NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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本陣 Hon-jin Honjin

Jp En

Honjin was a special lodging established in a post station of the main national roads in the Edo period (1603-1868). It was built for use by daimyo, Hatamoto (direct retainers of the Shogun), government officials, Imperial envoys, Imperial family members, and Monzeki (Buddhist priests of aristocratic or imperial lineage). The word “honjin” originally means the camp or field headquarters of a general from the late Heian period to the early Edo period. Later on, accommodations for a general were also called honjin, and then it was diverted to lodgings for travelers of high social rank.

In most case, the proprietor of general office managing a post station (Toiya) or the village head officer (Nanushi) was appointed to be the proprietor of a honjin. Those who owned honjin were not warriors but they were given the privilege of wearing swords and a surname (myoji taito). They were also allowed to build the gate and the entrance porch for their private area.

The site where Honjin was built usually had an area of more than 3,300 sq m, and the main building was built in accordance with formalities, which included the Onarimon Gate and the raised room (Jodan-no-ma) as the main guest room. Presently, there are 13 honjin existing and open to the public. Among them, the largest is the honjin at Kusatsu-juku post station on the Tokaido Road. With as many as 39 rooms, a building area of 1706 sq m, and a site area of 4727 sq m, it is designated as a national Historic Site.
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静岡 黒田家住宅 Shizuoka Kuroda-ke-jyuutaku The Kuroda Family’s Residence in Shizuoka

Jp En

The residence of the Kuroda family located in Shimo-Hirakawa, Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Pref. is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property. The Kuroda family was a warrior clan descended from the Genji (Minamoto) line. In the Eiroku era (1558-1570), Kuroda Yoshiie moved to the village of Shimo-Hirakawa in Enshu province (present-day Shizuoka Pref.). In the late Edo period, when a Hatamoto (direct retainer of Shogun), Honda Sukehisa, was feoffed the area including Shimo-Hirakawa, he appointed the Kuroda clan as the local governor. After the Meiji Restoration, the generations of the Kuroda family served as village mayor and town mayor and contributed to the development of this area.
The main building of the residence is built in Yosemune-zukuri with a pantiled (sangawara-buki) roof. There is a formal shikidai (a low board step) in the entrance hall. Elaborate artifice befitting to the status of the mayor can be seen everywhere inside the residence. The nagaya-mon gate in Yosemune-zukuri with a thatched roof is said to be 250 years old. The building shows the typical architectural style of the local governor’s residence in the late Edo period.
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寶林寺 Hourin-ji Horinji Temple

Jp En

Horinji Temple located in Hosoe-cho Nakagawa, Kita-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref. is a Zen temple of Obaku Sect. The principal image of worship is Shaka Nyorai. Having become a devoted follower of the Chinese Zen master Ingen, Kondo Sadamoch, who was a Hatamoto enfeoffed the territory in Enshu province, invited a Chinese Zen monk Dokutan, a disciple of Ingen, to this place and dedicated a temple.
At the time of the establishment, the temple was flourished as a training ashram of Obaku Zen school. The seven formal temple buildings and other 20 buildings stood in the precinct of over 16 ha. In the Meiji period, the temple lost the patronage from the Kondo family and many of the buildings were collapsed in the Haibutsu Kishaku (the anti-Buddhism movement).
Both the Butsuden Hall built in 1667 and the Hojo (priest’s residence) built in 1716 are designated National Important Cultural Properties. These buildings are precious examples of the architectural styles of the late Ming Dynasty China, when the Obaku Sect was introduced into Japan.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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