NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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向羽黒山城 Mukaihaguroyama-jyo Mukaihaguroyama Castle

Jp En

The remains of Mukaihaguroyama Castle are located in Aizumisato in Fukushima Prefecture.

In 1561, the lord of Kuroyama Castle, Ashina Moriuji, started to build Mukaihaguroyama Castle as his retirement castle, taking seven years to complete.

Back in those days, Ashina Moriuji was also famous for uniting all of Aizu. In the east during 1550, Moriuji joined forces with Tamura Takaki, lord of the Miharu Castle, and attacked Asaka-gun, allowing them to become influential in the Sendo region.

Meanwhile, the Satake Family managed to attack and overtake the Nango region. In time, these two groups became enemies. In 1574, Moriuji abandoned Mukaihaguroyama Castle following the death of his eldest son, Shishi Morioki, and returned to Kuroyama Castle. Afterwards, the Ashina Family gradually weakened, and were annihilated by the Date Family.

Currently, the whole mountain where the ruins of the castle remain has been established as the Hakuho Mountain Park. Mukaihaguroyama Castle is an ancient castle which recalls the great accomplishments of the Ashina Family.
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五馬市くにち楽 Itumashi-kunitigaku Itsumashi-Kunichigaku

Jp En

Itsumashi-Kunichigaku is a part of Itsumakunichi, a traditional autumn festival held in Itsuma, a region of Amagasemachi in Hita, Oita Prefecture.

Itsumakunichi is a festival to pray for a bountiful harvest of the five grains (soybean, rice, corn, wheat, and sorghum). The festival was designated as an intangible cultural asset of Oita and dates back more than 100 years.

Itsumakunichi combines four festivals that take place in four different parts of the city at different times. The first festival, called the Honjo-Kunichigaku, takes place on 20 and 21 October at Kanakori Temple. The second festival, called the Tsukada-Kunichimikoshi, takes place on 22 and 23 October at Aso Temple. The third festival, called the Deguchi-Kunichigaku, takes place on 24 and 25 October at Oimatsu Temple. The Itsumashi-Kunichigaku, which takes place on 26 and 27 October at Tamarai Temple, is the last festival of the Itsumakunichi.

At Itsumashi-Kunichigaku, Tengu (a long-nosed, red-faced, demi-god), kappa (river imps), Daikoku (One of the seven gods of fortune) and Fukurokuju (one of the seven lucky gods) march cheerfully along to the buoyant music. The highlight of the festival, however, is a cane dance called the midare-tsue, that is performed by everyone.

Itsumashi-Kunichigaku is a traditional festival that should be cherished by people and preserved for posterity.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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