Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, and in Japan it affects more than 90,000 people each year. Currently, 1 in 9 women in Japan are expected to be affected by the cancer during their lifetime, with this statistic and the number of people who die from breast cancer continuing to rise.
Early detection is very important, with around 90% or more of people being expected to be cancer-free if it is discovered at an early stage. However, the breast cancer screening rate for people aged 40 and over is still low, with only 40% of the population being screened annually.

Since 2003, the Pink Ribbon Festival has been conducting activities to convey the importance of early detection and the appropriate treatment of breast cancer, with this year marking the 19th year of the event.
Over the last 19 years, the environment surrounding breast cancer has changed drastically due to advances in medicine, understanding and relationships with others, new ways of thinking and lifestyle changes. It has also become apparent that no two cancer patients are the same, with different needs and courses of treatments being required for each person.
Therefore, this year’s Pink Ribbon Festival event has added a new activity concept to their mission; ‘MY PINK ACTION, let’s get to know about yourself and breast cancer’. This new concept will see the organisation promote the five essential categories of breast cancer awareness; ‘self-check’, ‘examination’, ‘understanding’, ‘treatment and care’ and ‘new daily lifestyle’.
Additionally, Japan Cancer Society will continue to share the correct self-check method in an easy-to-understand manner through their official SNS on the 19th of each month (known as Pink Day).

The Pink Ribbon Festival’s schedule for 2021 has just been released, with the first event the ‘Pink Ribbon Design Award’ poster and copy competition looking for entries that convey the correct knowledge of breast cancer and that promote the five essential categories of breast cancer awareness.

The first part of the Pink Ribbon Festival 2021, will be the ‘Pink Ribbon Design Award’, which will see artists from across the nation design posters with a focus on the importance of breast cancer screening. Each year the event sees more entries than the last. In 2020, the event saw a total of about 23,850 entries, and this year that number is expected to increase again.
Applications will be accepted for this year’s contest, which is the 17th time the award has been run, from Sunday 9 May 2021. Creators of all ages and experience are welcome to apply, be they amateur artists or professionals in the design industry.

The theme of the ‘Pink Ribbon Design Award" is to convey the correct knowledge of breast cancer, the importance of early detection in one’s own body, and to encourage women to attend regular medical examinations no matter their health history.
The contest is split into two categories; one for poster design, and another for copy (written material) design.

Eligible areas: nationwide Japan
Application dates: 9 May – 30 June 2021
Apply via:


Poster Category:
Grand Prix (1 to be awarded): 500,000 yen prize money. The winner’s work will be used for traffic advertisements, magazine advertisements and other breast cancer awareness media.
Kirin Beverage (1 to be awarded): The winner of this prize will see their designs used as advertisements on Kirin Beverage ‘Pink Ribbon’ vending machines.
Chugai Pharmaceutical (1 to be awarded): The winner’s work may be used by Chugai Pharmaceutical as public health campaigns.
Fukoku Life Insurance Award (1 to be awarded): The winner’s work may be used by Fukoku Life Insurance as public health campaigns.

Copy Category:
Grand Prix (1 to be awarded): 100,000 yen prize money. The winner’s work will be used for next year’s copy of the poster category, and will be used for encouragement by the Pink Ribbon Festival.

The winners of both categories will be announced on the Pink Ribbon Festival official website and in Sendenkaigi’s ブレーン (Brain) magazine in the beginning of October 2021.

Former winning pieces of the design contest.

Former winning pieces of the design contest.

Pink Ribbon Festival 2021 event schedule

9 May – 30 June 2021: 17th Pink Ribbon Design Award
July – November 2021: Pink Ribbon Street Campaign
October 2021 (date tbc): Pink Ribbon Symposium
October 2021: Pink Light Up Festival Banner

By - Connie Sceaphierde.