NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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上杉まつり Uesugi-matsuri Uesugi Festival

Jp En

Uesugu Festival is held annually in the castle town of Yonezawa in Yamagata Prefecture. This large-scale spring festival is sponsored by Uesugi Shrine, which enshrines the founder of the Uesugi clan, Kenshin Uesugi, and Matsugasaki Shrine, which enshrines the 2nd generation Kagekatsu Uesugi and 10th generation Youzan Uesugi.

Each year from April 29 to May 3, Matsugasaki Park, the site of the festival, is lined with stalls and overflows with visitors. Wives from every household work diligently yet cheerfully in the kitchen preparing a feast, gathering aralia nuts and cooking sea bream according to traditional custom. A group of dancers numbering no less than one thousand dressed in an array of colorful costumes dance the Hanagasa-odori across the city.

On the final day the famous Battle of Kawanakajima is reenacted with more than 700 men and horses participating in the fight between the Uesugi and Takeda armies, acting as if it is a real battle.
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畑谷城 Hataya-jyo Hataya Castle

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The remains of Hataya Castle are in Yamanobe, Higashimurayama, in Yamagata Prefecture.

In 1600, during the Battle of Sekigahara, the Battle of Dewa took place in Ohu, Yamagata. This fierce battle was fought at Hatayo Castle between the West army, led by Uesugi Kagekatsu, and the East army, led by Mogami Yoshiaki. It was considered the skirmish for the Battle of Hasedojo, which is said to be the Tohoku version of the Battle of Sekigahara.

Eguchi Gohei Akikiyo, one of the generals for Mogami Yoshiaki's army, defended Hataya Castle with just 500 men, fighting off the 20,000 soldiers of Uesugi's army. Eguchi, despite all his efforts, knew he was outnumbered, and finally took his life, as Hataya Castle fell.

Despite the fact that Eguchi lost the battle, his efforts were not wasted, and because he managed to stall the Uesugi army, the East army won the war at Sekigahara while the Uesugi army struggled to capture Hasedojo Castle.

Today, at Chosho Temple at the east foot of Hataya Castle, a grave and memorial stand quietly in honor of Eguchi Gohei Akikiyo and his courage.
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猪苗代城 Inawashiro-jyo Inawashiro Castle

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The remains of Inawashiro Castle are in Inawashiro, Yama, in Fukushima Prefecture.

Sawara Tsunetsura built the castle in 1191. In 1589, the Ashida Family and the Sawara Family challenged the Date Family to an all-out war, but they were both annihilated. Henceforth, the castle's lords changed one after another.

In 1643, Hoshina Masayuki was confined at Aizu, and until Matsudaira Katamori the Ninth came, the Jodai Shihai Taisei (Jodai Control system) continued until the Meiji Restoration. In 1868, Inawashiro Castle went up in flames during the Boshin War, which led to the castle's downfall.

This castle was built on top of a hill that projected southeast from Mt Bandai toward the Inawashiro Basin. This was an important area that connected the Aizu and Nakaduri regions, and has always been important strategically.

Inawashiro Castle is currently a park, where visitors can look back on the historical battles that took place on this land.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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