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Chomon Papermachee Dolls



Chomon Papermachee Dolls 長門張り子 Choomon hariko

Yamaguchi Prefecture was created by the merger of the provinces of Suo and Nagato.
The Chinese characters 長門 can also be read Nagato.


They were first made around 1984 but are now out of production. Their maker, Tanaka Tsutomu 田中勉 run a small coffee shop where he sold them.
He loved the carp on wheel toys from Niigata and collected all kinds of papermachee dolls, especially Uto dolls 宇土張り子.
His repertoir was about 20 different dolls which showed the customs of the Meiji period.
田中勉, 萩市瓦町20
source : www.asahi-net.or.jp


kachikachi yama カチカチ山 (see below) and
mochitsuki usagi もちつきうさぎ
rabit pounding rice


tora Kato トラ加藤 Kato Kiyomasa on a tiger
source : bingoya/garments-toys.htm

. Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正 (1562 - 1611) .


The Chomon gorge (Choomonkyoo 長門峡)
is located in the middle region of the river Abugawa. It is about 12 kilometers long.
It is famous for its waterfalls, deep cliffs and the changing colors during the four seasons.

painting by Takashima: Chomonkyo

A famous local painter is
Takashima Hokkai 高島北海 (1850 - 1931).


A famous local poet is
Nakahara Chuuya 中原中也 Nakahara Chuya (1907 - 1937).

I give what love there is in loving
what remains beyond my knowing

source : www.nakaharachuya.com

Nakahara Chūya was born in Yamaguchi Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1907, where his father was an army doctor. In his early life, his father was posted to Hiroshima and Kanazawa, returning to Yamaguchi in 1914. In 1915, his younger brother died, and in sorrow he turned to composing poetry. He submitted his first three verses to a local newspaper in 1920, when he was still in elementary school. In 1923, he moved to the Ritsumeikan Middle School in Kyoto. He later graduated from the Foreign Studies Department of Tokyo Imperial University.

Initially, Chūya favored poetry in the Japanese traditional tanka format, but he was later (in his teens) attracted to the modern free verse styles advocated by Dadaist poet Takahashi Shinkichi and by Tominaga Tarō.

After he moved to Tokyo, he met Kawakami Tetsutaro and Ooka Shohei, with whom he began publishing a poetry journal, Hakuchigun (Idiots).
He was befriended by the influential literary critic Kobayashi Hideo, who introduced him to the French symbolist poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, whose poems he translated into Japanese. The influence of Rimbaud went beyond just his poetry, and Nakahara came to be known for his "bohemian" lifestyle.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Look at this, it’s my bone,
a tip of bone torn from its flesh,
filthy, filled up with woes,
it’s the days of our lives
sticking out, a blunt bone
bleached by the rain.

More translations are here
source : poemsandpoetics.blogspot.jp


aki no zoo Nakahara Chuuya yori sabishi

an elephant in autumn -
even more lonely than
Nakahara Chuya

Sakai Hiroshi 酒井弘司
during a visit to the local zoo

. Names of Persons used in Haiku .


Kachi-Kachi Yama かちかち山 The Crackling Mountain Story

- quote
kachi-kachi being an onomatopoeia of the sound a fire makes and yama meaning "mountain", roughly translates to "Fire-Crackle Mountain"), also known as Kachi-Kachi Mountain and The Farmer and the Badger, is a Japanese folktale in which a tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) is the villain, rather than the more usual boisterous, well-endowed alcoholic.

The trouble-making tanuki
As the story goes, a man caught a troublesome tanuki in his fields, and tied it to a tree to kill and cook it later. When the man left for town, the tanuki cried and begged the man's wife who was making some mochi, a sweet rice dish, to set him free, promising he would help her. The wife freed the animal, only to have it turn on her and kill her. The tanuki then planned a foul trick.

Using its shapeshifting abilities, the tanuki disguised itself as the wife and cooked a soup, using the dead woman's flesh. When the man came home, the tanuki served him the soup. After the meal, the tanuki reverted to its original appearance and revealed its treachery before running off and leaving the poor man in shock and grief.

Enter the rabbit
The couple had been good friends with a rabbit that lived nearby. The rabbit approached the man and told him that it would avenge his wife's death. Pretending to befriend the tanuki, the rabbit instead tortured it through various means, from dropping a bee's nest on it to 'treating' the stings with a peppery poultice that burned.

