Connecting Historical Architecture with Modern Cuisine, Music, and Art in Obi, Miyazaki
From the first Denken Week: Denken Gastronomie, a collaboration between a revitalized kominka (traditional Japanese house) and the finest cuisine
Known as “Kyushu’s Little Kyoto,” Obi is a small region in central Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture, which still preserves samurai mansions, commercial buildings, private residences, and temples of the Edo period (1603–1868), when it was the heart of southern Kyushu’s forestry and brewing industries.
2018 marks forty years since Obi’s streetscapes were named an official “Group of Traditional Buildings” worthy of preservation, and to celebrate the occasion, “Denken Week” was launched in March to great success. “Denken” is short for the Japanese term for “Group of Traditional Buildings,” and Denken Week brought food, music, art, and more together to the historical buildings dotted around town to highlight the town’s history, culture, and industry, and promote Obi as a tourist destination. Now the second Denken Week is underway, running from October 13 to 21.
From the first Denken Week: The entire town becomes a market
Denken Week has four themes: Food, Commerce, Music, and Art. The Denken Gastronomie project is a restaurant in a fully restored kominka (traditional Japanese house). The restaurant will use local ingredients and be open for just two days. Denken Marche, in which the entire town becomes a market, will also be held for two days, and include some forty shops and stalls. Visitors can enjoy the sense of closeness to the history of Obi while they shop, dine, and stroll through the streets. Denken Art will feature eight groups of artists creating individual projects to be exhibited at culturally significant properties around town. Some projects will even include art creation as performance during the festival. Finally, Denken Music will include performances by a pianist based in Miyazaki, Tokyo, and Poland, filling the night with melodies inspired by the beauty of the streetscapes.
From the first Denken Week: Denken Art is about the meeting of art and kominka
What’s more, on October 20–21, the Denken Festival will overlap with the annual Obi Castle Town festival. “Visit a town where every moment is extraordinary, discover new creations, and experience culture directly”—if that sounds good to you, why not set out for Obi today?
◆ Denken Week: Celebrating Obi’s Historic Streetscapes
Dates: October 13 to 21, 2018 (particular events take place on different dates)
Venue: Historic and notable buildings in the Obi district of Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture
Website: https://denken-obi.jp/denken/ (in Japanese)