Japan History: Kusunoki Masashige

Shimazu Takahisa was born May 28, 1514, son of Shimazu Sagami no kami Tadayoshi (1492-1568), adopted by Shimazu Katsuhisa. He became the lord of Kagoshima after Katsuhisa's escape in 1526. He conquered the aforementioned city in 1536 and extended his authority throughout the province of Satsuma.

photo credits: wikipedia.org

He was one of the first daimyō to employ firearms in battle during the siege of Kajiki in the province of Ōsumi in 1549. In that same year, he welcomed Francis Xavier to Kagoshima. He granted Jesuit protection to spread Christianity in his domain, later withdrawn under pressure from local Buddhist monks. Takahisa also had diplomatic relations with the Ryūkyu Kingdom.

photo credits: pinterest.com

15th head of the Shimazu clan, he supervised the transfer of the clan's headquarters from Shimizu castle to Uchi castle in 1550 when he sent Ijūin Tadaaki to Shimizu to suppress the rebellions and secure control of the Shimazu over the province. In 1554 his troops won against the Hishikari, Kamō and Ketō clans during the siege of Iwatsurugi. His son Shimazu Yoshihisa later completed the defeat of these clans and secured control of the Shimazu over the rest of the Satsuma province.

photo credits: global.rakuten.com

He officially retired in favor of Yoshihisa in 1566 and in 1569 the Iriki-in and Tōgō clans were defeated and he secured control over Satsuma. The following year he rejected a naval attack by members of the Kimotsuki, Ijiki and Nejime clans. He died on 15 July 1571.

His idea of ​​promoting relations with foreign people and countries is very important.

His sons were Yoshihisa, Yoshihiro, Iehisa and Toshihisa.

photo credits: wikipedia.org


TENOHA & | TASTE – Hakken Menu the return, episode 3 e 4

Let's go on with our culinary journey through the prefectures of Japan together with TENOHA Milano and move on to the 3rd and 4th step, with two special recipes from the Hakken menu:

#3 Yaki Udon & Takoyaki

September 16 - September 29: Yaki Udon & Takoyaki - Osaka Prefecture

Osaka loves street food and if we talk about street food we talk about Takoyaki the famous balls of fried batter stuffed with octopus. The Takoyaki accompanied by the Yaki Udon will take us right to Osaka! Not only a unique taste that you can only find here in TENOHA Milano, but also something truly traditional.

#4 Gyukatsu

September 30 - October 13: Gyukatsu - Tokyo Prefecture

From Tokyo comes the Gyukatsu, a crunchy beef cutlet with various toppings. Cooking is medium and it will surely drive you crazy. Because you might not have any idea of what the real Japanese beef is, right?

What are you waiting for? The new traditional Japanese dishes are waiting for you here, at TENOHA in via Vigevano 18, Milan! Obviously we at Japan Italy Bridge do not let them escape. Will you come and tell us personally what you think?

Also, don't forget the stamp collection! If you arrive at 6 Hakken you can get a special gift ... how many stamps do you need? Who will discover the TENOHA Milan gift?

Info

Further information: https://www.tenoha.it/taste/hakken-continue-2/
Cost: 16,00 €

TENOHA Milano
Via Vigevano, 18, 20144 Milano


Japan Italy Bridge interviews: Kenta Kambara and Nobuyuki Arai

We are back with another installment of our series "Japan Italy Bridge Interviews"! This time, we had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Kenta Kambara, a wheelchair dancer from Japan, and Nobuyuki Arai, video director. These two collaborated with Gerbera Design's brand, KUDEN by TAKAHIRO SATO. The promotional video that they created together will soon be available online, but before that, let's hear about how it all began and what they thought of the experience.

JIB: To start, please introduce yourself.
K: My name is Kenta Kambara and I am a freelance wheelchair dancer who was born with a disability called spina bifida.
I work as a system engineer in my day job, and outside of that, I am a street performer and also an aerial acrobat and have performed at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

A: My name is Nobuyuki Arai. After graduating from college as a photography major, I went to Germany and the Czech Republic to continue taking photos, and then began my work as a professional photographer in 2014. I’ve also been producing videos since 2017, and have also been working as a travel videographer since 2018.

