NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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日牟禮八幡宮 Himure-hachiman-guu Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Jp En

Himure Hachimangu Shrine in Miyauchi Town in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture, is a historic shrine visited by a lot of historical figures. It is said that the shrine was founded by Takenouchi no Sukune by the order of the 13th emperor Seimu in 131, when Seimu ascended the throne at Takaanaho Palace.

It was given the present name by the 15th emperor Ojin when he traveled to Omi province and his tentative palace was set up at this shrine. As the emperor saw double rings around the sun, he ordered to build a shrine hall here and named Himure no Yashiro Hachimangu Shrine, which means Sun Gathering Shrine.

Later during the reign of Empress Jito (690-697), the shrine was renamed Himure Shrine after the poem written by Fujiwara no Fuhito when he visited this shrine. According to one theory, the name “Himure” was derived from Hifure no Omi, the founder of the Wani clan, which ruled the northern part of Nara Basin from the 5th to 6th centuries.

As the shrine housing Homutawake no Mikoto, the god of war, it was visited by many powerful warrior clans including the Ashikaga and the Tokugawa clans. At the time of the Mongol Invasions of Japan, the Japanese Imperial court presented heihaku (offerings) to the shrine. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu also visited this shrine.

In 1966, the shrine was renamed Himure Hachimangu Shrine. A lot of important cultural properties are preserved in the repository.
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薬師寺(世界遺産) Yakushi-ji Yakushi-ji Temple

Jp En

Yakushi-ji Temple, located in Nishinokyo in Nara prefecture, is one of the two head temples of the Hossou religious sect, the other being Koufuku-ji Temple, one of  the Seven Great Temples of Nara. In 1998, the temple was designated as a World Heritage Site. Yakushi-ji was founded by the Emperor Tenmu in 680 to pray for his wife, the Empress Unonosarara-himemiko (later known as Emperess Jitou) to recover from an illness. The temple was initially built in Fujiwara and moved to its present site following the relocation of the capital to Heijou, present day Nara, in 718. Most of the buildings were destroyed by fires from either wars or natural disasters and the only existing building from the original structure is the To-to, or East Pagoda. Other buildings, including the Kondou Main Hall, Sai-to or Wet Pagoda, Chuu-mon or the middle gate, as well as a corridor, were restored after the Showa period. Today, they still capture  visitors’ imagination and invoke images of the beauty of the temple during its heyday. In the middle of the grounds of Yakushi-ji stands the Kondou Main Hall. To the east and west of the Hall lie two Pagodas, and  behind is the Kodo, or Lecture Hall. A corridor surrounds these buildings. The architectural style of the temple is very unique, so much so that it has been given its own name: “Yakushi-ji Style Arrangement”.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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