NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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鏝絵 Kote-e Kote-e Plaster Relief Carving

Jp En

Koto-e is a form of relief carving on Japanese plaster. A special craftsman makes plaster reliefs and sculptures on to the walls of private house and storehouse. Designs include auspicious symbols and characters as well as imaginary beasts that represent people's prayers and wishes.

'Koto-e' has only recently been coined as a name for this craft, and Izu Chohachi's work was the first to be categorized as such. This craft used to be called 'doro-e', 'kabe-e', etc.

Koto-e relief carving is a craft that has only really developed from the late Edo through Meiji period, a time of kaleidoscopic changes into the modern era. The spirit of the craftsmen living through these times can be felt in their work. Recently, plaster-relief carving nearly vanished, but it has gradually seen its popularity as a craft rise again. A koto-e competition takes place annually in Hamazaki Town, the hometown of Chohachi.
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弘前のねぷた祭り Hirosaki-no-Neputa-matsuri The Neputa festival of Hirosaki

Jp En

The Hirosaki Neputa, a summer festival held in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, is one of the four major festivals in Hirosaki. The people of Hirosaki parade throughout the city towards the call of "Yahh-Yahh-Do", pulling the parade floats of warrior figures and warrior paintings. Around 70 neputa parade floats, including the ougi-neputa (a fan-shaped neputa) and kumi neputa (a man-shaped neputa), run during the festival.
It is told that neputa beganin the second year of the Bunroku period (1593), when the patriarch Tamenobu Sato held a huge, 2 ken square-sized lantern (approximately 3.62meters square) in the Urabone festival during his stay in Kyoto.
There are a variety of tastes in today’s Hirosaki Neputa, such as Kodomo-Neputa (Children’s Neputa), and Mae-Tourou (lantern with letters on the front side). The dynamic beauty of these floats overwhelms the viewer. The powerful Kagamie is displayed on the front, and the fascinating beauty Miokurie appears on the back.
The Hirosaki Neputa wasdesignated  an important intangible folk-cultural property of the country in 1980 (Showa 55).
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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