NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/3/17


【気】 Ki Energy, Spirit, Atmosphere

Jp En

Its original character is 气. Again, the original character of 气 is 乞, the form of moving clouds. 気 can be thought of as the basic unit of energy, be it air, atmosphere, weather, vapor, or breathing.
In ‘Explanation of Common Use Kanji,’ the last character dictionary of Dr. Shirakawa, for the first time in his dictionaries, we find his explanation commenting on the vital role of 米 ‘rice’ nurturing 気 spirit or energy. By the way, also Jacob Chang-Ui Kim from Korea gave a similar view in his English explanation of Kanji.
Food is what supplies living beings with energy. Without eating, one cannot live and there is no vitality. From ancient times on, rice is the basic food and basis of energy in East Asia.
The upper part of 気 can also be thought of as the rising steam from rice boiling, and it therefore may even be regarded as a pictograph. In Japanese, 気 came to be used in a lot of expressions describing human feelings and states of mind. In East Asia as a whole, it has become the basis of martial arts culture built on the importance of breathing techniques, as Chinese shadow boxing and Aikidō.
In ancient Greek philosophy, with ‘pneuma,’ there is a very similar notion. The Stoa, a classic school of thought that commends pantheism and a life style following the laws of nature, taught that ‘pneuma,’ the most fine matter like air, is the carrier of ‘logos,’ or world reason, extant everywhere in the universe. In this sense, 気 is (was) a common way of thinking in East and West.
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2007/8/16


国見ケ丘 Kunimi-ga-oka Kunimigaoka Hill

Jp En

Kunimigaoka located in Takachiho Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, is a hill, the summit of which is at 513 meters above sea level. It commands a panoramic view of Mt. Sobo in the north, Mt. Amanokaguyama, Takamagahara, Mt. Shikojimine and Takachiho Basin in the east, Mt. Aso in the west and the Gokase River below.

The name of the hill derives from a mythology. When Tateiwatatsu no Mikoto, a grandson of Emperor Jinmu, pacified Kyushu, he stood at the top of this hill at the sunrise and the sunset and performed the Kunimi ritual, which is an early Japanese ritual of “gazing down upon the land” performed by emperors or chieftains to pray for a rich harvest in autumn.

On cold autumn mornings from late October to early November, the villages in the basin below are folded in dense fog and the dramatic “cloud ocean” can be seen.
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2006/12/22


剣山山渓 Tsurugi-yama-sankei Tsurugi Mountain Valley

Jp En

Tsurugi Mountain Valley is a ridge that has an altitude of 1,955m. It is located in Higashiiyama, Miyoshi District, Tokushima Prefecture. From the valley, Kishuu, Seto Inland Sea and Ashizuri Cape can be seen. The name derives from the legend that Emperor Antoku’s sword (tsurugi) was hidden in the mountains. Also, it is known as a holy mountain. Tsurugi Mountain is the second highest peak in Western Japan, after Mount Ishizuchi. The mountain is covered with large wild trees like tsuga and beech. Higher up in the mountains are fields of alpine plants, such as rhododendron and the typical Japanese plant Miyamakumazasa, a natural treasure that opens into cute flowers every season. Ichinomori, on the east side of the sword mountain, is known as ‘the beauty spot of five leaf pines’, for the native plant shikokushirabe and for the magnificent sunrise.
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