NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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大崎八幡宮 長床 Oosaki-hachiman-guu Nagatoko Nagatoko at Osaki Hachimangu Shrine

Jp En

Osaki Hachimangu Shrine in Yawata, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, is a historic shrine founded in 1607 by Date Masamune as the highest guardian god of the Sendai domain. The enshrined deities are Emperor Ojin and his parents Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu.

As the oldest structure ever built in the Toshogu style known as Gongen-zukuri, which brings the culture of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1598) to the present day, the shrine pavilion is designated as a National Treasure.

Nagatoko (the worshippers’ hall) is presumed to have been constructed a little later than the shrine pavilion. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property as the oldest Nagatoko-styled structure in the prefecture.

The hall is 9 bays wide and 3 bays deep with a thatched roof in the Irimoya-zukuri (hip and gabled) style. The entrance has a Karahafu (an undulating bargeboard)-styled roof.

As it has an aisle evenly separating the building, it is called Wari-Haiden (the split oratory). Compared to the gorgeous Honden (the shrine main pavilion), it gives a sober impression.
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山寺 仁王門  Yamadera Nio Mon Gate

Jp En

Yamadera Nio Mon (Deva Kings) Gate is part of the Yamadera temple complex in Yamagata prefecture.

Yamadera is a branch temple of Enryaku-ji on Hieizan in Kyoto and was established by the priest Jikaku in 860. The official name of Yamadera is Mount Houshu Ryūshaku-ji.

Yamadera is famous for Matsuo Bashō's haiku

Such stillness
The cries of the cicadas
Sink into the rocks

It is believed that the Jyouden Osho, or 65th monk of Ryūshaku-ji, had the Nio Mon built. The graceful gate is made of zelkova wood. Looking up to it from the slope below, it appears to float in the sky.

The gate is flanked by statues of the Deva Kings. They are reputed to be the work of Hirai Genshichiro and were made to prevent people with wicked souls from entering the temple.
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北山丸太 Kitayamamaruta Kitayama Log

Jp En

The kitayama tree is one of the most common sources of timber used in making Japanese 'sukiya' houses. It is a representative Japanese cedar, and is forested in Nakagawa district, Rakuhoku, Kyoto.

Wood from the kitayama tree is characterised by its brilliant, smooth surface. Besides its color, the wood will not discolor nor warp. This is why it is beloved by architects, tea masters and intellectuals.

The first kitayama plantations were cultivated in the Muromachi period, 600 years ago, and began to be used increasingly in the tea ceremony.

The foresters put great efforts into keeping the cedar undamaged. All the production processes, from choice of saplings, to cultivation, pruning, trimming and grass-cutting, are done manually with great care and precision. Thanks to the endeavors of its pioneers, the kiyatama lumber industry continues to flourish to this day.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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