NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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アクリルのからくり人形 Akuriru-no-kawakuri-ningyou Acrylic Karakuri Doll

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The word Karakuri was used to describe traditional Japanese mechanical devices. In the Edo period especially, gears from clocks were first used to make moving dolls and the elaborate Karakuri doll tradition began.
  It was Hanzou Hosokawa from the Tosa region who first revealed to the general public the way the Karakuri work, using easily understood illustrations. His book, Kkarakuri-zui, had a tremendous impact on many artisans who later developed their own techniques in the field.  This book is considered to be the foundation of Japanese robotic technology.
In the 20th century, acrylic resin was invented and the Karakuri techniques were handed down to Yuutarou Oono.  Mr. Oono not only successfully revived Hosokawa`s Karakuri but,  in a similar spirit of openness, he made them out of transparent acrylic.  It is exciting to see a doll in a beautiful kimono bringing and serving tea but people were doubly delighted to to see the dolls’ inner workings as well. The transparent gears developed by modern technology allowed this to be possible.
It is the spirit of true Karakuri artists to honor the people’s desire to know and also create such beautiful dolls that are totally in keeping with the Japanese people’s sense of esthetics.
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ヒーブル・オンジェイ hiiburu onjei Ondrej Hybl

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Ondrej Hybl

Ondrej Hybl was born in 1977 in Czech Republic. He studied Kyogen Ookura style, the traditional Japanese theater, under the influence of Shigeyama Sengorou. In 2000, he started studying at Charles University Graduate School of Philosophy. In 2002, he enrolled in Doshisha University Graduate School of Letters as an exchange student. He began studying Kyogen under Kyogen  Master, Shime Shigeyama.
After graduating with a master’s degree from Doshisha University in 2005, he further moved his study and is currently studying for his doctorate at Oosaka University Graduate School of Letters. At EXPO 2005, Mr. Hybl was recognized by the Czech Republic government for his work and contribution as a representative of Czech Republic.
Mr. Hybl, who became fascinated with the Kyogen world which is a quintessential traditional Japanese performing art, became the first Czech Kyogen pupil.
He says that Kyogen requires technique to make people laugh, but that the laughter is not cheap. It is a humor that is kind to people.
Mr Hybyl adds “When people laugh, the boundary between countries disappears.  Now that Kyogen is recognized as a world heritage art form, Kyogen has become a valuable asset for people all over the world. Kyogen, which has deep roots in the ancient Japanese world, has the potential to make people in the world rich inside.”
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江里佐代子(人間国宝) Eri Sayoko Sayoko Eri (Living National Treasure)

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Sayoko Eri is a 'kirikane' artisan born in 1945 in Kyoto. Now, she works with her husband Sohei Eri and their son Kohei crafting images of Buddha with their company Heian Butsusho, based in Okazaki, in the Sakyo area of Kyoto.

Kirikane may be roughly translated as 'snip gold' or 'thin gold'. Basically, it involves working with gold foil: burning it, stripping it and using it as an implement. Furthermore, kirikane is used to draw gold designs, mainly on Buddha images and pictures.

Sayoko Eri began to work with kirikane after marrying into the Eri family. By applying herself to study, she acquired the skill and concentration to manipulate the delicate foils. Her designs are truly precise and it is hard to believe that they were created by hand. In 2002, she was designated as a Living National Treasure for her work in kirikane.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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