NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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御火葬塚 Go-kasou-zuka Gokasozuka (Cremation Mound)

Jp En

Gokasozuka in Nakazato on Oki-Nakanoshima Island, Shimane Prefecture, is the site where Retired Emperor Go-Toba was cremated and buried.

In 1221 during the Kamakura period, Retired Emperor Go-Toba rebelled against the Kamakura Shogunate (known as the Jokyu War). He was defeated and banished to the Oki Islands, where he stayed at Genpukuji Temple for 18 years and died in despair and hopelessness in 1239 at the age of 60.

His body was cremated and buried in Katsutayama, the back hill of the temple, while and a part of the ashes were brought back to Kyoto. The mausoleum was built at the site and it has been taken good care of by local people.

Next to the mausoleum is Oki Shrine enshrining Retired Emperor Go-Toba and things pertaining to the emperor are displayed in the history museum in front of the shrine.
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作楽神社 Sakura-jinjya Sakura Shrine

Jp En

Sakura Shrine is situated between the city boundary of Tsuyama district and Kagamino town, in Okayama Prefecture. The shrine honors Emperor Go-Daigo and Kojima Takanori.

The whole precinct is designated as an important historic site. In ancient times, this area was called 'Insho' because it used to be the manor of a retired emperor. It is also known as a place where Emperor Go-daigo stayed on his way to Oki during the Genkō War in 1331. It is recorded in 'Taiheiki' that, one night, Kojima Takanori broke through the strict security around the manor and wrote a poem 'Jyu-ji-no-shi' about the cherry (sakura) tree to console the emperor.

Because of this story, the Takanori Monument was created in 1688 and later, the shrine was established in 1869.
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牛突き Ushitsuki Bullfighting in Shimane

Jp En

The longest existing bullfighting in Japan is from the island of Okinoshima, and dates back 780 years. It appears to have originated in 1221, as entertainment for the deposed Gotoba Emperor, who was exiled to Okinoshima following the Joukyu Rebellion.

Bullfighting used to occur all over Shimane Prefecture and the Shimane Peninsula, but these days it is held in only one part of the area.

The grand summer tournament is held on the 15th of August. It is a one-game match with no draw. Therefore, the islanders show an overwhelming passion toward this summer tournament. The fight continues until either one of the bulls runs away, so in some cases, the battle may last for an hour. When it is clear which bull is the winner, men gather around it, some mounting it, and others screaming with joy; the losing bull quietly leaves the ring.

Even today, bullfighting is still part of the life on the island; it is a dedication to their god. To keep up their tradition, the youths of Okinoshima have established a system to let children from 3rd and 4th grades at school to be able to train for the bullfighting.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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