NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/6/21


宮大工 Miya-daiku Miyadaiku

Jp En

Miyadaiku are specialists in the construction of shrines and temples. As miyadaiku stay and work in a construction site away from home for many years, they are also called “peripatetic carpenters.” Different from ordinary carpenters, miyadaiku never build the same building because there are no shrines or temples of the same design in this country. The building they build will stand for hundreds of years by being given many repair works, miyadaiku need to acquire not only excellent carpentry techniques but also knowledge in various fields including archaeology and geology. Using more than 300 kinds of tools, miyadaiku use elaborate traditional wood joinery techniques called “hikite” and “tsugite,” where no nails are used. These elaborate skills are transmitted orally from a master to an apprentice.

There used to be several hundred miyadaiku in Japan, but now there are only about one hundred. Some of the famous miyadaiku are Tsunekazu Nishioka, the Master Carpenter in the Showa Grand Renovations at Horyuji Temple, Kahei Sasaki, who directed the renovation of Asakusa Kannon Hall, and Shoji Matsuura, the specialist in preservation of cultural assets and directed the repair work of the five-story pagoda at Kaijusenji Temple in Kyoto.
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2006/12/15


適塾 Teki-juku Tekijuku 

Jp En

Tekijuku was a private school founded by Ogata Koan , a doctor and scholar of Dutch studies (Rangaku) in Senba Osaka, in 1838 during the Tenpo era of the late Edo period. The school produced a lot of notable alumni includeFukuzawa Yukichi , Omura Masujiro and Takamatsu Ryoun, who pioneered Japan’s modern era from the end of Edo Period through Meiji Restoration. Tezuka Ryosen, a grand-grand father of Japan’s famous cartoonist, Tezuka Osamu, was also a student of this school. After Meiji Restoration, when Osaka Medical School was opened, the professors and the students transferred to the new school and Tekijuku endedits long history. As Faculty of Medicine at Osaka University, it stillconveys the tradition of Japan’s oldest medical school. The building ofTekijuku still has been preserved by Osaka University Steering Committee forTekijuku Conservation. Next to the building on the right is the bronze statue of Ogata Koan. Upstairs are students’ rooms, where you can seenumerous sword cuts on the surface of the pillars. These sword cuts are said to have been made during excited debates among the students, from which you can infer what people and the social background were like in those days. The building was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage in 1964.
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2006/11/29


開明学校 Kaimei-gakkou Kaimei School

Jp En

Kaimei School is a quasi-Western style building built in Seiyo City, Ehime Pref. in 1882. This “up-to-date” building has arch windows with German glass panes that were very rare in those days. However, the building itself was built in the traditional Japanese style, in which, for example, Kara-hafu (an undulating bargeboard) style was used for the entrance roof. The exterior of the school building looks like a small kura (warehouse) with the old fashioned shirakabe (white clay) walls. It was designated as National Important Cultural Properties in 1997. Today it is a museum where 6,000 precious documents are stored and displayed including school textbooks in the Edo period through the early Showa period and documents on school administration. You can experience the one-day class named “All Work and All Play at Meiji School.” Next to this building in the right stands Shingi-do, the previous institute of this school. It was a private school in the Meiji period and Siebold and his disciples including Keisaku Ninomiya got together there. Siebold’s daughter, Oine studied medicine under Ninomiya’s tutelage and became the first woman doctor in Japan.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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