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INTEREST: 4th One Piece Campaign to Revitalize Kumamoto Prefecture Distributes 'Hi no Kuni' Leaflets




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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 729
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:46 am Reply with quote
In this case, though, hi no kuni is a reference to the old hi province, which was split back in the nara periode into hither and further hi, the latter of which -- higo no kuni -- covers the same area as kumamoto-ken (Most prefecture borders line up with kuni borders: nara-ken is yamato-no-kuni to the mm, if I recall).
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi_Province
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higo_Province

The province names are still widely used in talking about culture and what have you.... except that nagoya, osaka, and tokyo happen to sit on or near kuni borders.
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shosakukan



Joined: 09 Jan 2014
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:05 am Reply with quote
Kim Morrissy wrote:
...to revitalize the Kumamoto Prefecture after it was badly damaged by earthquakes...the "Hi no Kuni Restoration Arc."

As nargun has said, in ancient times in Japan, Hi no Kuni (Hi Province) included the area which would later become Kumamoto Prefecture.

Kim Morrissy wrote:
'Hi no Kuni' refers to the land of the rising sun - that is, Japan.

According to Nihon Shoki, when Emperor Keikō's ship sailed near to the area in the night, they saw fire in the area. Therefore the area was named Hi (火, fire) no Kuni.
Nihon Shoki says:
Quote:
遙視火光…故名其國曰火國也。

Later the kanji for the 'Hi' part of 'Hi no Kuni (Hi Province)' was changed from 火 (hi, fire) to 肥 (hi, fertile), and Professor Inoue Tatsuo has inferred that ancient people came to prefer '肥, fertile' to '火, fire'.
So the 'Hi' part of 'Hi no Kuni' as the province which included the area equivalent to Kumamoto Prefecture means 'fire' or 'fertile'.
Singer Sakamoto Fuyumi has released a song of which title is 'Hi no Kuni no Onna/The Woman of Fire Province' in 1991, and the lyrics of the song have references to fire, Higo Province, Kumamoto Prefecture, and so on.

nargun wrote:
The province names are still widely used in talking about culture and what have you.... except that nagoya, osaka, and tokyo happen to sit on or near kuni borders.

This is not a province name, but 'Naniwa', an old name of Osaka, is used in some contexts also today, to say nothing of 'Edo', an old name of Tokyo.
Fans of manga here may have read Aoki Yūji's Naniwa Kin'yūdō.
The title of the manga Naniwatomoare by Minami Katsuhisa is wordplay, and one of the meanings of the 'Naniwa' part of the title is Osaka, in which the manga is set.
Nagoya is located in the area which was 尾張國 Owari Province. '尾張 (Owari)', '尾州 (Bishū)', and an abbreviated form '尾 (Bi)' are still used in some contexts.
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