Category Archives: Photo News

【News】New uses for logs from thinning of forests – Umaji, Kochi Prefecture (Jan. 15, 2017)

The village of Umaji in Kochi Prefecture has managed to put on track the business of creating unique items from cedar logs that come out as a result of forest thinning. Ecoasu, a joint public-private venture enterprise which is working on revitalizing the forestry industry in the district, is engaged in the whole process from thinning forests to manufacturing products. The firm’s top selling product is “monacca,” wooden bags created from wood slices. Logs are first sliced into 0.5-mm-thin sheets. Then six sheets are glued together, molded into the shape of a bag with a pressing tool and are completed after fasteners are sewn on and coating is done. The … Continue reading

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【News】Shimotsuki Matsuri – festival of masked villagers dancing around boiling hot pots (Dec. 18, 2016)

Shimotsuki Matsuri is a festival held every December in the remote mountains in the Toyamago area of Iida, Nagano Prefecture, to pray for rich harvest all night. The traditional Shinto event features huge pots of boiling water with steam rising to invite gods from across the nation. The sounds of Japanese traditional drums and flutes are heard in the villages until dawn. The festival is held at nine shrines in the area in early to mid-December before the winter solstice. Seihachimangu Shrine in the Kamimachi district holds the event on Dec. 11 every year. The main event starts at 1 p.m. when priests purify the clay stove and pots filled … Continue reading

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【News】Oshiroi Matsuri: wear thick, sticky face pack to pray for next year’s good harvests (Asakura city, Fukuoka Prefecture) (Dec. 11 2016)

Every year on December 2, a festival called “Oshiroi Matsuri” is held in Asakura city, Fukuoka Prefecture, as a prayer for good harvests in the coming year. It takes place at Oyamazumi Shrine. Villagers paint their faces with “oshiroi,” which is a white paste made from rice flour and water, to express appreciation for current year’s harvest and wish for next year’s good harvests. The while ceremony starts with a ritual. Shrine’s top priest performs a ritual and gives prayers in front of approximately 50 worshippers in the hall. Then the people enjoy a social gathering that serves pressed sushi, simmered vegetables and all other colorful dishes. The highlight of … Continue reading

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【News】 Bonsai Fest in Saitama City broadens appeal of Japanese bonsai tradition (Dec. 4, 2016)

In November 26, 2016, a fest for the bonsai world of next generation was held in Saitama city, Saitama Prefecture. The city, a home of the ancient Japanese art form of making miniature landscapes of ornamental trees, hosted the fest in order to increase bonsai enthusiasts and bring additional excitement to the city with a number of bonsai nurseries, before it hosts the 8th World Bonsai Convention in April 2017. The event successfully gathered attentions by offering a live performance of a budding bonsai craftsman and unique workshops. The 1st World Bonsai Convention was held in 1989 in former Omiya city, followed by the ones in the U.S., South Korea, … Continue reading

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【News】No no IKEBANA: Improving presentation skill                             (2) Arrangements that blend in well with the surroundings (Dec. 2, 2016)

<”No no Ikebana” is an art of arranging agricultural products together with agricultural implements and other familiar instruments. It’s a type of Ikebana but mainly for farmers. The series “No no Ikebana” will show you how to best feature the materials and containers you choose, with the help of fans of this style of Ikebana nationwide.> No no Ikebana for an entrance hall or a living room should go along with the surroundings. They should fit in well with the surroundings in size of course, but it’s also important for you to pay attention not to hide pictures and other small home decor items that are already there. Having a … Continue reading

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