NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/2/18


キセル Kiseru Kiseru

Jp En

Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. Kiseru were used for smoking flake tobacco, but some use for smoking a cigarettee or others for a half-cut cigarettee recently. The word kiseru comes from the Khmer word “ksher.”

Kiseru were invented in Japan in the 16th century, when the Portuguese came to Japan for the Nanban trade after the arrival of guns. The origin of kiseru making is not clear but it is said that Japanese craftsmen began to make kiseru by modeling after smoking pipes the Portuguese were using.

In the Edo period (1603-1868), when flake tobacco were extremely popular, kiseru were indispensable items for tobacco smokers. The kiseru was a kind of a status symbol and a fancy accessory. There were many kiseru in different sizes, length and shapes and of different materials. Tobacco smokers had their own favorite kiseru according to their finaccial positions. However, since extravagance was prohibited by the Tokugawa shogunate, only warriors, wealthy merchants, and prostitutes were allowed to use kiseru until the end of the Edo period.
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2007/11/29


うんすんかるた Unsun-karuta Unsun Card Game

Jp En

Unsun Karuta is a card game, based on the western deck of playing cards, that was first brought to Japan by a Portuguese sailor.
During the Tenshou Era (1573 ~1591), the very first copy of western-style playing cards was made in Japan. These cards, made in Mitsuike, Oomuta City, Fukuoka, came to be known as Tenshou Karuta.  In the Edo period, they were developed further and Unsui Karuta was born.
While Tenshou Karuta had 48 cards, Unsun Karuta has 75 cards and more complicated rules. The name, Unsun, is said to have derived from the Portuguese words for the number one – “un” and the best – “sun”.
As Unsun Karuta gained popularity, the gambling potential of the game became so popular that, in the middle of the Edo period, it was banned. Unsun Karuta was believed to have entirely disappeared until it was discovered that the people of the Hitoyoshi region in Kumamoto had been enjoying the game all along.
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2006/12/15


堺刃物 Sakaihamono Sakai Forged Blades

Jp En

Sakai forged blades has the share of 90% in the market for cooking knives used by professional cooks. The No.1 standard of sharpness and traditional forging technique has increased their reputation. The history dates back the 16th century, when guns and tobacco were introduced into Japan from Portugal. In the late 16th century, Sakai’s “tobacco knives” to shred tobacco were known nationwide. The Tokugawa Shogunate granted Sakai a certificate seal called “Gokuin” to guarantee their quality and also the exclusive selling right, by which the reputation of Sakai forged blades spread all over the country. These knives are characterized by their distinctive sharpness that is only possible through the excellent smithing and grinding skills. The sharp blade edge produced by well trained skills represents the master’s pride.
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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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