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Photograph of Iwami Kagura

Traditional hand work and performing art that has has its roots in local culture. The Chugoku region's festivals are performed in highly original ways.

♦Iwami Kagura (Shimane Prefecture)
This used to be a series of dances for the Gods conducted by Shinto priests, but since the Meiji era it has developed as a folklore performance art in the Iwami area. This reproduces the world of myths with dancing and fast tempo festival music. Recently, this has also been performed overseas.

♦Miyajima zaiku (Hiroshima Prefecture)
The traditional handicrafts of Miyajima Island, which is credited as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan and also has a deep history.This is said to originate in the Kamakura era. The finish of wooden bases is beautiful, making use of the natural wood grain's color tone with materials such as Koematsu (the trunks of huge, ancient Japanese red or black pines), horse chestnut trees and Japanese zelkova trees. Otherwise known as Rokuro zaiku, since a rokuro (turning wheel) is utilized in the process.

Photograph of Miyajima zaiku
Photograph of Kumano fude

♦Kumano fude (Hiroshima Prefecture)
Traditional handicrafts of Kumano Town that developed through the craftwork promotion policy of the Hiroshima Domain in the Edo era. Out of the approximate population of 25,000 people about 1,500 people engage in making brushes, and produce 80% or more of the national output of brushes such as hair pencils, artist's pencils and makeup brushes.

♦Ouchi nuri (Yamaguchi Prefecture)
Lacquer ware was protected and promoted by the Ouchi Clan as an important export good for Korea and China in the Muromachi era. Since the cessation of exports in the Edo era, the skills have been passed on and now are still gaining in popularity with the Ouchi doll being the centerpiece product.

Photograph of Ouchi nuri
Photograph of Yumihama gasuri

♦Yumihama gasuri (Tottori Prefecture)
Splashed-pattern kimonos were first woven by farm women along the Yumigahama coast from Yonago to Sakaiminato in the early 19th century. In September 1975, this was designated as a National Traditional Craft. The beautiful patterns and simple warmness is of the kimonos are very popular with people.

♦Hagi yaki (Yamaguchi Prefecture)
The kiln was opened as a Domain government kiln by Terumoto Mori with potters called from the Korean Peninsula. As Wabicha was spotlighted by Sennorikyu in the Momoyama era, the Hagi yaki's popularity increased and it still attains high praise, being referred to in 'Ichi Raku Ni Hagi San Karatsu (Raku yaki is No.1, Hagi yaki is No.2 and Karatsu yaki is No.3)'.

Photograph of Hagi yaki
Photograph of Bizen yaki

♦Bizen yaki (Okayama Prefecture)
The Bizen area in Okayama Prefecture is one of the six sites where the production of ceramic ware began in ancient Japan and still remains today. Without using pottery glaze, these ceramic pieces are burnt until tightened in a climbing kiln over a long time, with Japanese red pine firewood as the fuel source. Bizen yaki is characterized by the preserved soil texture that has a simple and warm touch and its own unique character.

♦Sekishu washi (Shimane Prefecture)
Craft work of the Iwami area where the record states that Kakimotono Hitomaro was taught how to press paper at the beginning of the 8th century. This is Japanese paper of the highest quality which is made of high quality paper mulberry and is soft to the touch and has elastic strength.

Photograph of Sekishu washi
Photograph of Bicchu Kagura

♦Bicchu Kagura (Okayama Prefecture)
Folklore performance art with its origin of Kojin Kagura that appeases malevolent, destructive deity souls. This has been performed through the ages in the north west area of Okayama Prefecture. Currently, this is a fundamental performance for this region's autumn festival and New Year events and the performance itself is also designated as a National significant intangible folk cultural asset.

Photograph of Kirinshishimai

♦Kirinshishimai (Tottori Prefecture)
This dance was performed when Tottori Domain lord Mitsunaka Ikeda built Tottori Toshogu Shrine in the Edo era in the style of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine. This is a unique dance with a facemask carving of a Kirin, a mythical Chinese creature with hooves, and it is designated as an intangible Prefectural cultural asset.

Traditional performing arts that have been treasured and acceded since the ancient period.Sports saltation which brings vitality to the region.
Various events throughout the year are the region's vitality source.

Photograph of Kingyo Chochin Matsuri Festival

♦Kingyo Chochin Matsuri Festival (Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
Summer seasonal tradition in the motif of Yanai folk crafts 'Kingyo chochin.' You can enjoy the magical enchanted scenery when seeing about 2000 continuous heart-warming lights along the white walls of the town.
(The festival is held annually on August 13.)

♦Kangensai Festival (Miyajima Town, Hiroshima Prefecture and elsewhere)
A big Heian picture scroll performance that uses the Itsukushima Shrine and its surrounding sea as its stage, is held on June 17 according to the old calendar (Chinese calendar).With performing Gagaku (Japanese traditional music and dance), it is a recreation of a historical story about the beautifully decorated Gozabune ship that returns to Itsukushima Shrine.

Photograph of Kangensai Festival

♦Saidaiji Eyo (Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)
It is one of the big three mysterious festivals of Japan, held on the 3rd Saturday of February every year. This is a festival of gallantry where a few thousand men dressed only in G-strings scramble for a pair of charms. It is said to have started 500 years ago.

Photograph of Saidaiji Eyo
Photograph of Ushimado yacht harbour

♦Ushimado Yacht Harbor (Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture)
Public marina exclusively for the use of yachts that was opened in 1987. This is the largest in Seto Inland Sea area with an approximate 350 yacht capacity. The harbor surrounds is a tourism spot where you can feel an exotic atmosphere similar to that of the Mediterranean Sea.

♦Tokuyama Winter Tree Festival (Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
The street trees in front of Tokuyama Station and along Miyuki Dori (street) are set up to look like shining trees with about 20,000 electric globes placed on them. The light-up continues for about one month from late November. This place is lively with Christmas events.

Photograph of Tokuyama winter tree festival
Photograph of Horan Enya

♦Horan Enya (Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture)
This is one of the Sandai fune shinji (big three God-related festivities) along with Kangensai Festival of Miyajima. This has its origins from when the Lord of Matsue Castle, Naomasa Matsudaira, made his visit from the Jozan Inari Shrine to the Atakaya Shrine, to pray for a productive grain crop. A historical picture scroll on the water.

♦Ski Mecca Mt. Daisen (Daisen Town, Tottori Prefecture)
The highest summit in Chugoku region, Daisen has four major full-scale skiing grounds and in season attracts many enthusiasts from Hiroshima and Okayama, as well as from far away Kyushu and the Kansai area.

Photograph of Mt. Daisen
Photograph of Mochigase no Hinaokuri

♦Mochigase no Hinaokuri (Mochigase Town, Tottori Prefecture)
A traditional event passed down from the Edo era. On March 3 of the old calendar (Chinese calendar), a pair of male and female paper dolls that are consigned with bad luck are floated on the Sendai River which flows through the town. This is designated as an intangible Prefectural folk cultural asset.

♦Hiroshima Flower Festival (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture)
This is Hiroshima's biggest event for the Calendar year and is held annually during Golden week in May and draws about 1.5 million people. The Peace flower festival takes place with a variety of events at the open space, stages and parades along Heiwa Odori Street.

Photograph of Hiroshima Flower Festival
Photograph of Kanagi Western Riding Park

♦Kanagi Western Riding Park (Kanagi Town, Shimane Prefecture)
A full-scale farm where everyone from beginners to highly experienced riders can enjoy riding. At the outside of the farm course, you can enjoy Mother Nature's treats along with the great views of the Sea of Japan and the Chugoku mountain district. There is also a restaurant and training facilities.

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