NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/8/17


李参平碑 Risanpei-hi Monument to Ri Sampei

Jp En

When Naoshige Nabeshima, who later founded the Saga Clan, returned to Japan following the invasion of Korea in the late 16th century, he brought with him a group of Korean potters. One of them was Ri Sampei (Korean name Lee Cham-Pyung), who discovered kaolin and succeeded in making porcelain for the first time in Japan in 1616. This first porcelain was later developed into the three types of porcelain ware: Ko-Imari, Kakiemon and Nabeshima, which came to establish Arita as the birthplace of Japanese porcelain.

Ri Sampei is enshrined at Toyama-jinja Shrine in Odaru, Arita-cho. Behind the main shrine and situated at the top of Mt Renge-Ishiyama, stands a monument to Ri Sampei. This is also a good spot to get a panoramic view of the town of Arita.

The monument to Ri Sampei was erected in 1916 (Taisho 5) on the 300th anniversary of Arita ware. Since then, the Toso matsuri festival, celebrating the founding of porcelain, has been held each year on May 4th.
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2007/1/30


島岡達三(人間国宝) Shimaoka Tatsuzou Tatsuzo Shimaoka (Living National Treasure)

Jp En

Tatsuzo Shimaoka was born in 1919, in Tokyo, and studied ceramics at Tokyo Industry University. In 1996, he was designated as a Living National Treasure because of his work in 'jomon zogan'.

Jomon-zogan is a ceramic technique invented by Shimaoka; a pot is patterned using a thin rope, then painted with white 'deisho' (mixture of pot clay and water). After drying, the pot's surface is shaved with a plane. Then, the white Deisho remains in the impressed areas and the jomon pattern appears.

After he was demobilized, Shimaoka studied under Shoji Hamada and, in 1953, he established his own kiln. His belief was  to have 'his own distinctive style, not an imitation of others'. He learned through trial and error, and he integrated the jomon technique with zogan, a popular Korean technique. His work is practical and beautiful, unique with his identity.
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2007/1/23


高麗館 Kouraikan Kouraikan

Jp En

At one point along the Tozawa road in Yamagata Prefecture, a foreign and exotic mood and space suddenly appear then spread over the green mountains. This is the Kouraikan. The Kouraikan is a complex of buildings filled with an exotic mood, which was built to introduce Korean culture and history to Japan, as well as deepen mutual understandings between the people who visit.

The Kouraikan was opened in 1997 as a symbol of friendship between Korea and Tsutsumigawa-shi and to get in touch with the ancient culture of the Korean Peninsula. All kinds of buildings and shops can be found within the Kouraikan, including a product hall that exhibits and sells traditional articles of everyday use. There are also handicrafts on display, a food culture hall introducing Korean food, an ethnic culture hall introducing Korean customs and arts, as well as a Korean garden filled with Korean flowers, such as the 'mukuge' and the 'klein'. Another area is the Norimadan, where the townspeople gather for amusement. All of these facilities help create a real Korean atmosphere.

The Kouraikan exquisitely replicates aspects of Korean history and culture, and shows the fondness and harmonious relationship that Korea and Japan have, at the same time giving visitors a feeling of compassion and excitement.
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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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