NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

Results 1 - 8 of 81 articles     >>     >|  

2008/7/24


城下町 Jouka-machi Jouka-machi (Castle Town)

Jp En


Jouka-machi is a town developed and established around the residential castle of the local lord.
Jouka-machi is believed to have been established during the Sengoku period (from the middle to the end of 16th century).  It resulted from the policy of Oda Nobunaga, in which warriors were separated from farmers and established into a full-time warrior-army. Oda Nobunaga made the warriors live at the foot of his castle and he brought in commerce and industry to develop the town commercially.
In the basic structure of jouka-machi the main road leads to the foot of the castle. As people settled there and business developed, a town was born.
In many cases, such castle towns had various devices to protect the residents and the castle, such as the effective use of rivers and building gates, as well as houses built so close to each other that they effectively concealed the castle. The town itself became a gigantic fortress.    
The residential area was zoned according to the social status of the samurai warriors. The higher the status, the closer to the castle they lived. Other residents, as well as temples and shrines radiated out further from the castle as the town grew.


Even now, some towns preserve the feel and look of the old castle towns. Though modernized, some towns still keep the old names such as ban-chou, oote-machi and gofuku-machi that evoke olden times.    
[+ADDRESS] Add this to Favorites



2008/4/22


和太鼓 Wadaiko Wa-daiko (Japanese Taiko Drum)

Jp En

Wa-daiko are percussion instruments and a general term used for Japanese stick drums.
They are made from the trunk of a tree such as Keyaki wood which is hollowed out and sealed on both ends of the drum body with animal skin, mostly from cows.  The  player beats the skin and it vibrates to make sound.
There is another traditional percussion instrument called tsuzumi which has the same construction as wa-taiko but a smaller size.  Tzuzumi are played with the hand, as opposed to the taiko drum which is struck with a drumstick or other instrument.
The history of the taiko drum goes back to ancient times -  as early as the Joumon period (BC10,000 – BC300) in which a musical instrument with a similar structure is said to have already existed.
In the Middle Ages, when Dengaku - dance performance to celebrate the harvest, was developed, Ohayushi-daiko, smaller stick drums, became popular. In the Sengoku period, taiko drums were used for military purposes (Jin-daiko) and, in the Edo period, they were used inside the Edo Castle to announce the time.  Over the ages, taiko drums were used for many occasions and purposes and they have become rooted in people’s everyday life.
The fact that taiko drums have been used as ceremonial tools to communicate with  God in temples and shrines has made them very special instruments that resonate deeply in the Japanese people’s hearts.
In the Showa period, contemporary ensemble style drumming called Kumi-daiko became popular.  It is made up of various different kinds of taiko drums, and the unique sound has been enchanting people around the world ever since.
[+ADDRESS] Add this to Favorites




もののふ(MONONOFU) mononofu Mononofu

Jp En

Mononofu is an old term for a samurai warrior. It is also a brand name created by a man who loves history.  The Mononofu brand expresses the uninhibited and innovative spirit of  the Sengoku period or the Warring State period.
Hideki Tanaka, the creator of the brand, boldly joins two seemingly contrary elements: the promotion of modern art and the reproduction of traditional craftwork. Mr. Tanaka, who first saw a collection of unusual kabuto helmets for warriors at the National Museum, was struck by their appearance and this sparked the idea of incorporating their design into a new indie T-shirt business.
Since each of Monofuku’s T-shirts is an expression of the unique creativity and aesthetic sense of its artist, Mr. Tanaka sees parallels in the creation process of both his T-shirts and the kabuto helmets.  He believes that, if the samurai warriors were alive today, they would embrace modern designs and materials in their expressions of beauty.
[→より詳しい記事を見たい方はこちら]
[+ADDRESS] Add this to Favorites