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The Japanese in Broome

Permanent Public Art Design/Japanese themed at Napier Terrace



 - Inset lighting pillars

 - Filigree street Lights

 - Sandblasted concrete bench


Broome has a strong Japanese influence dating back to 1880’s - Pearl Shelling, WWII, Internees, Air Raid and Cultured Pearl, during period of White Australian Policy. “Chinatown” was once known as “Japtown”, on Napier Terrace is the Japanese heritage of Broome, where Japanese lived and traded business. General merchandise stores, laundry shops, doctors, pearl divers, carpenters, boatbuilders, financiers, taxi drivers, restaurants, opium dens, tombstone carvers at Shiba Lane, and “The Japanese Club” all contributed to the Japanese influence and the colourful unique characters of Broome.

Highlighting Japanese annual event Obon in August fullmoon to pay homage to ancestor’s spirits return to this world in order to visit relatives. This is an important role for Broome Japanese community and it is strong part of concept body at the beginning of Shinju Matsuri. Broome Japanese community is still inheriting this tradition and spiritual culture. The design on Napier Terrace, the traditionally inspired Japanese patterns, using temple or Shrine for filigree building parts and kimono textiles, interweaving design of spirits by traditional Japanese culture, and each design is meaningful. The pillars are lit up at night, colours flowing quietly, as remains Japanese tradition, as connect to their spirits.

“The Japanese in Broome” these artworks pay homage to the contribution of the Japanese community to Broome.


Concept&Art works: Tomoko Yamada
Consultation: Broome Japanese Community

Project: Chinatown Broome Revitalization-stage2
Landscape Architect: Josh Byrne&Associates

Client: Shire of Broome
, WA State Government, Turism WA
Year: 2020-2021

Photos: Ian Mcconnell

Movie: Tomoko Yamada

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