NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2006/12/18


雷門 Kaminari-mon Kaminari-mon Gate

Jp En

Kaminari-mon Gate, famous as the icon of Asakusa, is the outer gate of Senso-ji, the oldest standing temple in Japan.  Kaminari-mon is its commonly known name, its formal name being “Fuuraijin-mon”.  Fuujin means the Wind God and Raijin the Thunder God. Statues of those two gods are enshrined in the temple; Fuujin on the right side of the gate and Raijin on the left side. They have been worshiped as the Gods of bountiful harvest since ancient times.

The Gate was first built in 942. Subsequently it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt a number of times. From 1865 for next 95 years, the Gate didn’t even exist. When the technology of using concrete to build Japanese style houses was introduced, the Gate was reconstructed in 1960 with reinforced concrete.

The architectural style is Kirizuma-zukuri, gable roof, using the Hongawarabuki tile style in which round and square tiles are alternately installed. The frontage of the Gate is 11.8m high and its depth is 6.4m. The gigantic lantern hanging in the middle of the Gate is 4m high, with a diameter of 3.4m and weighing 670kg.

Notable elements are the vermillion color of the Gate, the Gods enshrined in the both sides of the Gate, and the disproportionately big lantern. This differs from Wabi and Sabi, yet this combination of the Gate’s characteristics is also a part of Japanese culture that is very unique in the world.
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2006/11/29


崇福寺第一峰門(国宝) Soufukuji-daiippou-mon(Kokuhou) Sofuku Temple Daiippou Gate (national treasure)

Jp En

ComSoufuku Temple is located in Kajiya Town, Nagasaki prefecture. In 1629, the 6th year of Kanei, Chinese people living in Nagasaki invited a monk called Chonen from their old homeland Fukushu to live there, and built the temple. It is one of the three major Chinese temples in Nagasaki, the others being Kofuku Temple and Fukusai Temple. At that time, Christians were persecuted, so the Chinese people living there built it in order to show they were not Christians. The architectural style of the temple was imported from that of China in the 17th century.  You can appreciate a gorgeous exotic mood which has no competition throughout Japan.

After passing through the San entrance gate, which is a landmark of the Soufuku Temple, you will see 'Daiipo Ggate', a national treasure. It is famous for the beautiful and complex timberwork under the eaves. The timberwork, called Tokyo, has a splendid and richly-colored pattern and the view is exceptional.

For three days from July 26th to 28th in the lunar calendar, many Chinese people living in Japan come together and cerebrate Chinese Bon, the Buddhist ritual where people pray together for their ancestor's spirits. The temple is filled with a celebration of the Chinese spirit during the festival.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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