NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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久慈琥珀 Kuji-kohaku Kuji Amber

Jp En

Kuji Amber is amber produced in Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture.
Amber is a fossilized resin that takes million of years to form. The region of Kuji is notable for its production volume and high quality. Historically it is known to be the only amber production location in Japan.
The oldest amber in the world is around 300 million years old. Amber produced in Kuji region is about 85 million years old, which dates from the end of the Cretaceous Period. However, Kuji amber is the oldest amber in the world that is used for jewelry production.
Kuji amber has been produced since ancient times and amber found in the ruins of ancient tombs from the Tumulus period in various regions are considered to be from Kuji region. It is known that studios manufacturing amber already existed by the Heian period.
In recent years, a number of amber pieces which contain academically valued rare insects have been found. Amber is also loved as a natural jewelry that brings profundity and warmness.
A precious object carrying a message from ancient times presents itself to us with a moment from infinity that the earth has been witnessing.
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追戸横穴墓群 Oido-yokoana-bo-gun Oido Yokoana Tombs

Jp En

There are several hundred “yokoana,” or “horizontal holes,” carved into the southern side of Nonodake Hill from Oido to Nakano in Wakuya Town, Miyagi Prefecture. They are the ruins of tombs built from the late 7th to the early 8th centuries.

The site is designated as a historic site by the municipal government. The area including 9 of the caves is arranged into Oido Yokoana History Park and open to the public.

The largest tomb is 9 meters in total length. At the end of the cave is the house-shaped chamber, which has three platforms to place coffins on. The walls of another cave are decorated with chisel carvings and painted red with bengara (iron rust). Pieces of beads made of glass, jade, agate and amber have been excavated, from which it is inferred that those are the tombs of a local ruling family.
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螺鈿の菓子器 Raden-no-kasiki Raden Kashiki (Raden Sweets Bowl)

Jp En

Raden is a decorative technique used in traditional crafts. The Raden kashiki (Raden sweets bowl) is one example of traditional Ryuyku lacquerware.
   The craft of Raden-work involves a technique of framing and pasting the pearls of turban shells and abalones, then adjusting and grinding them into patterned shapes on a lacquer-coated surface. This technique comes from a decorative technique where light is beautifully reflected in blues and whites. The lacquer-coated surfaces are carved in patterns, while the shells are fixed with lacquer paste to the surface. Some Raden-work features engraving on the shell itself as decoration.
   Raden includes decoration not only using shell, but also using amber, tortoiseshell and pieces of metal. Decoration using gold and silver is not called Raden, but Hyoumon or Heitatsu.
   Raden kashiki is one example of Ryukyu lacquerware that developed uniquely from earlier lacquerware techniques introduced from China.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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