NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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ビシャゴ姉妹岩 Bishago-shimai-iwa Bishago Sisters Rocks

Jp En

Saganoseki Cape in Oita Prefecture features a magnificent scenic spot known as Seki-zaki. The southern side of this spot, Kurogazaki, was selected as one of Japan's top 100 beaches.

Adding to the special atmosphere of this beach are the Bishago Sisters Rocks, two rocks linked by a rope. They are a symbol of Kurogazaki as well as famous for a legend about 'ama' (women divers). It is said that when the Kanmu Emperor was traveling east, Izanaginomikoto lost his holy sword in the sea. Isago and Masago, two sisters who were divers, retrieved the sword from a gigantic octopus. The nest day, a thunderstorm broke the rock into two. Ever since, the two sisters have been enshrined in each rock.

Sunrise on New Year's day is a popular time to come to this place, and many neighbors come at this time.
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舳倉島・海女 Hegurashima・Ama Hegura Island and the Ama

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Hegura Island is located about 48km north of the Noto Peninsula. The shore has complicated inlets and cliffs formed by exposure to rough waves. The island is about 13m high and some 5km around and is small enough to explore in an hour.

In the past, fishermen from Wajima on the opposite shore would come here during the summer fishing season. But now, the number of inhabitants is increasing. Thanks to currents and landforms, it has many good fishing spots and is especially popular with ama, professional woman divers, who were described in an ancient poem in the Manyoushu (A Collection of a Myriad Leaves).

The views around the island have not changed so much over time and, in summer, many ama come here to dive for fish. In fact, the island is mainly fished by ama, their main catch being abalone, agar, soft seaweed and turban shells.

In addition, the island is a good resting place for birds migrating between Japan and the Asian Continent. In fact, there are some birds that can only be seen here in all Japan.
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伊雑宮 Izawanomiya Izawa-no-miya Shrine

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Izawa-no-miya Shrine is located in Isobe-cho, Shima-shi, Mie Prefecture. The tutelary deity is Amaterashimasusume-oomikami-no-mitama (the Sun Goddess in Shintoism).

The people in the local area call the shrine Izougu, along with many other names such as Isobe-no-miya and Isobe-no-daijingusan. Both Izawa-no-miya and Takihara-no-miya are located in Taiki-cho and are referred to as Tou-no-miya of the Amaterasu-oomikami because they share the same tutelary deity and are both far from the inner shrine (Naiku) of the Ise Grand Shrine.

Izawa-no-miya was established some 2000 years ago, and is said to have been constructed after the Koutai-jingu Shrine when the mythical Yamatohime-no-mikoto was visiting Shimakuni (Shima Country) while searching for a minie-dokoro (land to find offerings for Koutai-jinja). She met Izawatomi-no-mikoto who commanded that Izawa-no-miya be built.

Izawa-no-miya is the only shrine which has a kanda (a ricefield for gods) and the annual rice planting that takes place in June is famous for being one of the three big rice planting festivals of Japan.

The temple is venerated by many fisherman and woman divers (ama) who pray there, and it has become a custom for them to get an Iso-mamoru (charm or talisman) at Izawa-no-miya and wear it before entering the sea.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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