NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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吉野川 Yosino-gawa The Yoshino River

Jp En

The Yoshino River (also known as Shikoku Saburo) is the mainstream of the Yoshino Riverine System, originating from springs located in Kamegamori (elevation 1,896m), which bears its peak near the town of Saijou, in Ehime Prefecture. The limpid river cuts across Kouchi Prefecture and joins the Kii Waterway in Tokushima City. Stretching across 194km and with a watershed of 3,750 km² it is one of Japan’s three rivers most likely to break into torrents. It is often said that the flow of the river represents the heart and emotions of the citizens of Tokushima. Since the river relates to Kouchi, Ehime and Tokushima prefectures, it was once called the Midochi (Three Lands) River. In the lower reach of the river where the river is wedged between the Sanuki Mountain Range and the Shikoku Mountain Range, are the Tokushima Plains. Where the river traverses through the Shikoku Mountain Range is a perfect example of an antecedent valley in Japan, and is home to many scenic spots such as Ooboke and Koboke. The reason for the nickname Shikoku Saburo is because of an old saying, “it is a river whose reeds grow thick on its banks”. Although it is true that this river, which snakes through four prefectures, has a notorious history of flood disaster, it also has brought many blessings, acting as a life line for the people who live by it.
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吉田美統 (人間国宝) Yoshida Minori(Ningen-kokuhou) Minori Yoshida, a Living National Treasure

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Born 1932 in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Pref.. His family runs the Nishikiyama kiln which specializes in Akae Kinrande of Kutani pottery. Mr. Yoshida started learning pottery techniques while in high school. By 1951, he took over the family business, becoming the third generation of his family working with the Nishikiyama kiln and worked hard to learn and refine many ceramic working techniques including traditional Uwaetsuke, an overglazing enamel painting method, and Kinrande.

In 1972, inspired by Yuuri-kinsai, an underglazed gold decorative porcelain, created by Hajime Kato, the highly renowned ceramic artist, also designated as a Living National Treasure, he began studying and creating his own pieces using the Yurikinsai technique. In this method gold leaf and gold clay are used to draw the motif, then applied and covered with a layer of glaze and fired. After much trial and error and many years of refinement, he perfected innovative techniques including applying colored glazing to the surface of the vessel and the application of gold leaf. His techniques opened up a new frontier in the world of gold color ceramics and, with its sophistication and perfection, Mr. Yoshida is regarded as the leading figure in this field.

In 2000, he was awarded Hojisha-sho from Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Art Craft and, the following year, Medal of Purple Ribbon, and designated as a Living National Treasure.

Graceful beauty marrying gold leaf and original clay color and the elegant world of leaf and flower patterns are highly acclaimed as a style that has elevated the art of ceramic work to a greater level of sophistication.
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水屋の匠 久遠 Mizuyano-takumi Kuon Mizuya's professional Kuon

Jp En

'Mizuya's Professional Kuon' is a furniture workshop which specializes in Mizuya furniture. There are many explanations of the word 'Mizuya'; in old times, Mizuya was the room where a master of tea ceremony prepared before serving the guests. In the Edo period, Mizuya came to indicate the furniture near a kitchen. 'Mizuya Tansu (drawer)' is one of their most well known pieces of furniture. Kuon designs furniture to fit Japanese life and the care they put into the design can also be seen in the finish of the coating. There are two ways to finish the coating; 'Kuon finish' and 'Mizuya finish'. For both ways, the furniture is repeatedly coated and dried. This gives the furniture a well worn and aged look and the furniture has a dignified air and an unmistakable presence. Kumon uses two kinds of solid woods, Tamo and Nara, both are strong with beautiful lines. Based on the traditional craft style which is firmly rooted in Japanese life, Kuon designs and produces furniture matched with modern lifestyles.  Such craft workshops are very rare in Japan.  Kuon aims to produce 'furniture which will last 100 years.'  Kuon furniture has warmth that will stay with the family and last for generations.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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