NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/12/25


人工心臓 Jinkou-shinzou Artificial Heart

Jp En

“If I have to accept an artificial heart into my body, I would like it to be painless and look cool”, said the designer, Kazuo Kawasaki, who sought functional progress and an aesthetic sense for an artificial heart even it resides inside the body and is invisible from the outside.  
It was the technology of the stereolithography system that made his vision become real. Stereolithography allows for the creation of three-dimensional (3-D) objects, in this case using resin, from CAD data.  Even complicated shapes like those that can be seen in Trompe-l'œil, or trick art, can be turned accurately into a real object.
Fusion is one of key words to describe the tendency of recent high-end technology developments. By fusing ideas and technologies from different fields, it becomes possible to break though the walls of limitation. Artificial hearts are seen as a new technology, an alternative to heart transplants, and their development is being advanced from areas beyond the medical field in a way that has not seen before. It is an exciting development that attracts lots of anticipation for the future.      

■Design Director / M.D.
Kazuo Kawasaki
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2007/10/15


【美】 Bi The Character for Beauty

Jp En

The character 羊 shows the form of a 'sheep.' It can often be seen as an element in Kanji. The reason for this is that in antiquity sheep were often used in rites. 'Sheep' stands out among Kanji with abstract meanings like 善 'good,' 美 'beauty,' and 義 'justice.' The character 'bi' 美 ('beauty') shows the whole body of a sheep. While 羊 shows the upper part of a sheep including the horns, in 美, its lower body including the hind legs are added. A person who possessed sheep was already considerably wealthy.

In the world of polytheism one tries to receive the favor of gods by beautiful and precious offerings. It was believed that offering a dog to the highest god was most effective. Offers to receive godly favor became especially important at the time of trials. As trials took the form of an ordeal by the gods, both parties submitted a sheep to be variously tested by the gods.

The origin of Shirakawa Kanji science follows the idea that characters were formed and developed as a means of communication between gods and man. From this standpoint, beauty has to be acceptable to the gods, or warranted by the gods. Interestingly, the Biblical idea of offering a sheep to God can also be found in Gospel St John 1, 29 and I Corinthians 1, 7.
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2007/1/29


三大神社の藤 Sandaijinjya-no-fuji Wisteria of Sandai Shrine

Jp En

Sandai Shrine in Shina-cho, near the town of Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture, is famous for its wisteria. The enshrined deities at the shrine are Shinatsuhiko-no-mikoto and Shinatsuhime-no-mikoto. 

Every year in April and May, the wisteria blossom clusters grow so long that they touch the ground, hence the name 'suna-zuri-no-fuji' (wisteria trailing the sand). The wisteria was originally planted by Fujihara, a Sessho (regent for a child emperor) and a Kampaku (regent for an adult emperor), in hopes for prosperity and good fortune. The wisteria deteriorated, however, following a fire started by Oda Nobunaga. In time, it sprouted again from its roots, and became what it is today.

At the Wisteria Festival held during this season at the shrine, people exhibit local products, and the Kusatsu-shi Sightseeing Product Association fair takes place, alongside other activities.

Along with the wisteria in the neighboring Shina Shrine and Soujya Shrine, the wisteria at Sandai Shrine are sometimes collectively known as 'shinamisato-no-fuji'. The wisteria of Sandai Shrine are notable for their twisting, lithe appearance, and make for a truly gratifying spectacle.
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2007/1/26


立羽田の景 Tachihada-no-kei The Scenery of Tachihada

Jp En

Tachihada is a beauty spot in Kusu, Oita Prefecture, and is also known as Sunset Pass. From the Prefectural Highway Mt Kusu that runs alongside it for about 1km, one can see the rocky hills.

Tachihada is a famous spot within Ura-Yaba Valley. In autumn, the area takes on a red color that makes it even more beautiful. The rocky mountains reach up and appear to touch the skies while the green vines add to the wonderful sight. This view harmonizes with the farmhouses that dot the foothills to make a pastoral landscape that seems straight out of a folk tale.

The area is rich in edible wild plants such as bracken, royal fern and 'udo'. At 'Interactive Teahouse', fresh vegetables and dumpling soup are served and many tourists enjoy the different tastes of the seasons. Persimmon trees and local dwellings further complement the landscape. It is indeed a friendly mountain village.

Tachihada is full of scenes that you will never tire of seeing.
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