NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/26


古代の丘 Kodai-no-oka Kodai-no-Oka and Jomon Village

Jp En

In Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, there is a museum dedicated to archaeological sites excavated in the vicinity. The museum itself is in Jomon Village at the foot of Mt Nishi, an area peppered with many ancient sites from the Jomon period.

Extensive research in Showa 52 led to the recognition of the site as an ancient area of habitation dating to the paleolithic Yayoi period. Inside the museum are clay figures and artifacts, while outside on Kodai-no-Oka (Hill of Antiquity) in the center of the village are gigantic clay figures. Visitors can also experience 'camping' inside a restored pit dwelling.

The resource center was built with the idea of preserving the surrounding mountains, rivers and hills, and is populated with many rare animals and plants. Camping in the autumn, when the leaves turn, is also popular.
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楢本磨崖仏 Naramoto-magaibutsu Naramoto Granite Carving

Jp En

In Naramoto, Oita Prefecture, there is a granite rockface with carvings representative of the Muromachi period.

There are 45 Buddhist figures in all, including Fudo, carved on a rockface measuring 4.5m (L) × 40m (W) wall. Other than Fudo (Fudō-Myōō, Kongaradoji and Seitakadoji) and Yakushisanzon (Bhaisajyaguru, Nikko Bodhisattva, Gekko Bodhisattva), there are sculptures of the Twelve Heavenly Generals, Nio, Jizo Bodhisattva and a mandala that represents the world of Buddhism.

On the upper right hand side of the Fudō-Myōō, it is signed that the rock carvings were made in 1428. However it is hard to believe that all the carvings were made simultaneously, because the lower part seems to be older than the upper ones. In 1957, these granite carvings were designated as an important cultural asset of the prefecture.
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菅尾石仏 Sugao-sekibutsu The Sugao Stone Buddha Statues

Jp En

The Sugao stone Buddha statues were created in the late-Heian period. The area was designated as an archeological site on 22 January, 1924, and as an important cultural asset on 26 May, 1964.

There are five carved images: Amitabha Buddha in the center, Bhaisajyaguru and Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara on the right, and Jūichimen Kannon and Tamonten on the left. They are preserved in relatively good condition. From the red-colored images, an invisible energy seems to gush out.

For 1000 years, these monuments have been protecting the people from mishap, while bringing luck and encouraging the birth and raising of strong children. The statues are also called 'Iwagongen' as an invocation to the god Kishu-Kumanogongen
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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