NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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島田飴まつり Shimada-ame-matsuri Shimada Candy Festival

Jp En

Shimada Candy Festival takes place every December 14th at Yoshioka-Hachiman Shrine in Taiwa-cho, Kurokawa-gun, Miyagi Prefecture.
Yoshioka-Hachiman Shrine is said to date back to 1618 when Date Munekiyo, the third son of Date Masamune, and founder of Sendai Clan, moved from Shimokusa to Yoshioka and the shrine was transferred as well and re-built in the current location.
The festival is said to have begun on December 14th sometime between 1615 and 1623 when the priest of the shrine fell in love with a bride with a Shimada wedding hairstyle and he became ill. Villagers, worried about the priest, donated candies in the shape of the Shimada hairstyle to the shrine, and that led to the priest recovering from his illness.
It is believed that the shrine makes love come true and many people, wishing for luck with love, visit the shrine to seek candies.
Shimada Candy Festival is a lively festival crowded with stores selling Shimada hairstyle candies and with many young people wishing for good matchmaking.
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狐の嫁入り Kitsune-no-yomeiri Kitsunen no yomeiri (The Fox’s Wedding) 

Jp En

Once upon a time, in the mountain of Kirin at confluence of the Agano River and the Tokonami River, there used to live a lot of foxes and kitsunebi (mysterious fireballs) were seen every night. Because the kitunebi looked like a line of paper lanterns used for a wedding parade, the people in this area began to call the fireballs “kitsune no yomeiri.” In the town of Tsugawa, reproducing this local legend, the annual event of “Tsugawa kitsune no yomeiri Parade” is held on May 3. The couple who will get married soon take the parts of the groom and the bride and the wedding parade goes around the town. The procession starting at Sumiyoshi Shrine, crossing the Agano River and heading for the top of Mt. Kirin creates fantastic atmosphere. The parade has been held since the old times when people believed that they could gather a rich harvest in the year in which a lot of kitsunebi could be seen (namely the year when they could see the parade).
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姫てまり Hime-temari Hime Temari

Jp En

Hime Temari ball (Japanese cotton-wound ball) is a traditional craft product of Matsuyama City, Ehime Pref. There is a tradition that a bride takes this ball along when she moves into the groom’s house as a symbol of amicable settlement (maruku osamaru) or healthy growth of a child (marumaru sodatsu) because a Japanese word maru means an orbicular shape. It is also believed to bring in luck, so there is a custom to add up a new one at New Year’s. Woven with colorful and shiny thread, the elegant and beautiful Hime Temari ball is loved by the people not only in Japan but also from abroad, to whom it is known as a “diamond ball.” It is preferred as a Christmas ornament, too. Each ball is carefully crafted by hand, in the hope that every owner of this ball may be happy.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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