JIB: Could you tell us about what led to your connection with KUDEN?
K: This all started was when an acquaintance of mine first told me that I’ve been invited to perform. Following that, I received a long and enthusiastic message from Mr. Sato, and it was his message that made the decision for me.
I was quite busy during that stretch of time, and it was also a period when I received many other offers to perform in videos too, so I was a little unsure. But his passionate message and him telling me that he could be flexible with the shooting schedule were what made me decide, “Yes, I’ll accept your offer.”

A: I was originally already acquainted with Mr. Kambara, the dancer and he asked if I would take part in this project as well. At the time, I have yet to come to know Mr. Sato, but he watched my videos on YouTube, and then asked to speak to me through Mr. Kambara. That was how it began for me.

JIB: Please tell us more about this collaboration that you’re doing with KUDEN now.
K: After accepting Mr. Sato’s offer, hearing about the brand concept from him, and receiving the storyboard from Mr. Arai, I began to think about my choreography as a dancer.
The Samurai Mode clothes were to be the stars of this video, so I wondered, “What movements would place emphasis on them?”. I thought of creating an atmosphere akin to swaying in the wind to bring out the unique characteristics of the clothes, like raising my arm and letting the wind blow against the sleeves. I wondered, what will come out of such movements that capture such an effect, or movements that are softer and lighter?
Adding to that, I combined those ideas with choreography and movements that I already have, and looked at the local topography while considering “how I would dance in this spot (chosen by Mr. Arai)”.

A: Like how it is with the Samurai Mode Jacket, Mr.Sato has a lot passionate beliefs and feelings, so I wondered, “Should create something that I personally really, really like?”
Of course, in the end, I did come up with something I personally liked, but I also pondered over what Mr. Sato was looking for. For example, right before the shoot, it’s sad but we heard that the sewing factory went bust, and I felt that it would be great if we could express that Mr. Sato’s emotions surrounding these clothes in the video. And, what was going to express those emotions was Mr. Kambara’s movements, so then I had to think about how I could magnify Mr. Kambara’s moves. For the shooting location, I chose a place that was wide and where nature’s textures came through strongly. From there, I took in ideas and created the final product.
The Samurai Mode Jacket, Mr.Kambara’s dance, Mr.Sato’s emotions; there were so many “idea elements” and combining them together created the video.

JIB: What made you want to work with KUDEN for this promotional video?
K: As I’ve mentioned, I was probably reading the personal message from Mr. Sato that made me decide that I wanted to do this. Because it really was a very long, very enthusiastic message (lol). And although what could be done isn’t much because of our schedule, I’m grateful that I was given the chance to work with such a passionate person after all.

A: Before the production of this video, I’ve actually had a few shoots with Mr. Kambara before. Mr. Sato have watched them but… they were simple shoots that were done at the time, and both Mr. Kambara and Mr. Sato spoke about wanting to do a proper shoot some day. So, when Mr. Kambara contacted me about this new project, I was more than happy to join in and be a part of it.
It was after that when I got to meet Mr. Sato, and while speaking to him, I could tell that he was a very passionate person with strong beliefs. To me, Mr. Sato is older than me and a mentor, but Mr. Sato said to me, “Use me (this project) to have fun”, which made me feel that as long as I was to produce a video with Mr. Kambara and Mr. Sato, I would honestly be able to create something interesting.

JIB: After having completed this shoot, what do you think of the experience?
K: After watching the video, you’d probably understand that it was quite hard work (lol). Especially because it was raining heavily that day. But the footage turned out as it did because of that, and thinking about it now, it was fun and this is something that was only possible because of that downpour. It was tough, but that made it fun as well.

A: Every time I’m about film something, I’m always very nervous. Because of that, I’ve felt quite a bit of pressure from the get-go. Rather than creating something from scratch, this time, I had Mr. Kambara’s dance in my head, which he had shown me numerous times, and had already picked a song that would be best suited for it. I spent days cooped up at home, listening to several hundred songs to decide on that.
I definitely also had the sense that “I can’t deliver something disappointing!”. Even on the day of the shoot, I kept watching the filmed footage and thinking, “How can I make this better?”.
In the past, when I’ve done shoots with Mr. Kambara, he has never said to me “I can’t do that” when I asked anything of him, so I ended up having more and more requests, like “I’d like you to do that”, or “I’d like a bit more from you”. But, in the end, I guess that’s because Mr. Kambara fulfills them for me (lol). The weather wasn’t great either, but I feel that we were able to create something wonderful.

