NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/30


井上萬二(人間国宝) Inoue Manji Manji Inoue (Living National Treasure)

Jp En

Manji Inoue was born in Arita in Saga Prefecture in 1929. In 1995, he was designated as a Living National Treasure because of his work with white porcelain ceramics.

In 1945, he studied the technique of white porcelain ceramics under Kakiemon Sakaida and Chuzaemon Okugawa. In 1958, he worked for the Prefectural Arita Kiln Institute and researched ceramics and glazes.

White porcelain requires that the vessels and objets produced have perfect shapes. White porcelain ware itself does not depend on decoration, while the shape itself must express neatness, warmth and dignity. Superficial techniques or camouflage will be scoffed at in white porcelains.

Mr Inoue says that 'a figure itself is a pattern'. He has pursued the craft of genuine porcelain through his expertise on the potter's wheel. 'Excellent works do not involve any idle thoughts: only technique and feeling'. He is still now sitting in front of his wheel and will not compromise over a single distortion.
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2007/1/26


福沢旧居 Fukuzawa-kyuukyo The Fukuzawa Residence

Jp En

The Fukuzawa Residence, in Rusuimachi, Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, is where Yukichi Fukuzawa spent his childhood and youth. It is designated a National Monument.

Yukichi was born in the Nakatsu-Hanzo Residence in Doujima, Osaka Prefecture, in the 5th year of the Tenpo era (1835). After his father's death, Yukichi returned to his hometown when he was a year and 6 months old, living in this house until he was 19.

The storehouse in the backyard was remodeled by Yukichi for the sole purpose of studying, while the main house was where he slept and ate. The Museum built next to the house has many exhibits from this period on display.

After reaching 19, Yukichi traveled to Nagasaki to take Dutch studies, but soon became keenly aware of the importance of English. He studied English by himself and boarded the "Kanrin-maru" ship in order to sail to the United States. Later, Yukichi wrote the famous book "Gakumon-no-susume", which sold more than 3.4 million copies, and he became the founder of Keio University.

The Fukuzawa Residence is an historic household that preseres the youthful origins of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the pioneer of democracy in Japan.
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