NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/4/22


もののふ(MONONOFU) mononofu Mononofu

Jp En

Mononofu is an old term for a samurai warrior. It is also a brand name created by a man who loves history.  The Mononofu brand expresses the uninhibited and innovative spirit of  the Sengoku period or the Warring State period.
Hideki Tanaka, the creator of the brand, boldly joins two seemingly contrary elements: the promotion of modern art and the reproduction of traditional craftwork. Mr. Tanaka, who first saw a collection of unusual kabuto helmets for warriors at the National Museum, was struck by their appearance and this sparked the idea of incorporating their design into a new indie T-shirt business.
Since each of Monofuku’s T-shirts is an expression of the unique creativity and aesthetic sense of its artist, Mr. Tanaka sees parallels in the creation process of both his T-shirts and the kabuto helmets.  He believes that, if the samurai warriors were alive today, they would embrace modern designs and materials in their expressions of beauty.
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2007/10/22


日牟禮八幡宮 Himure-hachiman-guu Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Jp En

Himure Hachimangu Shrine in Miyauchi Town in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture, is a historic shrine visited by a lot of historical figures. It is said that the shrine was founded by Takenouchi no Sukune by the order of the 13th emperor Seimu in 131, when Seimu ascended the throne at Takaanaho Palace.

It was given the present name by the 15th emperor Ojin when he traveled to Omi province and his tentative palace was set up at this shrine. As the emperor saw double rings around the sun, he ordered to build a shrine hall here and named Himure no Yashiro Hachimangu Shrine, which means Sun Gathering Shrine.

Later during the reign of Empress Jito (690-697), the shrine was renamed Himure Shrine after the poem written by Fujiwara no Fuhito when he visited this shrine. According to one theory, the name “Himure” was derived from Hifure no Omi, the founder of the Wani clan, which ruled the northern part of Nara Basin from the 5th to 6th centuries.

As the shrine housing Homutawake no Mikoto, the god of war, it was visited by many powerful warrior clans including the Ashikaga and the Tokugawa clans. At the time of the Mongol Invasions of Japan, the Japanese Imperial court presented heihaku (offerings) to the shrine. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu also visited this shrine.

In 1966, the shrine was renamed Himure Hachimangu Shrine. A lot of important cultural properties are preserved in the repository.
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2007/1/17


倶利伽羅峠 源平供養塔 Kurikaratohge Genpeikuyohtoh Kurikara Pass Genpei Memorial

Jp En

Kurikara is a pass between Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. It is also the site of a battle fought during the famous Genpei War. At the Kurikara battlefield are various historical spots relating to the war, such as the Genpei Memorial.

In 1183, the Minamoto clan blew conches, beat drums and released a stampede of 500 cows against the Heike clan. The Heike clan were exhausted by the long march from Kyoto and their warriors were unprepared. Unable to gather themselves in the darkness and resist, the army retreated to Jigoku valley.

Later, this site was named Kagyu-no-Kei and is recorded in the 'Genpei Josuiki' chronicle. The memorial is located in Sarugababa, which is a few minutes walk toward Oyabe district from Kurikara Park.

In May, the blossom from the cherry trees planted near the memorial glow as if to soothe the spirits of the fallen warriors.
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