JIB: What are your future plans? Will we be seeing you collaborate together again in the future?
K: Going forward, I want to continue taking on the challenge of more interesting projects too. In terms of specific goals, I hope to perform at the opening or closing ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Especially so for the Olympic Games. There are no events in the Olympic Games that wheelchair-bound athletes can participate in, but we can still take part in the ceremony, so there’s that.
Instead of limiting myself with the idea that “I can only participate in the Paralympics because I’m wheelchair-bound”, I’m setting my sights on the Olympics to dance on that stage and create more interest in the Paralympic by doing so. I think this makes it all that much more meaningful.
And to shoot something with this team again… Of course, I’d want to. I want to, but when asking myself, “Will you be able to deliver something that tops this?”, I can’t say with a hundred percent certainty nor confidence that I will be able to come up with an even better choreography than this time’s. In other words, I am satisfied with this video. I feel that we’ve made something that’s way better than I could’ve ever imagined.

A: When you film a video, you can follow your own rules, but when I’m creating something, I want to make people feel that “rules don’t matter”. And that’s why, for this project, I decided to put aside everything that I had always and ever done to steadily create something new with a fresh mindset and without being bound by rules or methods.
To me, I do feel that we really did produce something great for this promotional video (PV), but of course, while doing this, I’m still hoping that I’ll create that’s even better for my next work and I’ll work towards achieving something better in the future, so with those thoughts in mind, I believe that I’ll certainly be able to create something amazing for my next production.
Rather than saying exactly when the second phase will take place or what it will be, I think that I would be better if I can feel and look at Mr. Sato’s and Mr. Kambara’s emotions at that time with a fresh perspective and then bring it to life in a video.

JIB: For our blog, please tell us what you think of the relationship between Japan and Italy.
K: My impression is that the relationship between Italy and Japan isn’t distant, but neither are the two countries very close. But Japanese people love Italian cuisine. Of course, I love Italian cuisine too. I’ve never been to Italy, but I want to visit someday. And, if possible, I want to dance there too!

A: The impression that I have of Italy is that it is cool. Be it with fashion or food, or cars and so on. Japanese receive good influences from them.
On a personal note, I have experience of working with an Italian company president. He was very unique and smart and kind. He had a friendly image, and I have even gone to Italy when he invited me to his wedding. Compared to a Japanese wedding, it was much more informal and had an enjoyable atmosphere.
I got to see all kinds of wedding celebrations when carrying out bridal photoshoots, and because of that, wedding ceremonies are have left a deep impression on my mind.
I originally wanted to be positively influenced by Italian style and I think that there aren’t many Japanese like me who have received such wonderful influences from Italians.
Through these, I’ve personally received a lot of positive influence from Italy, but I still really don’t know what kind of positive influence Japanese people can leave on Italy, so I think that going forward, it would be great if I, as a videographer and as someone who conveys information, can deliver Japan’s good points to Italy. This time’s video can also be considered as one of those. I think it would be great if we were able to convey the aura of the Japanese Samurai through Mr. Kenta Kambara’s dance, which resembles the wielding of a sword in battle, and through the jacket that he wears, which was inspired by Japanese traditional Kimono.

JIB: Lastly, please leave a message for our readers.
K: I’m very excited about having Italians watch our video. I’d be happy if you feel something being conveyed to you because it will be through dance instead of a language.

A: I’m very glad that the video that we made will be seen by lots of people within the country and from abroad as well!
Talk about the next project has also sprung up within the team, so I’ll take this opportunity to say that we hope that you’ll keep an eye out for our upcoming activities. We’ll continue creating amazing productions, so please do look forward to it.

And that was our intimate interview with Kenta Kambara and Nobuyuki Arai! Having read it, how do you feel? What do you think? Do share your comments with us on our Facebook page!

Also, before you go, do know that the Samurai Mode Jacket mentioned in the interview is now available in their online store alongside their newly released Samurai Mode Shirt! They do also offer gorgeous vintage Kimono and Haori in their store, so do make sure you check it out! You never know what you may find!

- Contact -
E-mail: support@ku-den.jp

- Links -
Website: https://ku-den.jp/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kudenjp/
Instagram: KUDEN by TAKAHIRO SATO


TENOHA & | TASTE - GIN DAYS

A great new initiative to spend special evenings: TENOHA CINEMA – AMERICA & JAPAN. Starting September 22nd, TENOHA Milano is offering a film review for all fans of Japan.

