NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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亀岡文殊堂 Kameoka-monjyu-dou Kameoka Monju-Do

Jp En

Kameoka Monju-Do Temple is dedicated to the god of learning and is located in Takahatamachi, Higashi-okitama-gun, Yamagata Prefecture.

Along with Setsudo-monju in Kyoto Prefecture, and Abe-monju in Nara Prefecture, this temple is said to be one of the three best monju in Japan. Kameoka Monju-Do is inside Daijo-ji Temple on top of Mt Monju. The temple is said to have been founded by Hossoshu in 807.

At the entrance to the temple precincts stands a crimson Nio Gate flanked by two 'kongo-rikishi' statues. After passing through the gate and walking along the stone path lined with cedar trees, Betto-ji and Daijo-ji of Monju-do can be seen.

Monju-do was built to enshrine the Monju Bodhisattva and therefore takes Mt Wutaishan in China as heaven. The proverb 'When three heads come together, they are equivalent to the wisdom of Monju' shows the close relationship of this bodhisattva with learning.

Along the path to the temple are 16 rakan statues and a memorial to the poet-traveler Basho, further adding to the rich atmosphere of this location.
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成巽閣 Seisonkaku Seisonkaku Villa

Jp En

Located inside the grounds of the garden of Kenrokuen, Seisonkaku Villa was built in 1863. It was originally named 'Tatsumi-goten' and was built by the 13th lord of the Kaga Domain, Nariyasu Maeda, as a retreat for his mother Takako (wife of the 12th lord Narinaga Maeda).

Seisonkaku Villa is located in the southeast section ('tatsumi') of Kanazawa Castle, hence its original name Tatsumi-goten. Additionally, the name derives from the Tatsumiden built by the Takatsuka clan in Kyoto.

The building is two storeys high, with the first floor built in Shoin-style architecture and the second floor in Sukiya-style architecture. It is designated as an Important National Cultural Asset and is also a representative example of late-Edo architecture.

The elegant interior decoration indicates great consideration by the architect. Instead of walls made of earthen elements, paper is used flamboyantly, along with crimson lacquer for the first floor. On top of this, mica and gold are used for designs and ornaments. On the whole, rich decoration is a dominant characteristic of Seisonkaku Villa.

Tobizuruen, the garden of the villa, is also designated as a national scenic spot. Seisonkaku Villa is currently a historical museum.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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