NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/10/4


亀ヶ岡遺跡 Kamegaoka-iseki Kamegaoka Site

Jp En

Kamegaoka Ruins in Tsugaru City in Aomori Prefecture is a large-scale ruins site, which is emblematic of the Jomon period of the Japanese history. The site was first discovered as early as in 1622 during the Edo period.

Kamegaoka Site is most famous for “Shakokidogu,” the 34.5 cm tall clay figure with a sun shading device. Its distinguishing features are not only the slitted eyes but also the exaggerated shape of the body. Furthermore, the abdomen is covered with elaborate patterns. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.

The site is also famous for many pieces of beautiful pottery such as pot or vases decorated with fine patters and colored with black or vermillion lacquer. During the Edo period, the pottery pieces discovered in Kamegaoka were highly esteemed as first-class art objects.

Today, the replica of Shakokidogu is erected in the ruins site and a variety of excavated items are displayed in Jomon Museum on top of the nearby hill.
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2007/1/28


玩具 Omocha Omocha (toys)

Jp En

A Japanese word “omocha” meaning a toy originally means a thing to hold in a hand and play with. In the Heian period (794-1192), it was called “mote (or mochi)-asobimono (mote or mochi means to hold in a hand, and asobimono means something to play with),” or it was referred to as simply “asobimono” in the Tale of Genji. In the Edo period, the word “omochi-asobi” or “te-asobi (hand play)” came to be used. Although some of the figures or masks made of clay dug out of Jomon excavation sites are considered as toys, most of the Japanese toys were originally introduced from China. Take koma (a top) for example, this toy is called koma in Japanese because it was introduced into Japan in the Nara period (701-794) via Goguryeo (called Koma in Japanese). Mari (a Japanese ball) was directly introduced from China during the Tang Dynasty and later it developed into “temari” for girls. After coming from China or Korea, these toys were improved and developed into something unique to each locality. Each of the traditional toys still found in various places in the country has been deep rooted in the people’s lives and religious ceremonies.
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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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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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