NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/5/24


京極のふきだし湧水 Kyougokuno-fukidashi-wakimizu Kyogo Spring

Jp En

Kyogo Spring is located in Fukidashi Park in Kyogo-cho, Abuta-gun in Hokkaido. Rising nearby is Mt Yotei (1898m), the tallest mountain in southwest Hokkaido. The foot of the mountain is abundant with springs and fountains, with a total of 17 natural spring sites.

The volume of water issuing from the springs each day is an amazing 530,000 tons. Of the 17 springs, Kyogo Spring has the greatest volume of water: some 70,000 tons each day! The springs are fed by rain or melted snow that percolates through Mt Yotei, then combines with the minerals in the ground in a process lasting 50 to 70 years, before finally welling out as natural spring water. The spring water is classified as 'kanro' (sweet) and is known to be very soft and slightly sweet.

Kyogo Spring was also chosen as one of Japan's top 100 sites for renowned water by the Environment Agency in 1985.

As the spring water pushes up between the mossy rocks and green trees, it releases a pleasant murmuring sound and creates a relaxing, healing space. It's not only the local people who love this spring water, but fanatics, too, who come all the way from Sapporo just to drink it.
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2007/1/29


常滑焼 九谷紋様急須 梅原昭龍作 Tokoname-yaki Kutanimonyou-kyusu Umehara-Akitatsu-Saku Tokomae Ware, Kutani-Patterned Teapot

Jp En

This teapot was made by Akitatsu Umehara.

Some tea on a holiday afternoon. Some tea after a meal. A relaxed moment for tea is exceptionally comfortable.

Why don’t you care about the teapot and not just the tealeaves or how to pour the tea?

Professional craftsmanship. This teapot is very practical and worth using: the tea pours smoothly, the lid holds in the tea's flavor, and the body is decorated with calm Kutani patterns.

The longer you use this teapot, the more practical it will become and the more satisfaction it will give.

Appreciating a traditional craft with tea is lots of fun.
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2007/1/26


笹ヶ尾石仏群 Sasagao-sekibutugun Sasagao Stone Buddhas

Jp En

The Sasagao Stone Buddha statues in Amagasemachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture, consist of as many as 100 statues of all sizes standing from 30cm tall to life-size, carefully positioned all over a small rocky hill. The taishido statue is in the center.

A rock stairway up the hill has been built along with a drinking fountain for those who need a rest from the climb up. The stone Buddha statues are all different in both size, shape and facial expression.

The moss-covered Jizo statues standing alone in the winter landscape suggest the subtlety of 'wabi-sabi'. Indeed, the Sasagao-sekibutsugun is a wonderful location that is not widely known, and where one's heart is always struck by the appearance of the statues quietly withstanding the harsh elements of nature.
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2007/1/25


四日市萬古焼 Yokakaichi-banko-yaki Yokkaichi Banko Ware

Jp En

Yokkaichi Banko Ware is a traditional handicraft made in the city of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

The name 'Banko Ware' derives from the mid-Edo period when the great merchant Nunami Rouzan placed his seal on the pottery with the words 'Bankofueki'. Because he was interested in the tea ceremony and in ceramics, the seal expressed his wish that his works would last forever.

The production of Banko Ware was suspended for a while after Rouzan's death, but started up once again in the late-Edo period. Today's Banko Ware in Yokkaichi is modeled on the early Meiji type of this ware and is produced following the techniques of that time.

The Yokkaichi Banko Ware kilns continue to produce distinctive ceramics that correspond to current trends. Some 70% of the earthen pots made in Japan are produced here at Yokkaichi. The place is also famous for producing teapots.

Yokkaichi Banko Ware is the representative local industry of Yokkaichi, and the craft has strong connections with the lives of the people. In 1979, Yokkaichi Banko Ware was designated as a traditional craftwork. 
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2007/1/17


殿様清水 Tonosama-shohzu Tonosama Shouzu Spring

Jp En

Tonosama Shouzu is a source of water that flows without cease at the threshold of Kasugaonsenkyo, in Toyama prefecture. It is chosen as the site of Toyama's best water and is also among the top 100 best sources of water in Japan.

It is said that the water is similar to that of Ana-no-tani-no-reisui in Kamiichi. Many people living in the neighborhood often go to the spring to collect water. It is comfortable to drink and soothes the throat.

The name Tonosama Shouzu derives from the legend that the lord of Toyama clan, who only drank its waters, never suffered ill-health.

Around the spring are recreation facilities, parks and forests. Kasugasou, Garaku and Oosawano Palace are in the vicinity, and the spring is a landmark of Toyama prefecture.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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