NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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大阪泉州桐箪笥 Osaka-sensyuu-kiri-dansu Senshu Paulowina Chests

Jp En

According to a historical record, the making of chests in the Senshu region (the southern part of Osaka Pref.) started as early as 300 years ago. In the early days boxes and simple cabinetry items were made of cork tree (Phellodendron japonicum) and paulownia that were locally obtained. From the late Edo period to the Meiji period a large producing district was formed firstly around the city of Sakai and it gradually expanded all over the Enshu region. The feature of this craft is that the straight grain of paulownia is exploited and wooden pegs and joints are used in assembly. The material boards are fully air-dried for one or two years to prevent impurities from appearing on the wood surface. Paulownia boards of more than 20 mm thick are used, and for the front of the drawers the boards with clear straight grains are selected. The wood surface is then scrubbed and polished to improve the appearance. The paulownia chest is very durable, so if it is treated carefully especially with damp, it should last for 100 to 150 years. Most of the chests are made to order now.
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南宗寺 Nanshuji Nanshuji Temple

Jp En

The history of Nanshuji Temple dates back to 1526 when Kogaku-Soko, the chief priest of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto, named a small ashram in Sakai “Nanshu-an.” Later in 1557, Nagayoshi Miyoshi built a temple to hold a memorial service for his father, Motonaga, and renamed it Nanshuji Temple. The temple had been burned down twice during the Warring States period; however it was rebuilt by Priest Takuan Soho. It is said that Japanese tea ceremony statrted at this temple. Famous tea masters, Takeno Jouou and Sen-no-Rikyu also studied the way of tea at this temple. In the precinct are the graves of Sen family, which remind us of Rokyu’s life. The stone garden in karesansui style is a nationally designated fine garden. The main hall in Zen style architecture in which the principla image of the Shaka sanzonzou (Shaka triad) is worshiped, San-mon (the main gate), and Kara-mon (the gate in Chinese style) are national designated Important Cultural Properties.
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堺刃物 Sakaihamono Sakai Forged Blades

Jp En

Sakai forged blades has the share of 90% in the market for cooking knives used by professional cooks. The No.1 standard of sharpness and traditional forging technique has increased their reputation. The history dates back the 16th century, when guns and tobacco were introduced into Japan from Portugal. In the late 16th century, Sakai’s “tobacco knives” to shred tobacco were known nationwide. The Tokugawa Shogunate granted Sakai a certificate seal called “Gokuin” to guarantee their quality and also the exclusive selling right, by which the reputation of Sakai forged blades spread all over the country. These knives are characterized by their distinctive sharpness that is only possible through the excellent smithing and grinding skills. The sharp blade edge produced by well trained skills represents the master’s pride.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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