NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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魚魚あわせ Toto-awase Toto-Awase (Fish Card Memory Game)

Jp En

Toto-Awase is a memory game in which the players have to match two cards to create a complete fish illustration and the kanji character that represents the name of the fish.  Each card also has a brief description of the fish depicted.  These fish are all familiar species in Japan and their illustrations have been beautifully done with colorful paper patterns. The game was created by Toto Koubou in Tango Uocchikan Aquarium, located in Miyazu City, Kyoto.
Since its début on the market in the Spring of 2003, Toto-Awase, with its beautiful illustrations, has gained popularity. The game has the added benefit for children of teaching them the various fish species and their respective kanji characters.  The total sale of Toto-Awase games has now exceeded 100,000.  The game received a Good Design Award in 2005 and a Good Toy Award in 2006. Currently there are eleven different sets of the memory game according to different regions.  The illustrations are elaborate collages with colorful papers of traditional patterns and the box containing the cards is decorated in vermillion and ultramarine - the quintessential colors of Japan. An English version is also made under the name “Card Game Sushi Bar” and it is popular as a souvenir for people to bring abroad.
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京の色紙短冊和本帖 Kyono-shikishitanzaku-wahonjo Kyoto Shikishitanzaku-wahonjo

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Kyoto shikishitanzaku-wahonjo is a traditional Japanese colored paper that came to be used for writing haiku and waka poetry. This paper was first made 1000 years ago. Colored paper is also known as 'dyed paper'.

Poetry became popular during the Heian period. Some of these poems would be written on dyed colored paper for an added decorative effect. Many sheets of paper were magnificently made using the techniques of Deie, Kirihaku and Noge.

Present-day designs were developed in the Kamakura period. In the Muromachi period, color stripped paper became popular, and the Kano and Tosa schools liked to inlay pictures in them. Later, this paper was used as cherry blossom-viewing picnic notepad paper for the Emperor Go-Komatsu and for Hokodaigo.

Nowadays,much of the demand for this paper is due to the popularity of calligraphy, waka and haiku poetry. As a result, the industry is struggling to foster successors and acquire high-quality paper.
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阿波和紙 Awawasi Awawashi Paper

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Awawashi is a paper made mainly in Oeguyamakawa, in the Aba region (today's Tokushima Prefecture). It is colored using local specialty dyes.

Awawashi originated about 1300 years ago, when the Imi-buzoku (Imi Tribe) serving under the Imperial Court planted and harvested hemp and paper mulberry to make paper and cloth. Records of this were found in archives dating to 807.

In the early Edo period, around the year 1636, the Han (fiefs of feudal lords of Japan) made it a policy to invigorate the paper industry, and encouraged farmers to undertake papermaking as a side job. The dyed Awawashi paper was recognized around Japan due to its color.

It came to be used in several ways, such as for Abahan’s script or as a form of currency called hansatsu, or simply for drawing. Later, Awawashi received wider recognition after it was seen at the Paris International Exhibition in 1890. After that, the number of papermakers making this paper rose to a peak of around 700.

Today, the most widely seen Awawashi is white, and the tradition that the Awawashi built up is slowly fading.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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