Bridging Communities: Sharing our Memories

Students use historical photos of Fujinomiya to create an interactive exhibition to connect with local older residents.

Project Description

Bridging Communities: Sharing our Memories

Fujinomiya, Japan

October 2013 – February 2014
Partner: Fujinomiya Council
Funders: Fujitsu Laboratories
Other Partners: 

Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), International University of Japan

The British Council

Read the community case study

Explore the collection (Japanese) Explore the collection (English)


Fujinomiya Council was concerned about lack of contact and understanding between teenagers and local older people. They developed a set of local relationships and ran a Historypin project to:

  • Improve understanding and relationships between teenagers and older people in Fujinomiya
  • Improve the digital skills of younger and older people
What happened?

Working with city officers, Fujinomiya Council identified a high school in Shizuoka prefectural Fugaku-kan who also wanted to improve intergenerational relationships between their pupils and the wider town. They challenged the students to create an interactive intergenerational event, based around historical photos of Fujinomiya.

The students brainstormed the kind of activities that were suitable for older people and developed the idea of displays featuring hand-drawn maps overlaid with old photos and spaces to add memories.

The students ran their event in the Fujinomiya Shopping Street Station, working with a local street market to attract more visitors. Older people were invited and added their memories to the display, which became richer and richer as more stories were shared.

Old photographs of the area were sourced by local photographers, newspapers, city officers and high school teachers.

The best photos and stories were uploaded to a localised Japanese language version of, and the event was documented in a short film.

What was created?

  • Intergenerational photo and memory sharing activities
  • Physical, local displays of historical photos enriched with stories from local people
  • A film documenting the project
  • 1,247 photos and stories added to a Japanese language version of Historypin
  • 363 photos and stories added to the Fujinomyia Collection


Local community engagement
Advised on how to on how to use the Historypin engagement methodology to run community engagement sessions to share and digitise photos and stories

Design & Digital
Designed a customised, localised version of in Japanese ( with a custom Collection for the Fujinomiya project.


The project had a particular impact on:

  • Changing perspectives of the local area
  • Improving intergenerational relationships
  • Improving older people’s wellbeing

“I hope they do this again. So nice to reminisce like this, it’s soothing”
— Older participant

“I really loved this. It’s not often you get to speak to such young people these days”
— Participant

“In recent times, you really felt that Fujinomiya was this desolate place, but I now know this is a truly heart-warming place with so many people”
— High school student

“It allowed both elderly people and the pupils to understand their roles in society together better through communication. The elderly people had a chance to talk about their memories with teenagers. The teenagers feel a sense of their place in their community and how they can contribute positively.”
— Organiser

“I really felt that this cross-generational exchange has become more natural than ever”
— High school teacher

It was a successful effort to create a space for trans-generational exchange, including with senior citizens with dementia.”

Organiser, Bridging Communities: Sharing our Memories

“A core aspect of the project was to develop and utilise ICT skills (of both the school pupils and senior citizens), and the Historypin tool was perfect for this.”

Organiser, Bridging Communities: Sharing our Memories

“It’s not just about creating something for the sake of creating, it can be so much more, a medium that promotes communication across generations, between those with and without a disability, between the locals and the tourists.”

Organiser, Bridging Communities: Sharing our Memoriesr

If you’d like to run a similar project with Historypin, get in touch.