特集/東洋のアルカディア、その旅路を探して

Tsuru no Ongaeshi (lit. Crane’s Return of a Favor)
Kindness and Gratitude Heart to Return Favors The Origins of Tsuru no Ongaeshi According to Soto Zen Rinnō-ji Buddhist Temple on Mt. Kongo, which has a deep connection with the Date clan and Kyokudōsō Zanoshō, Kakufuzanchinzō Temple in Urushiyama, Nanyō City is an ancient temple that was founded in 1460 (Kanshō 1). It is a … Continue reading "Tsuru no Ongaeshi (lit. Crane’s Return of a Favor)"
Somokuto
Coexistence: Nature and Humans Gratitude for Life and the Collective Body Somokuto (lit. plant towers) are stone monuments built to memorialize and show gratitude for the trees and vegetation we harvest. There are monuments with the inscriptions 草木塔(somokuto), 草木供養塔(somokukuyouto), and 草木国土悉皆成仏(somokukokudoshikkaijoubutsu) on them, as well as Sanskrit or scriptural text. They are 50 to 80 … Continue reading "Somokuto"
Matagi|Oguni
Living with Nature: Mountain People and Their Traditional Culture The Matagi Culture of Oguni The town of Oguni is surrounded by majestic mountains. In the north there is the Asahi Mountain range, and the Iide Mountain range in the south-west. 90 percent of the land is forest, of which 80 percent is beech forest retained … Continue reading "Matagi|Oguni"
Isabella L.Bird|Okitama region
To the unknown worldTake a stepCome across Arcadia Who is Isabella L.Bird? An English woman traveled to the Okitama region in July of 1878. Her name was Isabella L.Bird. She was born the eldest daughter to a pastor in Yorkshire, England. She was brought up in an intelligent family which raised high-ranking priests of the … Continue reading "Isabella L.Bird|Okitama region"
The Legend of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro and Cherry Blossoms|Nagai・Shirataka
In the Okitama region where there are many famous cherry blossom (sakura) spots, there is a giant cherry tree said to be 1,200 years old. It has signaled to the locals of the oncoming of spring since the days of old. Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, who received the first title of Sei-i Taishogun, makes an appearance … Continue reading "The Legend of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro and Cherry Blossoms|Nagai・Shirataka"
Soy Sauce and Miso|Nagai City
Carved into the Land The History of FermentationThe People’s Memories The Basis of Japanese Food, Tracing the Origin of Fermentation As Japan’s traditional food culture, “Japanese food” is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Rather than the food itself, the registration was evaluated for the “practice” related to the “food” based on the temperament … Continue reading "Soy Sauce and Miso|Nagai City"
Yahahaero|Nagai City・Nanyo City・Shirataka Town・Iide Town
Pray to the Sacred Fires to Call on Cheers, Laughter, and the Power to Live On A Fire Festival of Prayer Passed Down by the LocalsYahahaero  One of the festivals held in many villages in Japan is the First Full Moon Fire Festival. It is called “Dondoyaki” nationwide, “Dontoyaki” in the Tohoku region, “Sagicho” in … Continue reading "Yahahaero|Nagai City・Nanyo City・Shirataka Town・Iide Town"
Flower Nagai Line|Nagai City
A Hometown Scenery that Leaves an ImpressionFlower Nagai Line The Founding of the Flower Nagai Line The “Flower Nagai Line” is a Yamagata railway that runs along the northern point of the Okitama valley in the southern part of Yamagata. Starting from Nanyo City’s Akayu station, it goes through Kawanishi and Nagai City to Shirataka … Continue reading "Flower Nagai Line|Nagai City"
Coming Across Ancient Times|Shirataka Town
Technology that Connects People’s Lives and Occupation A Town that Makes Japan’s Red It is unknown when the safflower was brought to Yamagata, but it has been grown here since before the Edo Period. According to Murakagami, safflowers are grown in 35 villages of the 218 in the Okitama Region, and 14 of those villages … Continue reading "Coming Across Ancient Times|Shirataka Town"
Nakatsu River Submerged Forest|Iide
A mountain ruled by Kami and the prayers of the people A village in the Heart of Mt. Iide In the Iide Mountains straddled by the three prefectures of Yamagata Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, and Niigata Prefecture lies the Town of Iide. Water flowing from 2,000-meter-tall mountains create fertile land in the north-eastern area perfect for … Continue reading "Nakatsu River Submerged Forest|Iide"