NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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観音寺 Kan-non-ji Kannon Temple

Jp En

Kannon Temple is a Yuzu Nembutsu temple on Mt Otowa in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture.

Kannon Temple is the 8th temple of Amadera Sanju-Rokkasho. In the Hakuho period, when Nakatomi no Kamatari's son, Jo-e, enshrined his father at Myoraku Temple, he established Kannon Temple to exorcize devils. The temple includes a statue of Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara, which was carved from a single tree by Kamatari.

During the Heian period, Kannon Temple prospered and was known as Otowa Hyakubo. In 876, however, much of the temple was destroyed in a flood.

The temple's principle deity is, of course, Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara, which is known as Otowa's Kannon. The temple grounds feature several special spots, such as Otowa spring (said to be good for eye diseases), and a ginkgo tree (said to bring good fortune).
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石見神楽面 Iwami-kaguramen Iwami-kagura Mask

Jp En

Iwami-kagura masks are manufactured in the Iwami region of Shimane Prefecture. They were first made in the late-Edo period to be worn in the Iwami kagura dance, which is a traditional performing art. Kagura masks are made using glued layers of traditional Shimane craft paper, named Iwashuu. It is said that the Iwami kagura dance form originated from the Izumo kagura dance, which uses Nihonshoki and others as subject and shows dedication to kagura. Izumo kagura is also danced with masks. It is a tradition for men to act all the roles, which include gods, princesses and devils. For each role specific masks are worn. There are two basic types of masks; the most common being a helmet type that covers the head completely with holes for the eyes and nose Nowadays it is used as bringer of good luck as well as decoration.
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