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Cool Japan Guide / Japan’s tsunami towns go green to create jobs, bypass nuclear


Rikuzentakata, like many towns on Japan's rugged north-east Pacific coast, was in decline even before last year's tsunami killed 1 700 of its 24 000 inhabitants and destroyed most of its downtown buildings. With two-thirds of the remaining residents homeless, mayor Futoshi Toba questioned whether the town could recover. Damage to infrastructure and the local economy, he said, would force people to move away to find jobs.

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Cool Japan Guide / Hanaya Yohei, father of nigiri (寿司)

Nigiri
(Yohei began selling his version of nigiri around 1824. He died in 1858 but his business endured into the
1930s, according to Theodore C. Bestor, author of "Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World.")

Sushi is the symbol of Japanese food worldwide. And the most iconic, most familiar, style of sushi is known as nigiri. Credit Hanaya Yohei, a 19th-century sushi chef, for its popularity. These oblong pads of vinegared rice topped with raw fish are found everywhere these days, from cutting edge restaurants in big cities to neighborhood joints in even the smallest of towns.

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Cool Japan Guide / Festivals in Japan in August (5)

Daimonji Gozan Okuribi (Daimonji Bonfire)

Date: August 16th
Places: All places within Kyoto City.
City: Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

The Daimonji Gozan Okuribi (Daimonji Bonfire) is an event held on the evening of August 16th, when gigantic Chinese characters and other motifs are depicted by fires lit to illuminate the surroundings for patrolling on the slopes of the mountains surrounding the Kyoto Basin. It is a famous for evoking the image of a Kyoto summer.
Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a48_fes_okuribi.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Festivals in Japan in August (4)

Awa-Odori Folk Dance Festival in Tokushima

Dates: August 12th-15th
Places: Throughout the entire city of Tokushima
City: Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture

This Tokushima festival features folkdances performed to welcome the souls of ancestors in the Bon season, from July to August. It is well known throughout Japan for these words, which are voiced to set the rhythm, regardless of their meaning: 'It's a fool who dances and a fool who watches! If both are fools, you might as well have fun dancing!`. The dance dates back to 1587 when the feudal lord Hachisuka Iemasa (1558-1638), in celebration of newly-built Tokushima Castle, offered sake to the people of the castle town; the citizens became so drunk they started to dance in an unsteady gait. Awa is the former name of Tokushima. ...
Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a46_fes_awa.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Festivals in Japan in August (3)

Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri

Dates: August 5th-7th
Place: From Tokamachi Corner to the front of Bunshokan Hall.
City: Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture

Although it was first held as a festival in 1964 so is relatively new, the Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri attracts more than 1 million spectators over three days and is now considered one of the major festivals of Tohoku (Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, Aomori, Yamagata and Akita prefectures). It is commonly included among the four greatest festivals of Tohoku, together with the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri (Sendai City), Aomori Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori City) and Akita Kanto Matsuri (Akita City). ...
Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a44_fes_hanagasa.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Saie-Hiogi Fans (彩絵檜扇 / Saiehiougi)


(Saie-Hiogi Fans (彩絵檜扇 / Saiehiougi))

Saie-Hiogi is a crescent folding fan with blades made of Japanese cypress wood. Hiogi fans were made in the Heian period (794-1192) as the accessory used by the nobility on formal occasions in the Imperial court. The number of blades differed according to the rank of the person who carried the fan. At the present time, there are only seven Hiogi fans remain; one at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, five at Itsukushima Shrine and one at Asuka Shrine in Kumano.

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Cool Japan Guide / Ichiro Suzuki is a New York Yankee. Weird.

Ichiro Suzuki is a New York Yankee. Weird.
WP Sports - Jul 24, 2012

(A strange sight indeed.)

For each of his 11 1/2 seasons in the majors, Ichiro Suzuki has been a fixture in the Pacific Northwest and a reliable contributor atop the Seattle Mariners lineup.
So when Suzuki stepped to home plate on Monday night at Safeco Field sporting an opponent’s uniform, the sight was nothing short of bizarre for all parties involved. ...
Full story to be checked via Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/post/ichiro-suzuki-is-a-new-york-yankee-weird/2012/07/24/gJQAw0Nc6W_blog.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Festivals in Japan in August (2)

Akita Kanto Matsuri

Dates: August 3rd -6th
Place: Kanto O-dori
(between the Sanno Jujiro Crossroads and Nichomebashi Bridge)
City: Akita City, Akita Prefecture

Together with the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri (Sendai City), the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori City) and the Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri (Yamagata City) this major Akita summer festival praying for an abundant harvest of the five grains, namely wheat, rice, beans, foxtail millet and Chinese millet, is one of the three main festivals of Tohoku (Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, Aomori, Yamagata and Akita prefectures). A kanto is a bamboo pole eight meters high with a number of cross poles attached which have 46 paper lanterns shaped like rice bales hanging from them, and is decorated at the very top with thin shreds of paper between wooden sticks. ...
Visit the Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a42_fes_akita.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Kyoto's hidden world of geisha no longer a male bastion

Female guests with "maiko" at a Japanese inn, Gion Hatanaka, in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. They are playing "Tora tora," a traditional game at "ozashiki asobi" venues. (Mihoko Takizawa)
(Female guests with "maiko" at a Japanese inn, Gion Hatanaka, in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto.
They are playing "Tora tora," a traditional game at "ozashiki asobi" venues.)