The title of the story comes from the especially painful trick that the rabbit played. While the tanuki was carrying a heavy load of kindling on his back to make a campfire for the night, he was so burdened that he did not immediately notice when the rabbit set fire to the kindling. Soon, the crackling sound reached its ears and it asked the rabbit what the sound was. "It is Kachi-Kachi Yama" the rabbit replied. "We are not far from it, so it is no surprise that you can hear it!". Eventually, the fire reached the tanuki's back, burning it badly, but without killing it.

Boat of mud
The tanuki challenged the rabbit to a life or death contest to prove who was the better creature. They were each to build a boat and race across a lake in them. The rabbit carved its boat out of a fallen tree trunk, but the foolish tanuki made a boat of mud.

The two competitors were evenly matched at first, but the tanuki's mud boat began dissolving in the middle of the lake. As the tanuki was failing in its struggle to stay afloat, the rabbit proclaimed its friendship with the human couple, and that this was the tanuki's punishment for its horrible deeds.

There are other versions that alter some details of the story, such as the severity of what the tanuki did to the woman and how the tanuki got the mud boat.

Modern-day references
Mt. Kachi Kachi and its Tenjō-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway refer to this story and have statues depicting portions of the story.

Shikoku Tanuki Train Line railway station in Japan uses the slogan "Our trains aren't made of mud", a direct reference to the "Kachi-Kachi Yama" tale.

In the video game Super Mario Sunshine, in the level "Noki Bay", Mario meets a "Tanooki" who gives free rides on mud boats, a clear reference to the boat that the tanuki in this tale used. While these boats can stay afloat, they will dissolve if they stay still for too long or if they bump into something.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

to look at more children's books and illustrations of this famous story.

source : nendoillust.sblo.jp

dolls made of kneaded clay (nendo 粘土)

. . . CLICK here for doll Photos !

kachikachi yama かちかち山 clay bell

. otogibanashi dorei おとぎ話の土鈴
clay bells with motives of legends .

. Usagi and Tanuki 兎と狸 the rabbit and the tanuki - Legends .
usagi-tanuki 兎狸 (うさぎたぬき / うさぎだぬき) Usagidanuki monsterlin


Yamaguchi, Hagi town
The Little Kyoto of the San'in region features storehouses that display unique architecture.
A long history of cultural exchange with the Korean Peninsula.
source : www.jnto.go.jp

. Yamaguchi Folk Art - 山口県  .


. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

. Yamaguchi - local dishes .

. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011



1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

ishikiri no kachi-kachi yama ya fuyu no tsuki

stonecutters hit
and hit the mountain --
winter moon

This hokku is from the end of the tenth month (December) in 1816, when Issa was traveling in the area just east of the city of Edo. In one local mountain quarry work goes on even on winter evenings, and the continuous sound of metal tools hitting against the rock of the mountain make the clear, hard winter moon, too, look like a cold rock. The hokku alludes to one of the most widely known Japanese folktales, "Mount Kachikachi," in which a rabbit and a raccoon dog (tanuki) engage in a fierce struggle. Like some of the original Grimm's tales, this Japanese folktale has many variations, and most contain violence. In the most famous scene -- known to almost all Issa's readers -- the rabbit rides on a bundle of firewood carried by the raccoon dog on his back and begins to strike two stones together to light a fire. Hearing these steady hitting sounds (kachikachi), the raccoon dog asks the rabbit what the sounds are, and the rabbit tells him that they are crossing Mount Kachikachi (Mount Hitting Sounds) and the sounds are simply the sounds the mountain. The rabbit continues to strike stones together and sets the bundle of firewood on fire, causing the raccoon dog to suffer burns on his back.

Issa seems to be reminded of this violent folktale when he hears stonecutters on a mountain. The mountain itself is gradually being destroyed by human technology; it has literally become Mount Hitting Sounds, thus giving a new meaning to the mountain the rabbit mentions in the folktale. The repeated sharp, hard sounds made by the stonecutters seem to synesthetically hit even the moon.

For the reference to the Mount Kachikachi folktale, see Maruyama Kazuhiko, Issa Shichiban nikki 2.275.

Chris Drake