NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2006/12/15


総持寺 Soujiji Sojiji Temple

Jp En

Sojiji Temple in Ibaragi City, Osaka Pref. is a Shingonshu (a sect of Buddhism) temple, which was founded by Chunagon Fujiwara no Yamakage in the Heian period (794−1192). In Konjakumonogatari-shu (Tales of Times Now Past) and Genpei Seisui Ki (The rise and fall of Genji and Heike), an anecdote about the foundation of the temple is written. One day Yamakage’s father saved a turtle that was bullied by fishermen. The next day when Yamakage was drowning, the turtle came to save him in return. So Yamakage decide to build the temple to express his gratitude to Kannon (the goddess of mercy). It is Temple 22 of Saigoku 33 Pilgrim Route, along which pilgrims go around temples and worship Kannonkyo (a scripture honoring Kannon). The principal image of Senju-Sengan Kanzeon (the Thousand Armed and Thousand Eyed Kanzeon) is known as “Kannon on the turtle” and worshipped as the deity of child-raising and purification of the evil. Many other gods and deities are also worshipped at this temple including Yakushinyorai (the Healing Buddha), Jizoubosatsu (the guardian deity of children), Fudomyoou (God of Fire), Kobo-Daishi (Monk Kukai), and Inari Daimyojin (Fox Deity).
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水無瀬神宮 Minase-jinguu Minase Shrine

Jp En

Minase Shrine is an old historic shrine located in Osaka Pref. It enshrines the three emperors of Gotoba, Tsuchimikado, and Juntoku. The shrine originates in Mieido (an image hall) that was built by Nobunari Fujiwara and his son Chikanari at the vacant lot of the emperor Gotoba’s beloved palace of Minase in 1240. The present main hall was reconstructed during the Kanei era (1624−1643) with the timber that had been used for Naishidokoro of Kyoto Imperial Palace. Its Shin-mon (holy gate) is one of Osaka Prefecture’s Important Cultural Properties. Two of the shrine collection, the Statue of the Emperor Gotoba and his original handwriting of okibumi (the last testament), are designated as National treasures. The water springing out in the precinct is called “Rikyu-no-mizu (water of the imperial villa).” This is the only one spring water in Osaka that is selected as one of “Japan’s 100 Fine Water” by the Ministry of Environment. In the precinct of the shrine there is also a tea house in Shoin-zukuri style of the early Edo period.
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2006/11/27


伏見酒造 Fushimi-syuzou Fushimi Sake Brewing

Jp En

Fushimi in Kyoto has a long history of brewing sake. Some say that the Hata tribe brought along the sake brewing technique from the continent during the Yamato period (4th−6th centuries); however others say Japanese sake originated in Fushimi. Fushimi had been a flourishing port town and the traffic and distribution center in this area. During the period ruled by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, it thrived as a castle town, where people gathered for consumption. Together with its geographical conditions, renowned water was flowing from the hills near the town, which led to the development of Fushimi sake brewing. Fushimi sake is called “onna-zake” (feminine sake) because it is sweet, gentle and delicate, while Nada’s dry sake is called “otoko-zake” (masculine sake). Now Fushimi is one of Japan’s largest sake brewing centers, taking 15% of the market share. There are 30 breweries and each of them brews its distinctive sake, taking pride in the artisan spirit.
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