NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/23


元寇防塁跡 Genkoubourui-ato Bulwarks against Mongol Invasion

Jp En

The site of these bulwarks, which were built for defence against Mongol invasions, is in Fukuoka City. There are 7 bulwarks, all of which have been designated as National Historic Sites.

In 1274, the Mongols attacked Hakata with 900 military ships and 28,000 soldiers and fought with samurais in Kyushu. (This is known as the Bunei War.)

In defence, the Kamakura government built 20-km bulwarks, 2m high and 2.5m wide, along a length of Hakata Bay, from Imazu in the west, to Kashi in the east. The line of defence, constructed by the Kyushu samurais, took half a year to complete.

In 1281, the Mongols attacked Hakata again, but were blocked by the bulwarks. Moreover, a typhoon (the 'Divine Wind') struck the fleet which sank. (This is known as the Koan War.)

The bulwarks remind you of the old times and we can admire the samurais' achievement. In Showa 6 (1931), the bulwarks were designated as National Historic Sites.
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2007/1/12


八重山上布 Yeyama-joufu Yaeyama Joufu Fabric

Jp En

Yaeyama joufu (high-quality ramie) fabric is woven on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. The small dark-brown 'kasuri' (scratched) patterns against the white background on this material give a very refreshing look.

In the early 17th century, the Satsuma clan invaded Ryukyu (Okinawa) and imposed taxes on the Okinawans. Many people were made to weave fabric to be sent as tribute to their rulers, hence the development of the Yaeyama joufu technique.

After regulations were abolished at the end of the Meiji period, the craftworkers organized guilds and Yaeyama joufu became a popular cottage industry.

The materials for the ramie and the many kinds of dye are all natural, and are turned into beautiful fabric by the hands and wisdom of the people. The cloth is dried in the May sun and the dyes are fixed by seawater.

Many people love this high-quality ramie because it suits the subtropical climate: it is refreshing and light enough to to let air pass through.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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