NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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御火葬塚 Go-kasou-zuka Gokasozuka (Cremation Mound)

Jp En

Gokasozuka in Nakazato on Oki-Nakanoshima Island, Shimane Prefecture, is the site where Retired Emperor Go-Toba was cremated and buried.

In 1221 during the Kamakura period, Retired Emperor Go-Toba rebelled against the Kamakura Shogunate (known as the Jokyu War). He was defeated and banished to the Oki Islands, where he stayed at Genpukuji Temple for 18 years and died in despair and hopelessness in 1239 at the age of 60.

His body was cremated and buried in Katsutayama, the back hill of the temple, while and a part of the ashes were brought back to Kyoto. The mausoleum was built at the site and it has been taken good care of by local people.

Next to the mausoleum is Oki Shrine enshrining Retired Emperor Go-Toba and things pertaining to the emperor are displayed in the history museum in front of the shrine.
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龍河洞 Ryugatou Ryuga-do Cave

Jp En

Ryuga-do is a cave on the mountainside of Mt. Sanpo in Kochi Prefecture. Together with Akiyoshi-do and Ryusen-do, it is counted as one of Japan’s three largest limestone caves. 24 sub-caves including the West Main Cave, the Central Cave and the East Main Cave are intricately connected with one another. 1,000 m of the cave, which is 4,000 m in total length is open to sightseers.

At the entrance of the cave is Ryuo Shrine. Legend has it that retired Emperor Tsuchimikado, walked into the cave one day after Jokyu Disturbance in 1221, a small gold snake appeared. To see this, the retired emperor built a shrine to enshrine the spirit of the snake.

The stream that springs out of Mt. Sanpo and flows down 60 m height in the cave creates 20 large and small waterfalls inside the cave. Beautifully lit up in the dark, the waterfalls create really fantastic atmosphere.

The ruins of the Yayoi dwellings were excavated in the cave. The earthen ware “Kami-notsubo (God’s Vase)” supposedly made about 2,000 years ago is also famous.
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牛突き Ushitsuki Bullfighting in Shimane

Jp En

The longest existing bullfighting in Japan is from the island of Okinoshima, and dates back 780 years. It appears to have originated in 1221, as entertainment for the deposed Gotoba Emperor, who was exiled to Okinoshima following the Joukyu Rebellion.

Bullfighting used to occur all over Shimane Prefecture and the Shimane Peninsula, but these days it is held in only one part of the area.

The grand summer tournament is held on the 15th of August. It is a one-game match with no draw. Therefore, the islanders show an overwhelming passion toward this summer tournament. The fight continues until either one of the bulls runs away, so in some cases, the battle may last for an hour. When it is clear which bull is the winner, men gather around it, some mounting it, and others screaming with joy; the losing bull quietly leaves the ring.

Even today, bullfighting is still part of the life on the island; it is a dedication to their god. To keep up their tradition, the youths of Okinoshima have established a system to let children from 3rd and 4th grades at school to be able to train for the bullfighting.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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