NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/30


名越切通 Nagoe-kiridooshi Nagoe-kiridoshi

Jp En

The Nagoe-kiridoshi is an ancient passageway located between Kamakura and Zushi in Kanagawa Prefecture. Kamakura has many kiridoshi: man-made passageways for defensive purposes. The Nagoe-kiridoshi is one of the seven major kiridoshi in Kamakura, and reaches from Boso to Rokuura.

'Nagoe' means 'difficult pass', owing to the fact that the route involved some climbing.

An 'okirigishi', or man-made carved cliff, some 300m long, can also be found in the vicinity. Formerly a rock quarry, it was carved into a barricade with much labor, evidence that the Nagoe-kiridoshi was a vital defensive position.

After the Edo period, the Asaina-kiridoshi was turned into the central road for traffic and, in turn, the Nagoe-kiridoshi was forgotten. This is one of the reasons why it has kept its original form for many years. The Nagoe-kiridoshi is an ancient passageway that has been designated a National Monument, and which even now, retains its distinct historical atmosphere.
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朝夷奈切通 Asaina-kiridooshi Asaina-kiridoshi

Jp En

The Asaina-kiridoshi is an ancient passageway located between Junisho in Kamakura, and Kanazawa-gun in Yokohama, both in Kanagawa Prefecture. The passageway is designated a National Monument.

In Kamakura, there are many passageways for defensive purposes called kiridoshi. The Asaina-kiridoshi connects Kamakura with Kanazawa and Rokuura, and is said to be one of the seven greater kiridoshi in Kamakura.

The name Asaina-kiridoshi comes from Yoshihide Saburo Asaina who, during the 2nd year of the Ninji era (1241) and under the command of Masatoki Hojo, was said to have built the road in a single night.

The road was constructed during a time of dispute between the Hojo and Miura clans. The Hojo clan was in need of a road connecting with the Rokuura port, and leading to Boso without passing through the Miura Peninsula.

The Asaina-kiridoshi still retains its distinct historical atmosphere, and reminds those who walk on it of the culture and life of the Kamakura period.
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2007/1/17


倶利伽羅峠 源平供養塔 Kurikaratohge Genpeikuyohtoh Kurikara Pass Genpei Memorial

Jp En

Kurikara is a pass between Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. It is also the site of a battle fought during the famous Genpei War. At the Kurikara battlefield are various historical spots relating to the war, such as the Genpei Memorial.

In 1183, the Minamoto clan blew conches, beat drums and released a stampede of 500 cows against the Heike clan. The Heike clan were exhausted by the long march from Kyoto and their warriors were unprepared. Unable to gather themselves in the darkness and resist, the army retreated to Jigoku valley.

Later, this site was named Kagyu-no-Kei and is recorded in the 'Genpei Josuiki' chronicle. The memorial is located in Sarugababa, which is a few minutes walk toward Oyabe district from Kurikara Park.

In May, the blossom from the cherry trees planted near the memorial glow as if to soothe the spirits of the fallen warriors.
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2007/1/11


水の路 Mizu-no-michi Passages for Water

Jp En

It would be considered too easy to dismiss passages for water as 'canals' or 'channels'. If there is a passage for water, and if I found it, would I ever regard it as something that 'guides water'?
   Since there is gravity on earth, water always moves from high places to low places. Sometimes that movement attracts people. As for water born in the high mountains, it might show us its dynamism as a waterfall in some places. This water would then become a large, quietly flowing river, where we could see fish play through that clear lens.
   Water guides us humans, and ends up at the place called the ocean. There are many different forms of life in the ocean. Once upon a time, we used to be a lifeform that belonged to the ocean.
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