our planet continues to change around us at a speed too fast to keep up with, people are constantly looking for ways to preserve and protect the parts of our world that are evidently feeling the pressure. With global warming and disruptive human activity threatening the future of wildlife and nature as a whole, now is the time to act and put a halt to the negative impacts being felt by the environment.

Shining a light on the issue is the Asahi Shimbun and their annual Nature of Japan photography contest, which asks applicants to enter their best shots of “Japanese nature that I want to protect forever”.

Currently the 39th Nature of Japan photo contest is underway, with applications open until March of 2022. The competition is looking for works that directly express Japanese landscapes, flora and fauna and human activities relating to nature. Anyone can apply to take part, from beginners to those at the peak of a professional photography career.

38th Print Category Grand Prize "Golden Wave" by Kietsu Shindo

There are two different categories photographers can enter into; print and digital.
Below is a brief introduction to the awards available for each category. The number of prizes available for each award are highlighted in parenthesis.

Print category award outline
Best prize (x1): Supplementary prize 1 million yen
Special prize (x3): Supplementary prize 100,000 yen
Asahi Shimbun Award (x1)
Forest Culture Association Award (x1)
All Japan Photo Federation Award (x1): Supplementary prize 50,000 yen
Excellence Award (x10): Supplementary prize 10,000 yen
Selected (x20): Souvenir
Prefectural 1st prize * Resident Targets works taken in the prefectures to be photographed (undecided limited number): Souvenirs, prizes

Digital category award outline
Best prize Sony 4K (x1): Supplementary prize 500,000 yen coupon
Sony Next Photographer Award* (x1) : Supplementary prize 400,000 yen coupon
Excellence Award (x5): Supplementary prize 30,000 yen coupon
Selected (x30): Supplementary prize (for 3,000 yen of book card)

* Coupons can only be used at the Sony store.
* Sony Next Photographer Award is only available to people under 30 years old (born after April 1, 1991)

Asahi Shimbun photo contest application period
Print category: December 1, 2021 - March 28, 2022
Digital category: December 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022

Asahi Shimbun photo contest application fee
Print category: All Japan Photography Federation members 2,000 yen, general 4,000 yen, free for students under 30 years old
Digital category: free
Winning announcement: Winners will be notified directly. Planned public announcement in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and others in late June 2022
Exhibition: Planned tour exhibition nationwide from late July 2022
Further details and application page available here.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.