NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/8/15


七夕絵灯篭まつり Tanabata-edourou-matsuri Tanabata Edoro Matsuri

Jp En

Tanabata Edoro Matsuri is a festival held in Yuzawa City, Akita Pref. in August every year. A lot of decorative strips and paperwork are attached to thick bamboo poles and boxes with pretty ladies painted on them are lit up at night. The festival dates back to the middle of the Edo period (around 1700), when a princess of Takatsukasa family, a court noble in Kyoto, married into Satake Yoshiyasu, the 5th head of the Stake Nanke clan, one of the branch family of the Akita domain lord. Gripped by homesickness, the princess wrote her nostalgic feelings on strips and put them on a bamboo pole. Accordingly the townspeople who heard of the princess’s grief began to display strips and streamers on the bamboo poles and prayed that she might get over the grief. After the Meiji period (1868-1912), the present lantern boxes were began to be displayed on the streets. The boxes are also displayed in the city hall all through the year. A lot of visitors come to enjoy this fantastic summer festival held to the memory of the princess.
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2007/7/27


広瀬川灯ろう流し Hirose-gawa-tourou-nagashi The Lantern Float in the Hirose River

Jp En

The Lantern Float in the Hirose River is a representative summer event held during the season of Bon in August at the riverside between the Miyazawa Bridge and the Hirose Bridge over the Hirose River in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.

The origin of this event dates back about 250 years, when the Tohoku region suffered from cold weathers and bad harvests and hundreds of thousands of people were starving. To rescue those starving people, the Sendai domain set up the relief center near the Hirose Bridge. Later, people began to float paper lanterns on the river to appease the souls of the victims.

The lantern float has been handed down for 250 years since then. After World War II, the fireworks display began to be held at the same time and it became a biggest summer event of the city. Although it was discontinued for a short time, it was revived in 1990. After a variety of events including an outdoor concert, fireworks are shot up over the lanterns afloat on the river surface. The festival ends with the illumination of the 130-meter wide Niagara Falls fireworks.
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2006/11/28


弥彦公園 もみじ谷 Iyahiko-kouen Momiji-dani Momiji-dani (maple valley) and Yahiko Park

Jp En

Yahiko Park is in Yahiko hot spring town one-minute walk from Yahiko Station, Niigata Prefecture. The park has an area of 160,000 km2. Inside the park a mountain stream, miniature hill and water works are finely laid out and this enables visitors to enjoy autumn leaves in different settings. Especially, in Momiji-dani (maple valley), the reproduced old wooden bridge of Kannon-bashi provides the impressively harmonious autumn foliage. You can also enjoy flowers of each season; gorgeous cherry blossoms in April, and pure azalea and iris in June, each gives different atmosphere from autumn leaves.
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2006/11/27


護王神社 Goou-jinjya Goou Shrine

Jp En

Goou Shrine in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto enshrines Wake no Kiyomaro and his elder sister Wake no Hiromushi. It is also called Kosodate Myojin (child-raising god). The precise time of its establishment is unknown. It was originally located in the precincts of Jingo Temple, but in 1886 removed to the present place. It was one of the government managed shrines under the old system of shrine rankings (shakaku). The deity, Princess Hiromushi was very affectionate and earnest over fostering orphans in town, so people began to call the shrine “Kosodate Myojin” and worshipped as a deity of child raising. Instead of usual koma-inu (lion-dog guardian), a pair of stone-carved wild boars is set out in front of the main shrine. A wild boar is the symbol of the shrine because the legend has it that when Wake no Kiyomaro was exiled to Kyushu, a pack of wild boars appeared and protected him during the journey. So people also call it “Inoshishi Jinja (wild boar shrine)” and a lot of items such as clay bells, figurines, writing cards and ema (wooden plaques with prayers or wishes) concerning wild boars which were dedicated by nationwide worshippers are displayed. It is said that a person born in the Japanese zodiac year of a wild boar can get the fortune at this shrine.
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