NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/8/29


小塩神楽 Koshio-kagura Koshio Kagura

Jp En

Koshio Kagura is a traditional folk performing art handed down since the Edo period (1603-1868) in Koshio in the Ina area, Minamiaizu Town, Fukushima Prefecture. It is designated as an important intangible folk cultural property by the town.

The kagura began in 1827 as the votive performance to Ichinomiya Katori Shrine, a branch shrine of Katori Shrine, which was the highest-ranked shrine in Kazusa province (present Sawara City in Chiba Prefecture).

The repertoire includes the kagura dance, the Hyottoko dance, the Okame dance, the Shoki dance and Watonai. Presently, volunteers of Koshio Kagura Preservation Association are making efforts to hand down the tradition. Visitors can see and lean the kagura dance at the town hall all through the year.
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2007/6/18


小江戸 Ko-edo Koedo

Jp En

Koedo, which literally means “little Edo,” is nickname given to the townscape that is similar to the thriving town of Edo (present-day Tokyo). Since the Edo period (1603-1868), people often boast their own hometown saying “It’s like Edo.” The old folk song handed down in Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture goes, “There are plenty of Shokyoto in the country, but Koedo is Kawagoe alone.” Or, the one in Sawara City in Chiba Prefecture goes, “If you want to see Edo, why don’t you come to Sawara? Honcho in Sawara is superior to Edo.”

However, the word “Koedo” was created in the recent times. In 1986, the cities of Tochigi, Kawagoe and Sawara held “the Koedo Summit,” and they declared those cities to be called “Koedo,” which attracted attention of the country.

The best known “Koedo” cities today are Tochigi City in Tochigi Prefecture, which is famous as a castle town and for its townscape of old-fashioned storehouses, Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture, which used to be the castle town of Kawagoe Castle, part of which was composed of the building used at Edo Castle, and Sawara City in Chiba Prefecture, which is famous for its Sawara Taisai (grand festival) and is selected as a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. Others include Otaki Town in Ishumi-gun, Chiba Prefecture, Atsugi City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Iwata City in Shizuoka Prefecture and Hikone City in Shiga Prefecture.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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