NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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島岡達三(人間国宝) Shimaoka Tatsuzou Tatsuzo Shimaoka (Living National Treasure)

Jp En

Tatsuzo Shimaoka was born in 1919, in Tokyo, and studied ceramics at Tokyo Industry University. In 1996, he was designated as a Living National Treasure because of his work in 'jomon zogan'.

Jomon-zogan is a ceramic technique invented by Shimaoka; a pot is patterned using a thin rope, then painted with white 'deisho' (mixture of pot clay and water). After drying, the pot's surface is shaved with a plane. Then, the white Deisho remains in the impressed areas and the jomon pattern appears.

After he was demobilized, Shimaoka studied under Shoji Hamada and, in 1953, he established his own kiln. His belief was  to have 'his own distinctive style, not an imitation of others'. He learned through trial and error, and he integrated the jomon technique with zogan, a popular Korean technique. His work is practical and beautiful, unique with his identity.
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那覇大綱挽 Nahaootunahiki Naha Great Tug-of-War

Jp En

The Naha great tug-of-war is the main event of the Naha festival, held annually on National Sports Day.
   The origins of this tug-of-war date back to the Juri Horse Parade in the 17th century when courtesans competed against each other. The present form of the festival began in 1971.
   The dynamic tug-of-war takes place on national route 58, to the cries of 'Haa-iya, haa-iya', as a gigantic 200m-long rope is tugged between east and west sides. 15,000 people, including townspeople, servicemen and tourists, participate. This match ends when either side get pulled more than 2 meters in one direction. After the match is over, a piece of the rope, which is believed to be a charm for good health, can be taken back home.
   In 1995, the rope used in the Naha Great Tug-of-War was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest rope. Its gigantic scale is just amazing.
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機具岩 Hatago-iwa Hatago Rocks

Jp En

Noutou-Kongou is the coastal region near Togi, in Hakui district, Ishikawa prefecture. There are many places to see along this extraordinary coast. Hatago rocks is one of them.

Also known as 'Noutou's Two Rocks', the two rocks are connected by a rope and are worshiped. A long time ago, legend has it that the goddess Nunaki-iri-Himeno-Mikoto was trying to develop the cloth industry in Noutou. One day, she was attacked by a bandit. She threw the cloth she was carrying into the sea, whereupon it changed into the two rocks. This legend is the origin of the story of these rocks.

When the setting sun sinks, the silhouette of the two rocks floats in the dark red of the sea. The view is almost surreal: it is as if a goddess appears.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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