NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/29


中津川渓谷 Nakatugawa-keikoku The Ravine of the Nakatsu River

Jp En

The ravine of the Nakatsu River is a beauty spot located in Kitashiobara, Yama-gun in Fukushima Prefecture. This ravine widens at the headwaters of the Nakatsu River, which is approximately 10km long and flows through Mt Azuma to Lake Akimoto.

The waterfalls created by the rapid torrents drop more than 1000m creating a grand spectacle, and the cycling road around Lake Akimoto is pleasant and perfect for strolls, too.

Of the four seasons, autumn is the most favorable and beautiful, with the red leaves making a gorgeous contrast. Magnificent natural scenery such as this can be appreciated here. Besides autumn, the area is an escape from summer heat, providing a cool, refreshing atmosphere perfect for swimming.

The bridge that arches over the ravines of the Nakatsu River gives a bird's eye view of the area. It's a perfect spot for cameramen wishing to capture the beauty of the ravine of the Nakatsu River. The ravine of the Nakatsu River is an attractive, beautiful scenic spot nestling in a tranquil and serene environment.
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2007/1/28


三筋の滝 Misuji-no-taki Misuji Waterfall

Jp En

Misuji Waterfall drops from the Tashiro River, which flows between mountains in Tashiro, near Shigaraki in Kouga district, Shiga Prefecture.

It is called Misuji Waterfall because the water drops in three parts. Besides the fall, there is a resting place to view the scenery. The waterfall is about 15m high and carries a large volume of water. At the bottom, is a broad water pool. The combination of the 'movement' of the falling water and the 'silence' of this spot can be felt in one's bones. In the tranquil atmosphere of the mountains, the water splashing creates a brisk sound. Such an atmosphere could never be felt in big cities.

Besides the waterfall, one can enjoy hiking amongst nature. Misuji Waterfall is an excellent summer retreat due to its coolness.
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2007/1/26


桜滝 Sakura-daki Sakuradaki Waterfall

Jp En

Sakuradaki waterfall is located near Amagasemachi, in Hita, Oita Prefecture. The waterfall gets its name from the mountain cherry trees ('sakura') that grow profusely here.

With a height of 25 meters and a width of 15 meters, this waterfall is defined by its white veil-like stream of falling water. In this area, both banks of the Goraku River are cliffs revealing bare rock, but the contrast with the deciduous trees growing between the cracks shows a simple kind of beauty.

The basin of the waterfall is a beautiful half sphere, and there is only a small opening around the waterfall, making it hard to see from far away. The fact that the waterfall is only a 5-minute walk through calm and peaceful paddy fields from JR Amagase station is also a good point. After crossing the rails and walking a short distance, it is already close enough to feel the spray from the waterfall. Sakuradaki is an easy-to-reach location for everyone to appreciate the magnificence of nature.
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2007/1/12


喜如嘉の芭蕉布 Kijoka-no-basyoufu Kijoka Bashofu Textile

Jp En

Kijoka bashofu is one of the oldest handwoven textiles of Okinawa. It is mainly woven in Kijoka, and is a representative textile of Okinawa.
   It is believed that bashofu was already being made in the C13th, although it was not until the modern era that it became more widely used.
   Wives and daughters wove the cloth for their families, and created the thread from the plantain trees (basho) cultivated in their yards and fields. Even though cotton had become common in the C19th, basho was still popular among the local people.
   Kijoka bashofu still carries on this tradition. In 1974, it was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Asset (group category).
   The bashofu cloth is unique in its lightness and smoothness. The airy light fabric is perfect for the hot subtropical climate of Okinawa. Today, it is a widely-favored textile.
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2007/1/5


京うちわ Kyo-uchiwa Kyoto-style Fans

Jp En

Kyoto-style fans are similar to Korean-style fans, in that they have many bamboo sticks inside the fan paper, and have a ‘Sashigara’ structure. With the ‘Sashigara’ structure, the fan side and the handle side of the uchiwa are made separately. As one of Kyoto’s handicrafts, this fan style has attained the summit of delicacy and elegance and its advanced techniques have been passed down firmly for generations. Kyoto-style fans are sometimes called ‘Miyako-uchiwa (capital fans)’ and having been used in the Imperial Palace for a long time, they have always been designed with elegant pictures. The use of fans first spread to Japan from China and Korea, during the Nara period when fans became popular among the aristocracy, not just for cooling oneself, but also for blocking wind and sunlight, as well as hiding one’s face, or just as an accessory. During the Warring States period, they were also used as generals war fans. The handles are made from moso bamboo, Japanese cedar and lacquer, while the faces of the fans are made from Minou, Tosa and Echizen paper. Decorations feature people, landscapes, haiku and waka as motifs, and use techniques from painting, block printing, hand-made dyeing, and carving to express a traditional beauty. Even now, due to the reaffirmation of the concept of “wa”, they are popular if only as decoration.
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