NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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えりも町 住吉神社 Erimo-cho Sumiyoshi-jinja Erimo-cho Sumiyoshi Shrine

Jp En

Sumiyoshi Shrine in Erimo Town is located in Hon-cho Erimo-cho, Horiizumi, Hokkaido and enshrines Sokotsutsuno Ominokoto, Nakatsutsuno Ominokoto and Uwatsutsuno Ominokoto.
Its origin dates back to 1814 when a shrine was built on Sumiyoshi Mountain (north of the present location) to pray for safety and a good catch at local fishing grounds.
After the building was destroyed by a big storm in 1898, it was transferred to the present location and rebuilt with Nagare hafu-zukuri or flowing style. The shrine we see today was reconstructed in 1937.
A stone water basin built in 1850 and the base of the stone lantern built in 1851 are preserved in the grounds.  
At the annual religious festival on September 15th, Mikoshi, or portable shrine, is paraded around the town and through the ocean at the ceremony, which lasts for one and a half hours.
Sumiyoshi Shrine is still greatly venerated and worshiped as a god of the fishing industry by such fisheries as kelp and fixed net salmon.
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日生の海 Hinase-no-umi The Sea of Hinase

Jp En

The town of Hinase in Okayama Prefecture is well known among people in the Kansai area for fresh seafood and for fishing.

The most famous specialty of Hinase Harbor is the oyster. The oyster business in Okayama Prefecture is the third largest in Japan, followed by Miyagi and Hiroshima prefectures. At Gomi-no-Ichi ('market of all tastes'), the Fisheries Cooperative Association's market in Hinase town, fish are sold at bargain prices compared with regular markets. Every fish is fresh, making the market very popular not only for locals, but tourists, too. The oysters in particular are known for their size and taste. These oysters can be baked and eaten right there.

The market's name (Gomi-no-Ichi) reflects the abundance of fish available in Hinase Harbor. Numerous varieties of seafood, including shrimp, shore-swimming crab, mantis shrimp, ocellated octopus and sillago can be enjoyed. The marketplace opens around 9 in the morning, but closes once produce is sold out, so it's better to get there early.
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漁民義人塚 Gyomin-gijinzuka Fishermen's Memorial

Jp En

Fishermen's Memorial (Gyomin Gijinzuka), located in the town of Minato, Imizu, Toyama prefecture, is dedicated to the memory of two Hojozu fishermen, Saganoya Kuemon and Arashiya Shirobe, who died for a just cause.

The history of this memorial dates back to the Edo period when unscrupulous merchants dominated the fishing business for their own profit. Kuemon and Shirobe with 400 fishermen complained to the government. Later these two were executed as so-called ringleaders of this 'Bandori Revolt'. Their revolt did lead, however, to an improvement in the treatment of fishermen and this memorial was built to commemorate the two 'Sons of Righteousness who reformed the society'.

The memorial has been designated as one of 100 Historical Cultural Assets of Fishing Villages that Should Be Protected for the Future, by the Fisheries Agency in 2006.
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五ヶ所湾 Gokashowan Gokashowan Bay

Jp En

Gokashowan is a ria (submerged coastal landform), or a drowned valley by the sea. It is located within the Ise-shima National Park in Mie Prefecture. The water is surrounded by a strip of land that connects Tasosaki, Nansei-cho, Watarai-gun, Mie Prefecture and Tomenohana, Nansei-cho along the shore.

Gokashowan Bay is also called the Fuukouwan (Fuukou Bay) and is a representative example of a ria with many bays and inlets within its drowned valley. The mouth of the bay is about 2.6km wide, 22.2 km2 in area, and is 27m deep at its deepest point.

Within the bay, many types of coastal fishing take place, using fixed shore nets, gill nets and purse seine nets. Apart from coastal fishing, pearls, nori (laver), hamachi (young yellowfish) and tai (bream) are farmed here. In the Shukutaso area, deep-sea fishing for katsuo (bonito) and maguro (tuna) takes place. Additionally, many types of amusements can be enjoyed, including swimming, camping, sailing and fishing for fun.

As well as being the 'backdoor' to the beautiful scenic spots of Ise-shima, Gokashowan Bay has been, and still is, the central and most prominent spot for fisheries in all of Nansei.
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白銀堂 Hakugindou Hakugin-dou

Jp En

Hakugin-dou is a small shrine dedicated to the local sea god. At lunar New Year, many people visit it to pray for safe voyages and bountiful catches.

During the 'Itoman Harley', the famous festival in the fishing town of Itoman, the local deity is enshrined.

Hakugin-dou has a famous saying: 'Ijinuijira tehiki, tenuijira ijihiki' ('If your pride gets bigger, hold back your hand. If your hands are to be thrown, hold back your pride.') The name Hakugin ('White Silver') derives from a story that silver coins were collected for debt and buried in a cave. Hakugin-dou has another name, 'Yoriage-mitake'.

The shrine is close to Itoman city center, but 200 years ago, the district was below the sea. The god at Hakugin-dou still provides security for fishing expeditions, which is appropriate for a fishing town such as this.
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与那国島 Yonagunijima Yonaguni Island

Jp En

Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island of the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa. It is located to the northeast of Taiwan and at the western edge of Japan.

The island was generated following a volcanic eruption. Even though it is a small island, it undulates. The south coast has been eroded into cliffs by waves.

The main island industries are fishing, sugar-cane production, dairy farming and tourism. The 'Dr. Koto Clinic' used for filming a popular TV program still remains. Moverover, the island is famous for diving.

It is thought that when Okinawa developed as a sea-trading kingdom in the 14th century, the island developed as an important center for trade. It had been an independent country until the Ryukyu Kingdom gained suzerainty over it.

In 1986, underwater remains were found which attracted tremendous interest. There are many theories as to where the remains came from, but it is likely that they sank into the sea following erosion.

Yonaguni has a different culture from Japan or Okinawa; you could say Yonaguni is 'one country'.
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西表島・浦内川 Iriomotejima Urautikawa Iriomote Island・Urauchi River

Jp En

The Urauchikawa (Urauchi River) flows for 39 kilometers through the island of Iriomotejima and is the largest and longest river in Okinawa.

Iriomotejima is called the 'Galapagos islands of the east' because of its diverse subtropical flora and fauna, especially around the Urauchi River. The wide variety of plant life includes mangrove trees, an array of tree ferns such as the 'hikagehego' (Cyathea spinulosa) and 'shida' (Pteridophyta), as well as flowers such as the 'sagari bana' (Sagari flower) and the rare 'seishika'.

The island is ideal for birdwatching, and also features the Maridhu waterfall and the Kanbire waterfall, both of which are included among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.

Other places of interest include the Unan Rock, symbol of a popular belief that a cow was traded long ago for possession of the island and its rich fishing grounds. Another famous spot is the Inunoko-sanbiki (Three Puppies), which is named for a myth about three little puppies that were devoured by a monster.

Iriomote Island’s landscape makes it hard to believe that it is in Japan, due to the rich, exuberant lushness and the range of animal life here.
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