NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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佐久間ダムまつり Sakuma-damu-matsuri Sakuma Dam Festival

Jp En

Sakuma Dam Festival is a citizen festival held on the last Sunday in October at Sakuma Dam in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It started in 1957 in memory of the victims to their duty of dam construction and in hope of the long successful operation of the dam.

When the dam was completed, red and black carp were brought from the water moat of the Imperial Palace and released into the dam lake as the guardian gods; thereby the parade of the Dragon God and the Dragon Dance is performed. Dashing seven young men wearing festival jackets and hair bands skillfully operate the Dragon God, which is 15 m long and weighs 60 kg, and perform a valiant dragon dance. It is distinctive that this dragon god has carp scales.

Other events such as the Sakuma Hiryu Daiko drum performance, various street performances, the Japanese noodle quick eating contest, the throwing rice cake contest and the local products fair are held in the lakeside field. Hand-held peacock fireworks are displayed on the lake. A lot of local people come to enjoy the festival on this day.
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江戸漆器 Edosikki Edo Lacquerware

Jp En

Edo lacquerware is a simple, tough and practical handicraft. It dates back to 1590, when the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, living in Edo castle, invited Kyoto lacquerware artisans to Edo.
   During the rule of Tsunayoshi, the fifth shogun, a coating technique was developed, and by the rule of Yoshimune, the eighth shogun, lacquerware was being made into food vessels. Ordinary people loved to use lacquerware as layered boxes for eel dishes, bowls for buckwheat noodles (soba) and other practical, functional utensils.
   Today, many kinds of lacquerware are produced for tea ceremony utensils, as low tables, etc., which show the development of technique and tradition from the Edo period.
   Outside Japan, while ceramics from China are referred to as china to this day, in the same way, lacquerware from Japan was once known as japan ware. Edo lacquerware is one excellent example of a Japanese handicraft used in everyday life.
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白石敏道 Toshimithu Siraishi Toshimichi Shiraishi

Jp En

Toshimichi Shiraishi is an Edo lacquerware craftsman, born in 1937 in Horikiri, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.

Toshimichi's father was also a craftsman. In 1953, Toshimichi was apprenticed to a craftsman in Senju. In 1963, when he was 26, he set up on his own.

Edo lacquerware became popular in the early Edo period when the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, invited Kyoto lacquerware craftsmen to move to the capital. Since then, the craft developed mainly to make strong practical ware, such as sushi boxes and buckwheat noodle steamers.

Toshimichi's lacquerware is amazingly inexpensive for its quality. Now, the emphasis of his practice is to repair lacquerware. 'Whether it is chipped or cracked, any wooden ware can be fixed repeatedly and once fixed, it will keep for another several years. I'm willing to fix any lacquerware,' he says.

Toshimichi has been designated as a Tokyo Traditional Craftsman, a Traditional Craftsman of Katsushika-ku, and a National Lacquerware Development First-Class Technician.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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