NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/5/31


伊佐沢の久保桜 Isazawa-no-kubozakura The Kubo Cherry Tree of Isazawa

Jp En

The Kubo cherry tree is one of a group of 1200-year-old trees in Isazawa, Nagai City, Yamagata prefecture.

By the grounds of the Isazawa Elementary School stands the splendid Edohigan cherry tree, which has been designated as a National Natural Treasure. Its branches reach 9m around and it is 16m tall. Its total length of branches was reputed to have been 63m some 150 years ago.

The name of the Kubo cherry tree comes from the old name of this district. The Kubo cherry tree is also called the Otama cherry tree. Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro, the Barbarian-Subduing Generalissimo, visited this district and fell in love with a girl named Otama.  But after returning to his native land, he received the news that she had died of grief for him. Missing her, he had his followers plant cherry trees near her grave. These cherry trees are said to be the origin of the Kubo cherry tree. Perhaps even now, she still loves him and makes the cherry tree blossom each year.
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2007/1/12


八重山ミンサー Yaeyamaminsaa Yaeyama Minsa Fabric

Jp En

Yaeyama minsa is a fabric made on the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. This fabric often features a design of alternating five-and-four square 'kasuri' (scratched) patterns on indigo-dyed material. The centipede-like lines are highly individual.

The origin of this fabric dates back to before the 17th century, and the Okinawan word 'minsa' derives from the words 'sar' ('sash') and 'min' ('cotton').  The alternating five-and-four kasuri design is said to mean 'wish you will be with me for eternity'. ('Eternity' in Japanese is 'itsu-no-yo': 'itsu' sounds like the word for 'five' and 'yo' sounds like the word for 'four'.) This symbolised the weaving woman's feelings for her lover.

Yaeyama minsa is woven from cotton thread dyed with natural plant dyes in a southern manner. Sashes, neckties and bags are woven.

The dyed color is usually indigo and the contrast between white and dark blue is vivid and beautiful.
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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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