NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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桧洞丸 Hinoki-bora-maru Mt. Hinokiboramaru

Jp En

Mt. Hinokiboramaru with an altitude of 1601 m is on the border of Tsukui-cho in Sagamihara City and Yamakita-cho in Ashigara-Kami-gun in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the second highest peak in the Tanzawa Mountains after 1673 m Mt. Hirugatake. Though located in the center of the deepest mountains in the western part of the Tanzawa Mountains, a finely arranged mountain trail is provided and there are no such places as you might loose your way or get into trouble.

The name “Hinokiboramaru” comes from the stream named “Hinokibora,” a feeder stream of the Kurokura River, which flows out of this mountain down to the south.

The area near the top of the mountain is the virgin forest of beech trees. The contrast between greenish yellow young leaves and the trunks with white spots is very beautiful. The beech forest is selected as one of Kanagawa’s 50 Excellent Forests. On the south side of the mountain is the colony of Shiroyashio-tsutsuji (Rhododendron quinquefolium). At the end of May every year, the mountain is jammed with people who come to enjoy viewing these cute flowers. Mt. Hinokiboramaru is one of the most popular mountains in the Tanzawa Mountains.
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親鸞 Shinran Shinran

Jp En

Shinran was a Japanese Buddhist monk of the early Kamakura period (1192-1333) and the founder of the Jodo Shinshu of japanese Buddhism. Born in Hino (now a part of Fushimi, Kyoto) in 1173, Shinran had been a monk of the Tendai school of Buddhism at Mt. Hiei, where he studied for 20 years since he was at the age of nine. In 1201, Shinran met Honen and became his disciple. He arrived at the conviction that “Tariki Nenbutsu (reciting Buddhist invocation to takes refuge in the other power of Amida Buddha)” is the only way to lead us to the Pure Land.

Shinran together with the desciples of Honen spread this new doctorine in the streets of Kyoto, but their movement was banned by the Imperial court. Eight monks including Honen and Shinran were exiled. Shinran was sent to Echigo province (present-day Niigata Prefecture) and was stripped of his religious name.

After Shinran was pardoned, he left for Hitachi province (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture), where he spent 20 years being engaged in missionary works. He took a stand that he was neither a monk nor a layman.
In 1224, he authored his most significant text, “Kyogyoshinsho,” which is a series of selections and commentaries on Buddhist sutras pertinent to Pure Land Buddhism. The sayings of Shinran, “the Tannisho (the Lamentations of Divergences)” is still read by many people today.

In 1234, Shinran returned to Kyoto, where he died in 1263 at the age of 90. The Japanese imperial court awarded Shinran the honorific designations “Kenshin Daishi (Great Teacher Kenshin)” in 1876.
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問屋場 Toiya-ba Toiyaba

Jp En

Toiyaba, or also called “Ekitei” or “Tenmasho,” were general offices established at the post stations along the main highway in the Edo period (1603-1868). Toiyaba were mainly engaged in the transport business including preparation of horses for daimyo and the government officilas, handover of the official percels and letters to the next post station and arrangement of hikyaku (couriers) to deliver those parcels and letters as well as the administrative business that helped manage the post town.

The proprietor of the office was called “Toiya,” to which Nanushi (the village head) was usually appointed. There were also the posts of Toshiyori (an assistant to Toiya), Chozuke (clerks), Mukaeyaku (receptionists who greeted the daimyo’s processions at the entrance of the post town) and Umasashi (those who were in charge of logistical arrangements). The staff usually took turns at duty but when a daimyo’s procession arrived, all the staff showed up at the office.
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白神山地(世界遺産) Shirakami-sanchi(Sekai-isan) Shirakami Mountain Range, World Heritage Site

Jp En

Shirakami-Sanchi, Shirakami Mountain Range, is the general term for a mountain range stretching from the southwest region of Aomori Pref. to the northwest of Akita Pref.. This unspoiled virgin forest of beech trees is one of the largest remaining cool-temperate forests in the world. Apart from beech, many other varieties of tall deciduous trees can be found in the forest including Japanese oaks and Japanese wingnuts. The forest is also home to a wide variety of animals such as Asiatic Black Bears, Japanese Macaques and Golden Eagles.

The area designated as a World Heritage site consists of the core area at the center of the mountain range and a buffer zone surrounding it and has been protected from any development or logging since the area was designated a protected zone. The primeval ecology of the environment’s trees and animals continues undisturbed today in magnificent solitude.

Shirakami-Sanchi was formed about two million years ago when the Sea of Japan began rising. With its incredible history and years of maturing, it’s not difficult to feel the whispering of time past.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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