Category Archives: Photos

Better get ready for the fight – Hiraniwa Bullfight Meet in Kuji

IWATE, Jun. 17 – Yamagata Town, Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture, is the only place to host a bullfight meet four times a year in the Tohoku (North Eastern) region in Japan. The meet, called Togyu in Japanese, is for local shorthorn bulls which are known to have strong backs and good patient. The fighters in this year’s June tournament called “Tsutsuji Basho” included a young bull of about 400 kilograms and the Yokozuna Champion of over 1 ton, and they all staged exciting games. The Hiraniwa Bullfighting Meet is held at a permanent bullring of a diameter of 2.2 meters on the Hiraniwa Highland. Bull handlers called seko scream and … Continue reading

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Maruyama Senmaida rice terraces in Mie Prefecture attract visitors thanks to preservation efforts

MIE, June 3 – A scenic grouping of 1,340 rice paddies in the town of Kiwa in Kumano, Mie Prefecture, is attracting visitors as one of the largest rice terraces in the country. Stretching out on a farmland totaling 7.2 hectares cut into the sides of a 150-meter-high slope, the small rice paddies of various sizes – about 0.3 ares in average – are filled with water before the rice planting season and shimmer in the sunlight, forming gentle arcs that look like fish scales. In May, farmers start planting rice, using two-row transplanters. Records show that the rice terraces were created some 900 years ago, and that there were … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Miyoko Nakamura (90) from Sakawa Town, Kochi Prefecture: Purple flowers and vegetables will give my arrangement beautiful colors

“I made my first Noh no Ikebana arrangement almost ten years ago when I saw one of my friends in my neighborhood started to post photos of her artworks. In my first arrangement, I remember, I used red and white flowering kale and white Japanese daikon radish and put them in a big shallow ball called sawachi, which we use for local dishes. Since then, I’m having fun making arrangements on my own, using unique materials such as funny-shaped sprouting Konjac and a monster daikon radish. In Noh no Ikebana, I can express my imagination freely, and that’s why I like it very much. The theme of this arrangement is … Continue reading

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Sushi roll artist helping local farmers

Sushi with strawberries, mandarin oranges and cherries – a 33-year-old homemaker in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Aki Yamaoka is giving a helping hand to local rice farmers by creating several kinds of artistic sushi rolls featuring local agricultural products. The sushi rolls are called “kazari makizushi” in Japanese. They are made of rice colored with red pickled ginger and other ingredients, as well as vegetables and cheese. You arrange them delicately so that the cross-section will show motifs when the roll is cut. So far, she’s created more than 150 kinds of them with motifs she took from agricultural products and 12 Japanese zodiac animals, for example. Yamaoka always uses … Continue reading

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Kokeshium: traditional craft and domestic flowers combined to make brilliant debut

TOKYO, Jun. 24 – A kokeshi-shaped herbarium bottle from You Kaen, a flower distributer and seller based in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, has been a big hit. The name of the product is Kokeshium. It’s a kokeshi doll with a glass body that contains dried flowers of domestically-grown globe amaranth, sophila and such, and specially designed herbarium oil. On top of the bottle is the face of a traditional wooden doll called Naruko Kokeshi made by artisans in Osaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture. The florist proposed it to raise attention to traditional arts using flowers and unique design. As soon as the product was released in May in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, it … Continue reading

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