NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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大野勇太郎 Oono Yuutarou Yuutarou Ohno

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Yuutaro Oono was born  in Tokyo in 1935. He is currently the CEO of Ohno Seimitsu Kogyo Co. Ltd.
     After graduating from Hokunoujima Technology High School, Mr. Oono was employed by an 8mm film company. In 1978, he started Ohno Seimitsu Kogyo Co. Ltd which specializes in making gears. He also dedicated himself to bringing back Karakuri dolls , which were popular in the Edo period, to modern times, using the advanced techniques of  modern  gear making.
     Mr. Oono first learned about Karakuri in an engineering book and he became passionately interested in them.  He had acquired a copy of “Karakuri-zui”, an illustrated compendium of mechanical devices written by Hanzou Hosokawa, a legendary karakuri artisan of the Edo period. Mr. Oono began studying the book intensely and, for the last 20 years, he has been reproducing the Karakuri dolls most loved by people in the Edo period such as “tea serving doll”, “shinan guruma” and the “Karakuri clock”.
     Each doll is made using about 80 different parts, not counting its face and clothing.  The dolls are created in such a way as to preserve traditional methods as much as possible. The fusion of the Edo period and modern times shows both beauty and functionality.
     Mr. Oono’s next project is to bring back “Yumihari Warawa, or “ Boy Archer”, which shows  a boy shooting an arrow at a target. His tremendous respect for  the Karakuri artists of the Edo period motivates him to try to recreate the Karakuri Dolls most beloved in that period, so that people can remember and appreciate their heritage.
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石庭(世界遺産) Sekitei(Sekai-isan) Sekitei Rock Garden

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Rocks and stones casually arranged on a garden of rippling white sand. How do people understand this conceptual space? Faraway atolls in the ocean, mountain ridges peaking through low clouds, or the universal principles that transcend space and time? Like Zen questions, the meaning of the rock garden is open to interpretation by each visitor. Sekitei has a perplexing effect which instantly sends the viewer’s perception into unfamiliar territory. The garden is designed to maximize perspective in a limited physical space and the simple curved lines in the sand create the impression of tranquil waves. A universal truth emerges triumphant when everything superfluous is chipped away. The artists who created Sekitei still remain unknown, even at Sekitei in Ryouannji, the most famous Sekitei.  Sekitei has stayed unchanged for 500 years. Visitors are mesmerized by the absolute beauty of the space and are compelled to stay and absorb the vista.
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厳島神社(世界遺産) Itsukushima-jinjya(Sekai-isan) Itsukushima Shrine (World Heritage site)

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Itsukushima Shrine, set against islands in the Setonai Sea, whose wooden buildings are in the bay, is a very rare construction even in Japan. In the 12th century, Taira Kiyomori a military commander in the Heian period made the basis of the glorious shrine seen now. This initial building was burned down and in 1421 rebuilt.  Subsequently leaders continued to rebuild and restore many times and Itsukushima came to be the shrine you can see now.

Itsukushima Shrine is under a very severe environmental situation for a wooden building, being in the corrosive sea, but it has been preserved eagerly by successive governments. It is a very rare building preserved in a very traditional style.

The architectural style of the shrine embodies the feeling in the Heian period, when Kiyomori built it, and you can see many graceful curving lines. Technically it also introduced the style of 'Shinden-Zukuri' which were residences of the aristocracy in the Heian period.  The shrine is harmonized between a mixture of unconventional ideas and established style, which is very remarkable in Japan.

In 1996, Itsukushima Shrine was designated as a World Heritage site.
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