Although the relationship between America and Japan has never been among the most peaceful, TENOHA Milano is launching an initiative that sees the two realities together in a huge event under the name of PATRIOTISM.

Letters from Iwo Jima – Clint Eastwood (2007)

Sunday 22nd September - 7.30pm

Letters from Iwo Jima is a film directed by Clint Eastwood, which deals with the theme of the battle of Iwo Jima during the Second World War from the point of view of the Japanese army. The director's previous film, Flags of Our Fathers, considers the same battle from the point of view of American troops. The subject is taken from the novel Picture Letters from Commander in Chief by Tadamichi Kuribayashi. Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers represent the homage that Eastwood wanted to dedicate to the fallen of both sides. From the struggle remain the letters that had been sent to the families, full of the emotions and families of the combatants.

Book Now

Silk – Francois Girard (2007)

Sunday 29 September - 7.30 pm

In 1861, an epidemic is destroying silkworm farms across the country. This is why the breeder Hervé Joncour decides to go to Japan in search of new healthy specimens for his breeding. But a meeting takes him away not only from his reality but also from his family and above all from his wife Hélène.

NOTE: prohibited for children under 16 years

Booking opening: Coming soon

L’ultimo samurai – Edward Zwick (2003)

Sunday 13 October - 7.30 pm

Captain Nathan Algren is given the assignment by the Japanese Empire to train Emperor Meiji's army to eliminate rebel samurai. This job is a way for him to make money and escape from a terrible memory. In Japan, Algren discovers a world in the continuous race of technological and commercial modernity contrasting with the millenary culture of a people dedicated to the philosophy and ideological war of the samurai.

Booking opening: Coming soon

Info

Where: Via Vigevano 18, 20144 Milano
Cost: 3,50€
Limited Seats: 50
Info: info@tenoha.it

More informationi: https://www.tenoha.it/upcoming/movie/cinema-americanigiappone/


Van Gogh and Japan

Japan has always had an important artistic history and many Western artists have taken inspiration from the culture of the Rising Sun, not least Van Gogh.

As evidence of this, today we are talking about "Van Gogh and Japan" an exclusive documentary film that will be in theaters on 16th, 17th and 18th September.

Van Gogh e il Giappone

"Van Gogh and Japan" plot

Thanks to the artist's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, this documentary reveals the fascinating story of the intense and visceral connection between Van Gogh and Japanese art. In fact, although Van Gogh had never visited this country, he was extremely influenced in his works by the art of the Rising Sun.
In addition to investigating the trend of the Japonisme, Van Gogh and Japan will guide us through the art of the calligrapher Tomoko Kawao and the performative artist Tatsumi Orimoto to fully understand the spirit and characteristics of the art of the Rising Sun.

Van Gogh e il Giappone Van Gogh e il Giappone

At the end of the Edo period, in 1868, Japan went through a phase of opening up to the West. In this period in fact, Paris was flooded with everything that was Japanese. From decorative objects to colorful ukiyo-e prints, and much more.

Van Gogh, fascinated by all the elements of this extraordinary culture, focused on how they could be adapted to the search for a new point of view. He read the descriptions of Japan, filled his room with prints and studied Japanese works carefully. The female figures in the gardens or on the shore, on flowers, trees and twisted branches attracted the artist's attention. Van Gogh appreciated the lines and compositional purity of these works, so much so as to make them an essential source of inspiration for his painting.

Van Gogh e il Giappone Van Gogh e il Giappone  

The Great Art in the Cinema

The film is part of "La Grande Arte al Cinema", an original and exclusive project by Nexo Digital that since its debut to date has already brought 2 million viewers to the cinema.

In 2019 Grande Arte al Cinema is distributed exclusively in Italy by Nexo Digital with media partners Radio Capital, Sky Arte and MYmovies.it.


The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri and the rampant euphoria

Let's return to talk about Japanese festivals and today we talk about the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri.

Every year, generally during a weekend in mid-September, the streets of Kishiwada, a small town near Osaka, are invaded by the fervor and euphoria for the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri (岸和田だんじ祭).

