NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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えれこっちゃみやざき erekotcha-miyazaki Ere-kotcha Miyazaki Festival

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The Ere-kotcha Miyazaki festival started in 2002 and is a revival of the Miyazaki Furusato festival that was first held in 1984 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Miyazaki City. It is a new type of festival, blending traditional Bon dancing with modern-style dancing.

The festival is held on the last two days of July. There are two main events. One is the 'citizen's dance', a large-scale dance with 10,000 people dancing to local folk music. The other event is the dance contest, Ere-kochya Miyazaki, held in downtown Miyazaki. This contest involves various groups and teams of dancers, and performers from all over Kyushu, who express the hot summer through their bodies.

'Ere-kotcha' means 'a great matter' in the dialect of Miyazaki. And indeed, the festival is filled with great excitement.

Other attractions of this festival include the 'Taiko-mai', a performance by taiko drum groups from around the prefecture, and the 'Kitchen Garden', where the rich ingredients of Miyazaki can be met. These various events and performances wonderfully represent the spirit of the festival.
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奥山峰石(人間国宝) Okuyama Houseki Hoseki Okuyama (Living National Treasure)

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Hoseki Okuyama was born in 1935, in Shinjyo, Yamagata Prefecture.

Hoseki's family was famous for the craft of 'tankin'. In 1995, he was designated as a Living National Treasure for his tankin skills. Tankin is a metalcraft technique that involves hammering heated metal and molding it over a plate called an 'ate-kin'.

Hoseki has lived his life fully. He came to Tokyo when he was only 15 and became apprenticed to Soho Kasahara, a silver craftsman. Later, when he was 27, Hoseki became independent and established his own studio. In the years that followed, he was a working craftsman.

During the oil-shock of 1975, he received fewer orders, yet he chose to concentrate even more on his work. Over time, his skills were recognised and in 1984 he finally won a prize from the Director-General of the Agency for Cultural Affairs at the traditional Japanese handicrafts exhibition.

Sometimes it takes several months to make a piece that Hoseki is personally satisfied with.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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