NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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中津万象園 Nakazu-banshouen Nakatsu Bansho-en Garden

Jp En

Nakatsu Bansho-en is a wonderful daimyo garden located on the beach at the river mouth of the Kanakura River, which runs through Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture. It was built in 1688 by the 2nd lord of the Marugame domain, Kyogoku Takatoyo as a villa called “Nakatsu Bekkan”

There are about 1,500 pine trees including a 600-yea-old large stone pine. With 8 islets respectively named “Sail,” “Goose,” “Snow,” “Rain,” “Mist on a Fine Day,” “Moon,” and “the Evening Glow” set out in the pond, this strolling garden was constructed to emulate the Eight Fine Views in Omi (present-day Shiga Prefecture), which was the hometown of the Kyogoku family.

There are the main house and the tea house by the pond. In the garden are also Marugame Museum, where paintings of the Barbizon School and Japanese-style paintings are exhibited, Porcelain Center of the 13th century pottery works, and Hiina Doll House, where hina-dolls, combs and Japanese hair pins are displayed.
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越前和紙 Echizen-washi Echizen paper

Jp En

Among various Japanese papers, Echizen paper is especially preferred for its
delicate gloss and sublime daintiness. This handsome paper has been made in
a quiet mountain town of Imadate, Fukui Pref.. Legend has it that some 1,500
years ago, a beautiful princess came to the Okatagawa River in this town and
taught the people how to make paper. In the Nara period (710−794), the
paper was highly esteemed for copying Buddhist sutras. Later, when the
warrior class began to use paper in large quantities, papermaking skills
were improved and quantity production was possible. High quality papers such
as Echizen Hosho were also produced around this period. Then this area was
given the Shogunate patronage as a paper producing area and further
development was made. The high quality of Echizen paper, filtered through
clean water in its papermaking process, has been favored by a lot of artists
including the famous painter, Taikan Yokoyama. In recent times, it is used
for various purposes such as the sliding screens (fusuma of Japanese
traditional houses ), diplomas, writing cards, envelopes and writing paper.
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筆工房 亀井 Fude-kobo Kamei Ink Brush Workshop Kamei

Jp En

'Kamei' is the name of a workshop which specializes in making Edo ink brushes.Around the year 600, ink brushes were introduced from China to Japan, and the technique developed, mainly in Kansai. When the government of Edo was established, and as the administrative needs grew so did the demand for ink brushes. To fill this demand craft workers from Kansai moved to Edo and started making brushes; this is the beginnings of the 'Edo Ink Brush'.  The Kansai brush is ‘Firm Brush’ using only one or two-thirds of a brush, whereas the Edo Brush is 'Sabaki Brush' using all of the brush.

The manufacturing process differs between the two brushes. Unfortunately there are very few craft workers in Tokyo that know the special process and are able to make Edo brushes.The manufacturing process of Edo brushes has more than thirty stages. The stages are not divided between workers; only one worker is in charge of all the different parts of the process. Edo brushes are used in numerous different ways such as calligraphy or Japanese painting and there are as many as 950 kinds of brushes. It takes more than ten years of studying and working for a craft worker to become independent.

The 'Ink Brush Workshop Kamei' has a special policy regarding the sale of its goods. Kamei only sells to customers who they can contact directly. Kamei has its own website, but will contact a customer at least once and will talk to the customer about choosing the best brush for their needs. This professional and personal sales policy is the reason why Kamei is loved by its customers including professional and amateur calligraphers and painters.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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