NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2006/12/15


能(世界無形遺産) Nou(Sekai-mukei-isan) Noh (The Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity)

Jp En

The original form of Noh can be trace back to the Nara period (710−794), however, the present Noh form was established during the Muromachi period (1336−1573) by Kan’ami and his son Zeami. Noh is a classical Japanese musical performance with the primary character called the Shite and the Jiutai (chorus) and the Hayashi. The Shite plays the hero or the heroine, chanting and dancing, while the Hayashi (instrumentalists) play the instruments. The main aspect of Noh is that the Shite wears a mask to hold the expressions of delight, anger, sorrow and pleasure to a minimum and express the nicety of the feelings only by the slow movements. The playacting in Noh is combined with dances and shosa (steps and movements of the actors) are abstract. All the linguistic expression is given in the form of utai (chanting). The Jiutai not only sing for the actors’ dancing but also explain the psycology of the characters and the background of the scene. Each performance is given according to a particular style and the artistic quality of Noh is maintained by upholding the conventional styles.
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2006/12/13


狐の嫁入り Kitsune-no-yomeiri Kitsunen no yomeiri (The Fox’s Wedding) 

Jp En

Once upon a time, in the mountain of Kirin at confluence of the Agano River and the Tokonami River, there used to live a lot of foxes and kitsunebi (mysterious fireballs) were seen every night. Because the kitunebi looked like a line of paper lanterns used for a wedding parade, the people in this area began to call the fireballs “kitsune no yomeiri.” In the town of Tsugawa, reproducing this local legend, the annual event of “Tsugawa kitsune no yomeiri Parade” is held on May 3. The couple who will get married soon take the parts of the groom and the bride and the wedding parade goes around the town. The procession starting at Sumiyoshi Shrine, crossing the Agano River and heading for the top of Mt. Kirin creates fantastic atmosphere. The parade has been held since the old times when people believed that they could gather a rich harvest in the year in which a lot of kitsunebi could be seen (namely the year when they could see the parade).
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2006/11/29


百物揃千人武者行列 Hyakumonozoroe-sennin-mushagyouretsu Hyakumonozoroe Sennin Musha Gyoretsu

Jp En

Hyakumonozoroe Sennin Musha Gyoretsu (the 1,000 Samurais Procession Festival) is the revival of the ceremony held when the divine spirit of Ieyasu Tokugawa was moved from Mt. Kuno, Shizuoka Pref. to Nikko. This is the highlight of the annual celebrations at Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Tochigi Pref.. The festival is held twice a year on May 18th and Oct 17th. The authorized name is Shinyo-togyo (moving of divine portable shrines). The grand procession leaves Nikko Futara Shrine on the morning of May 17, marching along are promenades, bow carriers and over one thousand warriors in armor who guard the three divine portable shrines respectively enshrining the spirit of Ieyasu, Minamoto no Yoritomo and Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The next day on 18th, the shrines move to Otabisho Shrine through the 1km long road of Omotesando (front approach). Every year tens of thousands of tourists come to see this highlight event.
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