NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/25


神酒口 Mikino-kuchi Mikinokuchi

Jp En

The mikinokuchi is a folk craft article that dates back more than 300 years. It is presented in symmetrical pairs within a tokkuri and placed on the household Shinto altar of each district in order to celebrate the gods. It is also sometimes seen at weddings and ridgepole-raising ceremonies for good luck or as a charm.

Although the origin of the mikinokuchi is unclear, it is believed that it may have developed from a gohei (a white decorative item used mostly in Shinto rituals), or that it is an 'antenna' for receiving a god.

Mikinokuchi are made from bamboo, cypress or paper depending on the district, but mikinokuchi from Shimoichi in Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, are made from Yoshino cedar. Mikinokuchi are made by weaving thin slats of wood that are cut by a kanna and notched on the surface. They are flame shaped, which represents the wish that all evil and filth be burned away.

In Shimoichi, the mikinokuchi is burned after New Year, during the Dontoyaki (a rite which terminates New Year celebrations in Japan) in order to wish for perfect health for everyone throughout the year.
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2007/1/9


京房ひも・撚ひも Kyofusahimo・Yorihimo Kyofusa Braids・Yori Braids

Jp En

Kyofusahimo/yorihimo are exquisitely braided ropes and strings decorated with clusters of ornaments. These magnificent objects date back to the Heian period, and are considered to be a traditional handicraft of Kyoto.

These crafts originated in the Heian period. The kyofusahimo and yorihimo developed because the nobles and lords of Japan wanted some flamboyant and luxurious accessories for their interior furnishings and belongings.

During the Kamakura period, samurais used these braids as kimono cords for their armor and katanas. During the Muromachi period, when the tea ceremony became popular, these braids were used to decorate equipment used during the ceremonies. In the Edo period, when many different temples were built in Kyoto, stores that sold Buddhist altar fittings decorated with these braids and stores that specialized in braids, prospered.

As braiding designs and techniques developed, there were many social changes that led to the kyofusahimo and yorihimo becoming more of a common commodity, than a luxury one.

Up to this day, the kyofusahimo and the yorihimo are beloved by the people of Japan because of their many uses in a range of applications, from everyday decoration and accessories, to traditional events, such as tea ceremonies and commemorations.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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