Photo/IllutrationA scene from “The Beauty of Tanegashima” that won the highest award in the Kagoshima Global Eyes contest (Provided by the Kagoshima prefectural government)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

KAGOSHIMA--A sunset on a blue ocean, people preparing for a festival, the homes of samurai warriors and a rocket launch are captured on videos by foreigners who live in this southwestern prefecture.

Twelve of the 23 roughly 3-minute videos entered in the Kagoshima Global Eyes competition won awards.

The prefectural government asked foreigners to participate in the competition from summer to spread local charms in and outside the prefecture as well as encourage residents to communicate with people from overseas.

Emily Rose Eisemann, 27, an assistant English language teacher from the U.S. state of New York who works at a junior high school in the town of Nakatane on Tanegashima island, won the highest award.

“The Beauty of Tanegashima” features surfers, farmers, a marathon race and even a rocket launch. The island, located about 35 kilometers off the southern edge of Kyushu's main island, boasts the Tanegashima Space Center.

“I like the sunset seen on Tanegashima island,” Eisemann said after the awards ceremony held in the prefectural government hall on Nov. 22. “I want to shoot festivals I have yet to see as well as people’s everyday lives.”

Diego Sanabria, 37, from Paraguay, lives in Kagoshima and heads a nonprofit organization.

He won the second-highest award with an iPhone video clip about the Sendai Otsunahiki, an early-autumn tug-of-war festival in the city of Satsuma-Sendai that boasts a 400-year history.

Sanabria recorded not only 3,000 people tugging a rope for an hour and a half, but also captured them from a number of perspectives. He also shot footage of residents creating the humongous main rope out of 365 threads on the morning of the festival.

“I was impressed by the energy of the festival, and I was surprised to learn that they create a new rope every year,” said Sanabria.

Award-winning videos include Rafael Marmolejo's “Exploring the Beauty of Izumi City’s Samurai District,” showing the Izumi-Fumoto Samurai Residences. The area is listed as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings.

Another of his works, “A Walk Through Kagoshima’s Meizanbori, Where Past Meets the Present,” presents small alleys packed with cafes and bars in a nostalgic setting.

All award-winning works can be seen on the special prefectural website at (