NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/7/28


オオタスセリ Oota Suseri Suseri Oota

Jp En

Suseri Oota is an entertainer born in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Her stage name, also Suseri Oota, is written only in katakana characters, instead of the kanji characters of  her real name. The name, Suseri, came from Princess Suseri, a legendary figure who appeared in the book Kojiki (680 A.D.). The Suseri of legend was known to have been driven to pursue whatever she wanted.
Suseri Oota left university before completing her course to become an actor and she began to study acting at Gekidan En Kenkyuujo. After finishing her studies there, she formed a comic duo. When her partner got married and left the duo, she became a solo performer, often accompanying herself on guitar. She loved to perform on stage but she is also highly regarded as a film and TV actor, scenario writer and essayist. Her most successful book is Dekai Onna (Large Woman).
Suseri is 176cm tall and her shoe size is 26cm.  This stands out from other Japanese women whose average height is 159cm. Her stature adds uniqueness to her image and it gives her a sharp eye for details in everyday life which many people overlook. She strives to free herself and others from social and aesthetic stereotypes.
Suseri Oota is a performer and an artist who is a person of action and who is not afraid to reveal herself to the public.  She is a modern version of the Princess Suseri written about in ancient times.  Her uniqueness and courage have set the course for great success in the future.
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2007/5/31


月山 Gassan Mt Gessan

Jp En

Mt Gessan is one of the three mountains in the Dewa Sanzan group, and is located in Tagawa, Yamagata prefecture.

Mt Gessan is 1984m high and stands almost in the middle of Yamagata prefecture. It lies in the northern part of Bandai Asahi National Park and is a treasure house of nature that includes animals, plants and primary forest like beech.

The name of Gessan ('moon mountain') derives from the fact that it appears to be as enormous as a half-moon. The mountain has always been linked to religion and there is a shrine at the top dedicated to Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto, a brother of the goddess Amaterasu-omikami.

The mountain has also been a place for ascetic training. Many practitioners have visited here to worship Gessan-okami, but most of them have not felt ready enough and have gone back. Their route back is still known as the 'Return of Practitioners' although hikers take this road today. Mt. Gessan is a spiritual mountain with great views and alpine plants.
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2007/1/29


普光寺 Fukou-ji Fukoji Temple

Jp En

Fukoji Temple, also known as Ajisai (Hydrangea) Temple, belongs to the Koyasan Shingon sect and is located on Mt Tsukushi.

Nichira founded the temple in 583. Known as Chikushioji at the time, the temple prospered during the Heian and Kamakura periods to become one of the three leading Holy Temples of Kyoto. The temple was demolished in 1586 in the battle of Hosatsu, but was restored in 1594 by the lord of Okajo Castle, Nakagawa Hisakiyo.

The impressive Magaibutsu sculptures carved in the rockface near the temple features the Fudo Myo-o (Acala) Buddha in the middle, accompanied by Seitaka and Kongara, and Tamonten (Chief of the Four Heavenly Kings) and Benzaiten (the goddess Sarasvati) to his right. The Fudo Myo-o is the largest Buddhist statue in Japan, measuring 11.4m high, the head alone being 2.4m.

Approximately 3000 hydrangeas in the temple precincts bloom around June. The annual Hydrangea Festival features a myriad of color and embellishes the land.
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2007/1/25


熊野古道 Kumano-kodou The Ancient Road of Kumano

Jp En

The Ancient Road of Kumano is a beautiful stone-paved road in Higashi-Kishu, Mie Prefecture.

The Ancient Road of Kumano is one of the pilgrimage roads included in the World Heritage's 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range'. The road was made for pilgrims to visit the Three Shrines of Kumano, the Grand Shrine of Kumano Hongu, the Grand Shrine of Kumano Hayatama, and the Grand Shrine of Kumano Nachi.

In ancient times, the Kumano area was revered as a holy land where gods and goddesses dwelled, and also as a place of rebirth where the dead gather.

After the Shirakawa Emperor's royal visit to Kumano in 1090, more visitors came to the Three Shrines of Kumano. Visiting Kumano became so popular in the Edo period, that it was known as the 'Kumano ant pilgrimage'.

Due to the separation order of Shinto gods and Buddhist images after the Meiji Restoration, the number of shrines along the Ancient Road of Kumano dropped sharply. The custom of visiting Kumano almost disappeared.

The Ancient Road of Kumano still lives today in the region and is known as the road to Kumano and the place of Pure Land Buddhism and rebirth.
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2007/1/12


天女橋 Tennyobasi Tennyobashi Bridge

Jp En

Tennyobashi is the oldest stone-arch bridge in Japan. It is situated at Benzaiten-dou at Enkan Pond, in front of the entrance to Enkakuji-temple in Naha, Okinawa.

In 1502, a building was erected to store Buddhist scriptures sent from Korea. Tennyobashi was built for people to access this building.

The bridge is very small, only 9.4m long and 3m wide. Tennyo ('goddess') refers to the Water Goddess Benzaiten, who is enshrined at Nakanoshima.

The bridge is a stone-arch bridge; the middle section is higher, while the sides slope gently down. It resembles the popular camel-hump bridges of southern China.

In 1972, the bridge was designated as an Important National Cultural Asset. It gives a sense of calmness and history.
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2007/1/11


機具岩 Hatago-iwa Hatago Rocks

Jp En

Noutou-Kongou is the coastal region near Togi, in Hakui district, Ishikawa prefecture. There are many places to see along this extraordinary coast. Hatago rocks is one of them.

Also known as 'Noutou's Two Rocks', the two rocks are connected by a rope and are worshiped. A long time ago, legend has it that the goddess Nunaki-iri-Himeno-Mikoto was trying to develop the cloth industry in Noutou. One day, she was attacked by a bandit. She threw the cloth she was carrying into the sea, whereupon it changed into the two rocks. This legend is the origin of the story of these rocks.

When the setting sun sinks, the silhouette of the two rocks floats in the dark red of the sea. The view is almost surreal: it is as if a goddess appears.
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