Social Contribution Topics 2017


The 3rd Art Project Exhibition of the Tokyo Metropolitan Schools for Special Needs Education “To the Future – Colors and Shapes That Move the Heart”

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held the exhibition to display the works of superior artistic talent created by students from Special Needs Education Schools in Tokyo from November 16th to 30th, together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education. To showcase their talents and to promote understanding of people with disabilities as well as art by artists with disabilities, the Board and ITOCHU Corporation have been jointly hosting this art project since FY2015. This exhibition, the third, received 813 entries from students at the 69 Special Needs Education Schools in Tokyo, and 50 diverse works selected in cooperation with the judgement of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, will be displayed.
With the cooperation of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, the lighting and arrangement were displayed so that the goodness of the work stands out, and each artist's personality, which is not bound by the disabilities, could be felt by many people.

Cleaning of the area around the building by 26 employees of the Chubu Branch of ITOCHU Corporation

The Chubu Branch of ITOCHU Corporation cleans the area around its building every year as part of its social contribution activities. This year, it cleaned the area at lunchtime on Monday, November 13. A total of 26 employees, including 20 employees of the Chubu Branch and 6 from CI Shopping Service Co., Ltd., participated in the activit,y and split up and collected a large amount of waste within a radius of 200 meters of the building. The amount of waste collected every year is decreasing, so it seems that the awareness of the local peole to environment is rising. The branch will continue this cleaning activity to contribute to making the town of Nagoya bright and beautiful.


Tohoku Branch Volunteers Take Part in JAPAN Fair in Sendai for Tohoku-Kyushu Reconstruction

In the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, business circles have united in holding corporate joint product fairs in a wide variety of regions throughout Japan. An example was the JAPAN Fair in Sendai for Tohoku-Kyushu Reconstruction, which was held to coincide with the Sendai Tanabata Festival from August 7–8, and four members of the Tohoku Branch took part as volunteers. The fair was held by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games business council of which ITOCHU is taking part, jointly with the Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tohoku Economic Federation.
On the day of the festival, Tohoku Branch volunteers helped to sell local products from the five prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Oita and Kumamoto – which are all recovering from earthquakes – and official merchandise from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to run a lottery, and to experience playing boccia – an official Paralympic event. The event was full of excitement with appearances by mascots from the various prefectures, including Musubimaru and Kumamon.

Cosponsoring "Expo Astana" under the theme of future energy

Expo Astana 2017, which is being held from June 10 to September 10, 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan under the theme of future energy, is the first world expo held in the Central Asia with the participation of 115 countries and 22 international organizations. ITOCHU supports for the Japan Pavilion, which introduces Japan's experience and challenges related to energy through unified cooperation between industry, government, academia and the private sector, and gives a boost to Kazakhstan's expo.
In mid-August, the number of visitors to the Japanese pavilion exceeded 500,000, and from our company the President Yonekura of the Metals & Minerals Company visited the site on August 10.

Related videos:
JETRO Video Group Production "Global Eye -- Astana Expo Feature: Part1" (Japanese only)
Expo Astana 2017 Japan Day Reception


Students from Chubei Itoh II’s Old High School in Shiga Prefecture Visited the Tokyo Head Office for the Ohmi Merchant Revival Project

On July 26, nine students from the school visited Tokyo Head Office as part of the summer holiday special training program at Hachiman Commercial High School, where students experience sanbutsu mawashi (circulation of goods around regions). The visit started with an introduction to the history and philosophy of ITOCHU Corporation as the company that has inherited the Sampo Yoshi (Good for the seller, Good for the buyer, and Good for society) spirit that originated from the Ohmi merchants. Next, the students put on a presentation of sanbutsu mawashi, which is the trading method of the Ohmi merchants. They made earnest presentations to the employees at ITOCHU in an effort to sell goods that they had brought at their training destinations in Shiga Prefecture, as well as the Hokuriku and northern Kanto regions, and attracted a lot of customers. Finally, the students visited ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE – a CSR center for ITOCHU – to view the current exhibition, “Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum Touring Exhibition at Aoyama” and learn about ITOCHU’s initiatives to do “Good for society.”