KYOTO--For a first-time foreign visitor to Kyoto, perhaps there is nothing so tantalizing as catching a glimpse of dainty "maiko," or apprentice geisha, as dusk descends on this historic city.
And then there are "geiko," as geisha from western Japan are known. Like maiko, these veterans of the "flower and willow word" ply their skills in the "hanamachi," or flower towns, of which the Gion district is by far the best known.

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Cool Japan Guide / Festivals in Japan in August (1)

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri

Dates:
Aomori Nebuta Matsuri: August 2nd-7th
Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri: August 1st-7th
Places:
Aomori Nebuta Matsuri: throughout Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture
Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri: throughout Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture

This event is held in the Tohoku District on July 7th according to the lunar calendar. Bamboo and wooden frames are covered with paper illustrated with historic figures and pictures of samurai warriors along with birds and beasts. ...
Visit the Link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a40_fes_nebuta.html

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Cool Japan Guide / Warei Taisai Festival & Uwajima Ushi-Oni Matsuri


(Warei Taisai Festival & Uwajima Ushi-Oni Matsuri)

The biggest attraction is the heroic mikoshi (portable shrine) event called Hashirikomi held on the evening of the 24th. Three portable shrines transported on boats from the Port of Uwajima to the mouth of the Sukagawa River, are carried on the shoulders of energetic youths wading through the river waters amid the darkness, relying merely on the illumination of the pine torch fires.

Dates: July 22nd-24th
Places: Warei-jinja Shrine
City: Warei-cho, Uwajima City, Ehime Prefecture

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Cool Japan Guide / Higo Temari (肥後てまり)


Temari is a traditional Japanese thread ball that was used as a toy ball for children. While playing with the ball, children used to sing a temari song. The most loved of these temari songs was “Antagata dokosa” which came from Higo Temari, traditionally from Kumamoto Prefecture.
Higo Temari, whose beauty is characterized by bright colors and biometric patterns, was first made by the court ladies working in their clan’s palace in Edo, Tokyo, as a pastime. This skill was eventually passed down to their local regions.

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Cool Japan Guide / Kiseru (キセル)


(Kiseru / Smoking Pipe)

Kiseru is an old style Japanese smoking pipe. Kiseru were used for smoking flake tobacco, but some use for smoking a cigarettee or others for a half-cut cigarettee recently. The word kiseru comes from the Khmer word “ksher.”

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Cool Japan Guide / Kyono-shikishitanzaku-wahonjo (京の色紙短冊和本帖)


(Kyono-shikishitanzaku-wahonjo (京の色紙短冊和本帖))

Kyoto shikishitanzaku-wahonjo is a traditional Japanese colored paper that came to be used for writing haiku and waka poetry. This paper was first made 1000 years ago. Colored paper is also known as 'dyed paper'.

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Cool Japan Guide / Japanese art, ghosts and Buddhism: The Peony Lantern


In Japan many elements of Japanese Buddhism, Shintoism and folk tales overlap within aspects of ukiyo-e art. The power of the Shinto faith can't be underestimated in history because many Buddhist leaders in the distant past like Kukai new the richness of this religion.

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Cool Japan Guide / Yokohama model train venue open


A museum featuring a vast collection of works by Nobutaro Hara, known for his meticulously crafted models of trains from around the world, opened Tuesday near JR Yokohama Station.
The museum, named after the 93-year-old modeler from Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, is likely to become a major attraction for Yokohama, home of Japan's first railroad.

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Cool Japan Guide / Kyoto students pull 10-ton float in test run

College students and others participate in a test drive of a float in Kyoto on July 12. (Takaharu Yagi)
(College students and others participate in a test drive of a float in Kyoto on July 12.)

KYOTO--A throng of yukata-clad female college students and a group of elementary school kids provided the muscle to move a 10-ton float in Kyoto on July 12.
The estimated 250 people, including students, pulled the Niwatori (hen) hoko float about 200 meters along Muromachi-dori street as part of a test run for the Gion Festival, which runs through the end of July.

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Cool Japan Guide / Sakai Gogatsu Koinobori (堺五月鯉幟)


(Sakai Gogatsu Koinobori (堺五月鯉幟))

Sakai Gogatsu Koinobori are koinobori or carp-shaped brocade streamers made in Sakai City, Osaka.
Their origin dates back to the beginning of the Meiji period when a merchant who had a toy and stationery business, on his way back from a visit to the Ise Shrine, saw paper carp made in Nagoya. This gave him the idea of having a Japanese kite maker make the paper carp, which he then sold.
By the middle of the Meiji period, the paper carp were replaced by ones made with brocade cloth and the techniques evolved to accommodate the change in material.

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Cool Japan Guide / Rug's secrets to unravel in Gion

News photo
(Life's tapestry: The Minami Kannon Yama float is adorned with a tapestry
that has an interesting story. KYOTO-DESIGN.JP

The results of a nifty piece of historical sleuthing are on display in Kyoto through July 18 in an exhibition timed to coincide with the city's renowned Gion Festival.
Visitors to that famed festival in years past will remember that each of the majestic, multistoried yama floats in the monthlong festival's climactic parade (held each year on July 17) is adorned with an intricate tapestry.

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Cool Japan Guide / Obake no Kinta (おばけの金太 / Obake-no-kinta)


(Obake no Kinta (おばけの金太 / Obake-no-kinta))

Obake no Kinta or Kinta the Ghost is a folk toy that originated in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture.
The toy consists of a head with a string in the back of it. When the string is pulled, Kinta rolls his big round eyeballs and sticks out his tongue.

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。