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Traditional

Five Cities to Preserve Historical Townscapes

Traditional Roofs

Five Japanese cities are about to embark on a new form of town development that aims to preserve their traditional townscapes. The five are Kameyama (Mie Prefecture), Hikone (Shiga Prefecture), Takayama (Gifu Prefecture), Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) and Hagi (Yamaguchi Prefecture). The projects result from a new law enforced last November to provide financial and legal support to municipalities’ efforts to preserve historic landscapes in specific quarters.

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• Thursday June 11, 2009 • TraditionalAdd Comment [2]

Karako

Karako

Deze Karako (唐子), een jongetje in antieke Japanse kleding, is een traditioneel ontwerp op zijde gebruikt voor haura, de achterkant van een haori (een jasje die over een kimono wordt gedragen).

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• Saturday November 29, 2008 • TraditionalReageer

Karako

Karako

This Karako (唐子), a boy dressed in ancient Chinese clothes, is a traditional design pattern on silk textile used for haura, the back of a haori (a coat worn over a kimono).

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• Saturday November 29, 2008 • TraditionalAdd Comment

Lapis Lazuli Color (Ruri-iro)

Lapis Lazuli

“The Earth was blue.” These were reportedly the words used by Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, when describing his impressions after returning to Earth. He was referring to what is known in Japan as the color “ruri-iro.” This color was used in Egypt as early as 3,400 years ago in jewelry, which came to Japan along the Silk Road.

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Japan for Sustainability • Saturday November 1, 2008 • TraditionalAdd Comment

Japanese Fans (Sensu)

Japanese Woman Holding a Fan (Sensu)

The folding fan was invented in Japan during the 8th century. Called Hiougi, they were made of thin stripes of hinoki (Japanese cypress) and used by aristocrats of the Heian Period (794-1185) as part of their formal attire. Eventually the Japanese fan was exported to China, where silk fans were used. They were transformed and re-imported as Chinese fans in the 15th century. Over the ages fans played an increasingly important role in Japanese culture.

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• Wednesday October 29, 2008 • TraditionalAdd Comment

Turmeric Color (Ukon-iro)

Turmeric

This is the color of robes worn by Buddhist monks in countries like India and Sri Lanka. This vivid yellow is the color of turmeric, an essential spice for curry foods. Not only does turmeric keep bacteria away due to strong antibacterial powers, it also believed to fight off evil spirits, so it is also used as sacred color in the religious context.

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Japan for Sustainability • Wednesday October 29, 2008 • TraditionalAdd Comment

Madder Red (Akane-iro)

Madder Red

Madder red (“akane-iro” in Japanese) is a color immortalized in the Manyoshu, one of Japan’s most revered collections of poetry (mostly written between AD 600 and 759), used mostly to describe the sun and sunset. There are many shades of red, but this one is used as an adjective for the color of sunset.

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Japan for Sustainability • Tuesday July 1, 2008 • TraditionalAdd Comment