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

photo credits: airfrance.co.za, mainichi.jp

The celebrations originated in 1703, by the daimyō Okabe Nagayasu (部長泰). He prayed to the Shintoist gods for a bountiful harvest and this is still the meaning of the festival. However, what makes this celebration special is that it is a speed race pulling the danjiri.

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

photo credits: Justin Yoshida

Danjiri are traditional wooden structures, carved and finely decorated by skilled carpenters and local sculptors. These wagons have the form of small shrines containing the deities and, during the days of the festival, they are precisely dragged through the streets of the neighborhood. Given their weight (they can exceed 3 quintals), the festival is also considered a moment to demonstrate one's courage. In fact, these structures must be towed with only the help of ropes and at full speed!

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

photo credits: Justin Yoshida, Justin Yoshida, japan-magazine.jnto.go.jp, MJY-shogun, Justin Yoshida

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri celebrations

During the festival celebrations, there are 35 danjiri involved, each of them being pulled by a team, representing the respective district of the city. At the control of the structure, on its top, there is the daiku-gata (大工方, master craftsman) whose wild dance serves as encouragement for his team and the crowd. Given the stunts in which he engages, the master craftsman risks his life constantly, but not only this! As we can easily imagine, this festival is also dangerous for all other participants due to the danjiri's dizzying speed. The wood splinters left behind and the fact that you have to elbow your way in to follow them is a danger to the crowd. Four hours of breathless running that ends with a big drinking moment around this wagon, to which dozens of paper lanterns are hung.

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

photo credits: rove.me, Gavin Kealy

More than 500,000 visitors come to Kishiwada to experience the thrill of this celebration, what do you think? Do you find this parade electrifying?


Bringing Japan to Italy: episode 09 - Codice Bianco

A few months ago, in conjunction with the Novegro comics festival, we had the opportunity to interview Codice Bianco. For this ninth episode of 『Bringing Japan to Italy』, the artist specializing in sculptures and origami speaks to our microphones.

Codice Bianco kindly granted us this exclusive interview for Japan Italy Bridge to help promote and share more and more Japanese culture. Furthermore, we talk about how the art of creating origami has spread in Italy over the last ten years.

Special Thanks: Associazione Ocha Caffè


The city of Nara and its deers, a must see destination

We continue our journey in Japan and today we move to Nara. Capital of the homonymous prefecture, the city of Nara is located in the Kansai region. Located north of the prefecture, its borders are adjacent to those of the Kyoto prefecture.

Nara

photo credits: lensonjapan, Blondinrikard Fröberg

With eight temples, ruins of past periods and the famous deers, Nara remains not only one of the most beautiful cities in Japan but also one of the most popular destinations for tourists. During the Nara period, the city was the capital of Japan and the emperor lived here before moving the headquarters to Kyoto.

The Heian period

During this period, a large source of theories was proposed for the origin of the name Nara.

Nara and The Nihon Shoki theory

The Chronicles of Japan, the second oldest book on classical Japanese history, says that the word Nara comes from narasu (to be flat, to level). According to this theory, in September of the tenth year of Emperor Sujin, some rebels climbed the Nara-yama. Here with the imperial forces, they joined together to lay down trees and plants and that is why the mountain is called Nara-yama. Being the most ancient testimony, it also has references in the folk culture. In fact, it is considerered the historical etymology by many scholars.

Nara

photo credits: x768, whity

Nara and the "flat land" theory

Designed by Kunio Yanagita in 1936, this is the most accepted theory at the moment. In fact, this proposal attests that “the topographical conformity of a relatively flat area between a mountain called Taira in eastern Japan and hae in southern Kyushu, is called naru in the Chūgoku and Shikoku region of central Japan. This word gives origin to the verb narasu and to the adverb and adjective narushi”.

Moreover, this theory is also supported by some words inserted in reference to a flat area with the name of naru and naro in many dialects . To further support this proposal, we also find the adjective narui, which is not strictly in Japanese standards, but we find it in use in the central areas of the country. The meaning of this word corresponds in fact to "kind", "gentle slopes" or "easy".

To further support this theory, Yanagita brings the fact that many of these names were written with the kanji 平 ("flat"). Obviously the fact that historically Nara was written with ideograms 平 or 平城 goes in support this theory.

photo credits: chrizyshot, pantoniades

Nara and the oaks

Another common opinion is that Nara derives from the oak ideogram (楢). Suggested by Yoshita Togo, we can find this plant called by this name since the seventh and eighth centuries. In fact, Narahara at Harima (about today's Kasai) comes from the nara tree, which could support this theory.

