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Venerable Blossoms: Daigozakura in OkayamaTakahashi Hiroshi

The Daigozakura stands sentry atop a hill in northwestern Okayama Prefecture. An edohigan tree, the strain famed as the largest of all the sakura, this specimen is revered by local residents, who maintain its hill in a state of natural splendor to showcase the giant as it deserves.
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Isezaki Jun’s Beautiful “Bizen” Pottery (Photos)Ōhashi Hiroshi (Photographer)

Isezaki Jun has been designated as a “living national treasure” for his “bizen” pottery creations. This traditional style of pottery is distinguished for its reddish-brown color and lack of glaze. Here we take a closer look at his marvelous creations.
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Japanese Festivals and the Annual Cycle of LifeYamamoto Tetsuya

There are said to be anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 festivals in Japan. Almost every community has its own unique festival, or matsuri, with its unique origins and special features. Matsuri enthusiast Yamamoto Tetsuya provides some background.
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Kojima, Okayama: Japan’s Denim Capital

Denim jeans have long been an essential fashion item for men and women all around the world. Some of the world’s finest jeans brands are today produced in the small Japanese port district of Kojima, Okayama Prefecture. We look at the craftsmanship that has transformed it into Japan’s jeans capital.
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