NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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もののふ(MONONOFU) mononofu Mononofu

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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.
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小代焼 Shoudaiyaki Shodai Ware

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Shodai Ware is the traditional handicraft handed down for a long time in Kumamoto Pref. Local clay fired at high temperature, the feature of this ware is simple but dynamic character. This craft is dated back to the early Edo period, when tea ceremony was popular among the warriors of the warring states period and the world of wabicha (tea ceremony in a rustic and simple style) was highly valued. In 1632, when Tadatoshi Hosokawa moved from the fief of Buzen to that of Higo, he appointed two master potters, Genshichi and Hachizaemon as the potters exclusive to his clan and they started making Shodai Ware. They mainly made tea utensils at that time. Since then the handicraft has been handed down to the present time for 400 years. In 2003, the craft was nationally designated as a Traditional Craft Product. The deep color of the glazes in harmony with the randomly dribbled patterns creates the sense of simplicity. Shodai Ware is favored as tea utensils, table ware, and decorative ornaments.
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天赦園 Tensha-en Tensha-en

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Tensha-en is a Chisenkaiyu style garden which is a beautiful rock garden with a pond that you can stroll around. The seventh Uwajima Domain head in the Edo period, Date Munetada built this beautiful oasis for his retirement.  Uwajima is located in Aichi prefecture.

The name of Tensha-en, literally “heaven forgives” garden, derives from the Chinese poem Date Masamune, who was the commander in the Sengoku period, composed after his retirement.

'I spent my younger days on a horseNow the world is peaceful and my hair has turned grayMy aging body exists here because God in heaven forgave me and let me liveBut I cannot enjoy living now. Why?'

There are many Fujidana, frames for wisteria flowers to twine around and bloom, in the garden.  Especially beautiful are the white wisteria twining on Fujidana that are also on the Taiko-bridge, the semicircular bridge that looks like a drum. In connection with the Date family insignia, 'Bamboo with Sparrow', many unusual kinds of bamboo are planted around the pond and it is a wonderful sight. At the beginning of June, you can see calamus gest in full bloom. After that, calamus colors the garden. You can enjoy the beautiful flora changing through the four seasons and experience the history with your five senses.

While strolling in the garden, you can take a rest at 'Senei-kan', the place to drink some Japanese tea, which is built in Shoin style, the tea house style established in the Muromachi period.  In the 11th year of Taisho, Showa Emperor, when he was the crown prince, visited here.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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