NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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越前焼 Echizen-yaki Echizen ware

Jp En

One of the typical products of Fukui Pref., Echizen ware is known for its
natural surface texture and sound simplicity. This naturalness depends on
spontaneous effect of the firewood ash melting into a ware during the firing
process without glazing. The history dates back to the end of the Heian
period, some 850 years ago, when the first kiln was built on the hillside of
Ozohara (ex-Miyazaki Village), Echizen-machi, Fukui Pref.. The kilns in this
area had long been anonymous, however, after World War II, pottery studiers
including Fujio Koyama called Echizen as one of Japan’s six old kilns,
which made Echizen ware known nationwide. Echizen kilns, maintaining its
tradition of unglazing high-firing technique, have been making various
everyday articles, each of which is not gorgeous but deep-rooted in people’s
daily life. In 1985, Echizen potters effort resulted in the assignation of
the nationally recognized Traditional Craft Product.
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六角巻凧 Rokkaku-maki-dako Rokkaku-maki-dako (Rokkaku kite)

Jp En

Sanjo-style Rokkaku-maki-dako kite which translates as “kite which rolls itself” is a traditional handicraft of Sanjo district in Echigo region, Niigata Pref. It has a history of 150 years since the late Edo period. The kite was originally used as a substitute for smoke signals, then it is said that it was improved to roll itself so easy to carry. The kite are all covered with portraits of warriors and of heroes from Japanese legends. Rokkaku kite is made of three bamboo spars (one is the spine or the longest spar and 2 cross spars), twine, washi-paper, dyestuff and glue. In order to roll it to carry, you simply detach the vertical bamboo spar. The making of the kite is all by manual procedures. First the bamboo for spars are heated to straighten up, then adjusted so that they have the same length and girth, nodes are scraped off, dried, and finally images are painted on it, which alone of course takes quite a bit of time. Now there are only two-kite manufacturer in Sanjo. In June, which is believed to be a month of “men”, the traditional event of the kite fighting is held, when craftsmen’s prayers fly around the great arch of the sky.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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