NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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岡山 三味線餅つき Okayama Shamisen-mochitsuki Okayama Shamisen-mochitsuki

Jp En

In one region of Japan, a traditional event called Shamisen-Mochitsuki takes place.
   There are many theories as to the derivation of this event depending on the region. The one that is shared throughout Japan has it that the event came about following ceremonies for gods which increased in liveliness as they evolved.
   The Kibitsu-jinja Shrine, located in Kibitsu, Okayama-shi, Okayama Prefecture, enshrines the historic deity Kibitsuhikonomikoto (a Shinto god).
   Long ago, great actors and performers came from Edo and Kyoto to enact performances of Miyauchi at certain festivals. During the festivals, mochi (sweet rice-cakes) were made and offered to the gods, but this tradition evolved to the Shamisen-mochitsuki, when talented and powerful performers integrated the shamisen (three-stringed instrument) and drums into the events.
   The event was once stopped, but in the 1940s it recommenced and continues to this day. During the Shogatsu San-ga-nichi (first 3 days of January), the Kibitsu temple hands out mochi to visitors, pleasing the people who come to the temple.
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京の神祇装束調度品 Kyono-shingishozoku-chodohin Kyoto Ceremonial Objects and Costumes

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In Kyoto, various ceremonies required the making of special implements and costumes. Ceremonial objects include wooden apparatuses, mirrors, flags, curtains and instruments. Ceremonial costumes include dresses, typical Heian clothing and their accessories.

Some 85% of these ceremonial objects are made in Kyoto. Production proceeds slowly as most objects and costumes are handmade.

Because the imperial court used to be based in Kyoto until the Meiji Restoration, there were a great many different ceremonies, and professionals were needed to make the ceremonial goods. In the Edo period, the Sakamoto family became renowned as craftsmen working at the Ise Shrine. Kyoto craftsmanship was more skilled than elsewhere in Japan, even before the Sakamoto family appeared.

Nowadays, the demand for ceremonial objects is increasing because traditional implements are coming back into favor for use at occasions such as weddings. As a result, more craftsmen are needed and the industry is trying to foster successors.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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