25th Environmental Workshop for Children on Summer Holidays Held

The Environmental Workshop for Children on Summer Holidays was held on July 25 under the themes of “biodiversity” and “natural environment,” with about 100 children, including children of ITOCHU Group employees and those from neighboring elementary schools, taking part. This has become a customary event held annually since 1992.
The first part of the workshop was entitled “Let’s Learn About Biodiversity through the Amazonian
Manatee”, and had as lecturer a researcher from the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University, which conducts the manatee homecoming project supported by ITOCHU Corporation that returns Amazonian manatees to the wild, and ATAGAWA TROPICAL & ALLIGATOR GARDEN, the only place in Japan with an Amazonian manatee. Through participating in a quiz and a workshop, the children learned about the endangered Amazonian manatee’s ecosystem and conservation activities.
During the second part of the workshop, entitled “Experience an Antarctic Blizzard,” a scientific experiment show was held, which recreated a “blizzard,” the natural environment in polar regions, making an enjoyable day for them.

ITOCHU Holds the 3rd ITOCHU Summer Concert in Orchard Hall!

The 3rd ITOCHU Summer Concert was held on Monday, July 24, and attracted an audience of approximately 2,000 people. Starting with a performance by the New York Symphonic Ensemble conducted by Mamoru Takahara, in the second half the orchestra of Kokugakuin High School joined to produce a magnificent, powerful performance. The concert provided a wealth of content, including a solo trumpet and viola performance, Adagio for Strings that was apparently performed at the John F. Kennedy’s funeral, and a joint performance of Jupiter from Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite. In the joint performance, the high school students were outstanding, fully demonstrating the fruits of the workshops and their hard practice. Their brilliant performance was met with thunderous applause and cheers, and the venue was full of emotions.

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Provides Support for Reconstruction of Areas Affected by the Kumamoto Earthquake

To support young artists whose works were featured on ITOCHU Corporation’s calendars, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE holds an exhibition of original drawings every year. At the exhibition, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE gives the calendars, which are not for sale, to people who agree to support disaster-affected areas and donate money.
The full amount of money collected through the calendar fundraising in 2017 was donated to Kids Earth Fund, a special non-profit organization supporting reconstruction of areas affected by the Kumamoto Earthquake. This organization held art workshops at Hiroyasu Aijien, a children’s home in Mashiki Town, Kumamoto, a children’s center in Mashiki Town, temporary housing in Kiyama, and other places. With the help of art, we could see the heartfelt smiles of children from the disaster-affected area.

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds “FEEL THE Mucha HEART -- designs for the people and love for the home country –“

During the period from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, July 2, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held an exhibition of works by Alfons Mucha. This exhibition introduced Mucha's achievements and success as a designer with about 100 works in the possession of private collectors in Japan, including colorful commercial posters created by the Czech artist. Some events were also held during the period of the exhibition. They were tours of the gallery guided by Mr. Toshiyuki Ogata, a private collector, a game of looking for the motifs of heart, which appear in many of Mucha’s works, and workshops for creating flower accessories with inspiration from flowers and grass worn by women depicted by Mucha. Benefiting from its link with the exhibition Alfons Mucha held at the National Art Center, Tokyo, in which ITOCHU participated as a collaborator, the FEEL THE Mucha HEART enjoyed great popularity, attracting a total of 12,820 visitors. In this way, the two cultural facilities in Minato-ku set the mood for the 60th anniversary of re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Japan.


40 third grade students of Aoyama Elementary School visited Tokyo Headquarters for extracurricular study

A total of 40 third grade students of Aoyama Elementary School near the Tokyo Headquarters visited our office for a social studies class "My hometown, Everyone's hometown" on June 23. Through the windows facing the four directions, the children curiously looked at the Jingu Baseball Stadium, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, and New National Stadium under construction and searched for Tokyo Tower or Roppongi Hills. They eagerly wrote down whatever they saw in their notebooks, and deepened their understanding of the Minato Ward where they live.

