NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/11


引田の町並み Hikita-no-machinami The Scenery of the Town of Hikita

Jp En

The region around Hikita, Higashikagawa, Kagawa Prefecture, formerly a castle town, was where Hikita castle once stood.
   Hikita Castle was built by Ikoma Chikamasa, a general who played an active part during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Today, only the slight remains of the castle walls are evident at the site.
   Hikita is known for its manufacturing of soy sauce. The Sano Family's Izutsuya store, the Okada Family's Kamebishiya store and the Kusaka Family's Daishoya store were run by three successful and wealthy merchant families who were called the Hikita Gosanke (Hikita's big three merchants). The estates of these three merchants and private houses from the Edo period still remain. Many kinds of stores can be seen within the renovated kyuu-Izutsu-yashiki. A Kamebishiya, situated to the north of the Izutsu-yashiki, stands out from the rest of the buildings with its tiled roof and red walls. By walking to the south of the town, the majestic gate to the estate of the Hikita family can be seen, and in front of that, is the old Hikita post office. Compared to the long row houses seen in the town, the post office is built in a Taisho modern style, with its distinct octagonal windows positioned in an orderly line.
   The scenery and the distinct atmosphere created by the buildings of Hikita help communicate the history of the town without leaving anything behind.
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北前船主屋敷蔵六園 Kitamaesensyu-yashiki-zourokuen Zourokuen, the Estate of a Kitamae Ship-owner

Jp En

Zourokuen is the estate of the owner of a 'kitamaesen', one of the largest ships trading in the Sea of Japan from the Edo to mid-Meiji period.
   Most of the owners of kitamaesen were Oumi merchants, but were also employed as captains. These merchants built and commanded the kitamaesen, playing an active part in trade with Ezo (today's Hokkaido).
   As trade flourished, the merchants left the boats to the mariners of Kaga, Echizen and Wakasa. The captains of the kitamaesen were able to prosper as accomplished merchants, having gained experience and business acumen.
   Zourokuen comprises the residence and garden of the Saketani family, who had prospered in business. Their wealth is apparent in the buildings, its contents and the garden. The total area of the residence is about 1,000 tsubo (3,300m3). The total floor space of the lacquered mansion alone is about 300 tsubo (991.7m3).
   Exhibits in the warehouse include ancient documents, pottery (such as Kutani porcelain), yoshidaya, the miyamotoya-hachiro-akae, and the Matsuyama kiln.
   Approximately 500 kinds of Yamano grass grow wild in the garden of Enshuryu, and meiseki (ancient stones) from all over the country are positioned around the garden, creating a beautiful view.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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