The name Nara borrowed from Korea

This is an almost surprising curiosity. In Korean, indeed, nara (나라) means nation, kingdom. Matsuoka Shizuo claimed that this could be a valid source for the name of the city. However, there is little or no trace of ancient Korean, and there is no evidence that this word existed in the seventh century.

Nara Nara

photo credits: Jirka MatousekRhett Sutphin

The origins

The Empress Genmei in 708 decided to move the imperial court to the new capital, Nara. Known as Heijō or Heijō-Kyō, the city was the first permanent capital of Japan until 794. Subsequently, the capital was moved to Nagaoka to force the metropolitan elites and new dynasties techniques that were spreading in the country. With the move to this city, we also have the birth of the eponymous period.

Nara Nara

photo credits: Banalities, Josemspain

The religion

The six schools of Nara Buddhism, also better known as Rukushū (六宗), were an academic sect of Buddhists. Arriving in Japan from Korea and China in the sixth and seventh centuries, they were controlled by the new government of Nara.
Due to the government's involvement in religious expansion, we find the construction of several temples in the city. One of these is the site of the Seven Great Temples of southern Nara. However, these sects aimed to become the main school of Buddhism of the Imperial House of Japan and its nobility. Because of the conformation of these temples, the schools were precisely defined as the "Six schools of southern Buddhism in Nara".

Nara

photo credits: wikipedia.it

The Temples

Having established Nara as a new capital, the temple of the Soga clan was also relocated. Emperor Shōmu ordered the construction of the Tōdai-ji temple and the largest bronze statue of Buddah.

The temples, known as the Nanto Shichi Daiji, remained spiritually important even after the capital was moved in 794. In fact, Nara received the synonym of Nanto (南都 "The capital of the south").

Nara

photo credits: wikipedia.it

Nanto Shichi Daiji

Literally "the seven great temples of the southern capital", a common historical name referring to the Buddhist temple complex located in this city.

  • Daian-ji (大安寺)
  • Gangō-ji (元興寺)
  • Hōryū-ji (法隆寺)
  • Kōfuku-ji (興福寺)
  • Saidai-ji (西大寺)
  • Tōdai-ji (東大寺)
  • Yakushi-ji (薬師寺)

Nara became a tourist city already in the Edo period. In fact, these years saw the publication of several maps for visitors to the city.

photo credits: wikipedia.it

The modern city

Despite being the capital of Japan from 710 to 794, Nara officially became a city only on February 1st, 1898. From a trading city of the Edo and Meiji period, today Nara is one of the main destinations for tourists thanks to its large number of monuments. Furthermore, in December 1998, the city became part of the protected sites recognized by UNESCO as a heritage of humanity.

deer deer Nara

photo credits: GGzeOuf, Travis, Cesar I. Martins

The park and the deer

Surely, one of the most famous destinations is the park of Nara together with its famous deers. This is a public park established in 1880, located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Under the control of the Prefecture of Nara, this magical place is home to over 120 sika or shika, the famous Deers of Nara.

In fact, visitors can walk through the meadows accompanied by these cute four-legged friends classified as a "natural monument" by the Ministry of Education, culture, sport, science and technology.

shika shika shika

photo credits: Alberto Ortega, japanitalybridge.com

According to the locals, this area's deer was considered sacred and ideal for a visit from one of the four gods of the Kasuga shrine, Takenomikazuchi-no-mikoto. Appearing on Mount Mikasa-yama, it is said to have been sent by Kashima (Ibaraki) riding a white deer.
These deers are still considered sacred and divine symbols of the Kasuga and Kōfuku-ji shrine. The killing of one of these was considered a capital crime and punishable by death until 1637. After the Second World War, the deer was officially stripped of its state of divinity and named "national treasure", therefore subject to all the protections of the government.

shika shika sika

sika sika

photo credits: japanitalybridge.com, coniferconifer, Bill Hails, Steffen Flor

If you pass through this city, you cannot miss the opportunity to spend time together with these magnificent creatures. It is also possible to buy special biscuits to feed the famous Nara deers. They will thank you with a bow, but be careful, the greed is around the corner, be careful not to get bitten!

video credits: japanitalybridge.com