Cleaning Aoyama Dori Street with Aoyama Elementary School Pupils

Each school trimester, all pupils from Minato Municipal Aoyama Elementary School, the closest school to the Tokyo Head Office, clean along Aoyama Dori Street and surrounding areas such as Gingko Avenue. On Friday, June 2, with a fresh breeze blowing in the early summer, ITOCHU Corporation employees joined the pupils for the current trimester’s Aoyama cleanup.
The school’s students were divided into groups across all grades, each of which was assigned to clean a particular area, and the seventh group, comprised of 22 members, took charge of cleaning in front of the Tokyo Head Office. After the cleanup, President Okafuji and CAO Kobayashi appeared and personally thanked the children. They also presented gifts of paper pens made using recycled paper from the MOTTAINAI brand handled by ITOCHU to those involved in the area’s beautification projects.


ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds “Bicycle Expo 2017: Bicycle and Mode ― Yagami Collection That Has Never Been Displayed”

During the period from Tuesday, April 29 (national holiday) to Sunday, May 28, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held the Bicycle Expo. Held in May every year, which is designated as the month of bicycles, the Bicycle Expo was held for the fifth time this year. This time, the exhibition showcased the Yagami Collection (privately owned) that only a limited number of people had ever seen. The exhibition provided a special display of real bicycle models that were actively used at their beginning as well as bicycle posters featuring images of cheerful modern women that were symbols of the era. In addition, by exhibiting a collection of colored woodblock prints in which the changes of famous spots in Tokyo from the Meiji period to the early Showa period are visible along with bicycles, the Bicycle Expo 2017 highlighted the Japanese mode and introduced bicycle design trends.
The Aoyama Shop Owners Association declared Aoyama a "bike-rider-friendly-district" in 2009, and cafes that welcome cyclists, the flagship store of a bicycle brand, lounges, and other shops are located in Aoyama. In this town, ITOCHU worked together with stores and other facilities in the neighborhood to hold events such as a stamp rally, talk session, and test rides, allowing many people to enjoy the lure of bicycle culture.

189 people from the ITOCHU Group participated in the WFP Walk the World 2017 in Osaka

The WFP Walk the World was held on May 28 in Osaka. Through this event in which the ITOCHU Group participates as one team every year, a portion of the fees collected from the participants is donated to the school meals programs for developing countries organized by the United Nations World Food Programme. 189 participants from ITOCHU and 7 other Group companies, including a group of 9, comprising employees and their family members from the Osaka Head Office, showed their support, walking through Osaka Castle Park and its surroundings, in hopes of eradicating child hunger in the developing world.

2017 Tree-Planting Festival Held at Millennium Hope Hills in Iwanuma City, Miyagi Prefecture

Millennium Hope Hills, a mainstay reconstruction project for Iwanuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, is made up of hills created from renewable disaster waste from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The hills fulfil many roles that include reducing the power of tsunamis, securing a place of refuge, serving as a site for disaster prevention education and conveying memories of the disaster. They are located in the eastern part of the city where work on a coastal strip has proceeded and 250,000 trees have been planted there so far. On May 27, 3,000 people including an ITOCHU Corporation employee who had worked for 2 years as a disaster reconstruction support worker in Iwanuma City, local people, people from distant places including overseas, students, company employees and organization officials planted 30,000 trees on a recently completed hill and along a park trail in the Shinbama district. ITOCHU Corporation will continue to support activities for these affected areas.

Over 600 people from the ITOCHU Group participated in the WFP Walk the World 2017 in Yokohama

The WFP Walk the World was held on May 14 in the Minato-Mirai District of Yokohama. A portion of the fees collected from the participants of this event is donated to the school meals programs for developing countries organized by the United Nations World Food Programme. Along with 82 volunteers, including the President of Food Division Company, participated from ITOCHU Corporation, comprising employees and their families and friends. In all a record high of roughly 600 people from ITOCHU, including those from 12 Group companies, participated and walked through landmarks in Yokohama in hopes of eradicating child hunger in the developing world.


ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds the “Art of the Rough Diamonds”

During the period from Saturday, April 15 to Sunday, April 23, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held an exhibition featuring approx. 60 works of art with high artistic quality, which were selected by Rotary Club of Tokyo Atago from among those created by people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. The exhibition was intended to focus on the talent and introduce the artists as individual creators. The exhibited works were for sale, and the number of visitors and the amount of sales exceeded those in the first exhibition that was held in a different venue last year. All of the proceeds were returned to both the welfare facilities to which the artists belong and the individual creators themselves.

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds “LOVE IT!” silsil Exhibition

From Saturday, April 8 to Monday, April 10, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held a personal exhibition of silsil, who emerged victorious at the ART BATTLES TOKYO 2016. This art performance event was held in October last year as a memorial to the 4th anniversary of the opening of ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE, with the aim of discovering the next generation of artists. The right to hold a personal exhibition was granted to silsil as an extra prize. The exhibition showcased the artwork produced by silsil, an artist who draws a fantastic world of females, by imagining the future when girls around the world enjoy their life more freely, calling out “LOVE IT!” For silsil, the exhibition was a memorable personal exhibition that marked her debut in the Kanto area. Visitors enjoyed experiencing the “LOVE IT!” world view portrayed by silsil.

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds “MAZEKOZE ART 3: Collaboration as a theme”

From Saturday, March 11 to Wednesday, April 5, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held the MAZEKOZE ART exhibition for the third time, jointly with Get in touch, a general incorporated association whose representative is the actress Chizuru Azuma. ITOCHU supports the purpose of the MAZEKOZE ART exhibitions organized as a part of the association’s activities based on the concept of a “MAZEKOZE Society” (“Jumbled Up Society”). Accordingly, ITOCHU has provided exhibition space free of charge each year since 2015. Based on the theme “this year is collaboration!”, the third MAZEKOZE ART exhibition showcased art from artists with disabilities, collaborative products from fashion makers and companies, and works derived from original design drawings.
During the period of the exhibition, events including the MAZEKOZE Fashion Show featuring minorities as models and a talk show to reflect on the Sagamihara stabbings after six-month were also held. These events built ties among various organizations, companies, and individuals, enabling Chizuru Azuma’s intention to aim for a “jumbled up society” to be communicated to visitors.


ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds the 2nd Art Project Exhibition of the Tokyo Metropolitan Schools for Special Needs Education “My Color, My Shape, My Shine”

From Monday, February 20 to Monday, March 6, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held an exhibition for showcasing works created by students of the Tokyo Metropolitan Schools for Special Needs Education, jointly with the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education. This exhibition was first held last year by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education with the aim of discovering and further developing the artistic talents of disabled students. The exhibition showcased about 50 artworks of high artistic quality. They were selected from among 830 entries, which were received from students enrolled in 58 Tokyo Metropolitan Schools for Special Needs and reviewed and judged by the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, and other juries. The Faculty of Fine Arts of the university cooperated in the design of the exhibition method and the lighting, and a large number of visitors enjoyed the students’ works with their high artistic quality.

10th ITOCHU Annual Baseball Class Held at Jingu Stadium

On Sunday, March 5, the ITOCHU Group held the annual baseball class for children with disabilities. Held each year to give the children the chance to experience the joy of baseball, this year marked the 10th iteration of the event and it was held at Jingu Stadium. Former Tokyo Yakult Swallows players Mr. Yamabe and Mr. Kawabata arrived as coaches and ran a baseball clinic that included tee batting, base running, knocks, catch ball and pitching practice in the bullpen. Employee volunteers from 14 ITOCHU Group companies formed pairs with 50 children to provide support from start to finish, and a turnout of around 230 people including the children and their families enjoyed baseball.
Next, through the “ITOCHU Children’s Dream Fund,” an initiative to support the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, two competitive youth baseball teams from Fukushima were invited to Tokyo. The teams played an exchange game with Tokyo teams on the revered ground. The young players received a day-long gift of being able to use the locker room and practice areas used by the pros and experience what it is like to be professional baseball players.


Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

・Through ITOCHU Children’s Dreams Fund, ITOCHU Collaborated to the Orchestra Concert Held in Iwaki City
・Second ITOCHU Children’s Dream Snowboard School Held!
For details, visit:

Exhibition of Up-and-Coming Japanese-Style Painter Kazuyuki Suto, Wind Blowing Through Seasons, Held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

From Saturday, January 28 to Tuesday, February 14, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held an individual exhibition of Kazuyuki Suto, an artist featured in ITOCHU’s picture calendar for 2017. The original paintings used in the calendar and an extensive series of larger versions (170cm × 220cm) were on display, with the theme of the seasons and wind with a focus on small creatures that are close to humans. A painting used for the cover of the new publication titled Buppo no Tanemaki (Sowing the Seeds of Buddhism) written by Yakushiji Temple Chief Tai-in Murakami was also unveiled. During the exhibition period a sermon was given by Tai-in Murakami and workshops were held on creating Japanese-style paintings using natural mineral pigments and stencils, giving many visitors the opportunity to enjoy the seasonal winds expressed in Japanese-style paintings.

Workplace visit by first-year students of Aoyama Junior High School of Minato-ku

On February 7, ITOCHU Corporation accepted a workplace visit by two first-year students of Aoyama Junior High School of Minato-ku. It was held as a part of career guidance and ITOCHU employees responded to questions from the students. Works of ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE, which is familiar to local residents, were also introduced to the students. The workplace visit allowed the students to learn about the actual workplaces and value of the work through a tour of the Tokyo Head Office building and interviews with employees.

Supporting Classes on Intercultural Understanding for Mongolian Host Towns through the Japan Business Federation’s Committee on the Olympic and Paralympic Games

As host towns for Mongolia during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tsubame City and Yahiko Village in Niigata Prefecture jointly held intercultural classes to promote understanding of Mongolia. As a part of activities by the Japan Business Federation’s Committee on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which was established as a united endeavor by the Japanese business community, an ITOCHU employee who has been involved with business related to Mongolia for many years served as an instructor.
A total of 112 people took part in the class held on February 1. Participants included Tsubame Mayor Suzuki, Deputy Mayor Nanba, municipal officials from Tsubame City and Yahiko Village, and members of the Host Town Tsubame City Promotion Committee. While sharing pictures and recounting experiences in the country, the instructor gave basic knowledge about Mongolia, described living conditions and gave insight about the characteristics of Mongolians. At the end of the class, there was a session for practicing Mongolian greetings. With everyone in the audience repeating after the instructor in unison, it ended up being a very lively workshop. For its part, ITOCHU is also proactively offering assistance in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games to create a society that takes the initiative in providing support to foreign visitors to Japan with a “spirit of hospitality” that involves all citizens.


Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

・Co-Sponsoring the TMSO × ITOCHU Class Concert 2017
For details, visit:

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds Exhibition of the Future of Calligraphy

From Tuesday, January 17 to Wednesday, January 25, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE held a group exhibition featuring the late Yuichi Inoue and eight contemporary art calligraphers, aiming to cultivate the future generation of artists. The up-and-coming artists being exhibited include Hisashi Yamamoto, who has continued to pursue a new form of calligraphy following in the footsteps of Yuichi Inoue, who pioneered postwar Japanese modern art and was one of few Japanese calligraphers to gain international renown. On the opening day, Yamamoto and Hashiguchi LINtalow gave public performances of calligraphy, presenting calligraphy as a form of contemporary art.

ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE Holds Exhibition: Let’s Celebrate the New Year of 2017 with Art of Various Roosters!

Over a several day period spanning the year-end and New Year period from Friday December 23, 2016 (public holiday in Japan) to Wednesday, December 28, 2016, and from Wednesday, January 4, 2017 to Sunday, January 15, 2017, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE organized an exhibition as part of a New Year campaign themed after the rooster, which is the animal of the Chinese zodiac for 2017. 110 young artists aged 35 or younger who represent future generations expressed “rooster” across a wide range of genres including Japanese-style paintings, Western-style paintings, woodblock prints and three-dimensional works. During the exhibition, the young artists became teachers, taking part in workshops to carve out images of birds using rubber eraser blocks, and events to produce original tin badges. Visiting customers were able to enjoy creating works while engaging in exchanges with the artists.