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Zekkei × DJ KENSEI | Boat rides down Geibi Gorge

On September 29th, we took a video with DJ KENSEI in Geibi Gorge, Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture, which is known for its scenic gorge scenery.
There is also “Cultural heritage of Hiraizumi”, which was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2011, and it is an area with many attractions.
A DJ booth was set up on the boat that tourists usually enjoy the scenery, and a collaboration with “Geibikei Oiwake” sung by the boatwoman with the scenery of the valley in the background was also recorded.

supported by Geibi Tourism Assosiation

As the evening scenery approaches, we see the boat carrying the last tourists on this day depart, and finally the shooting starts. The boat is manipulated by a single paddle stabbed by the boatwoman and moves slowly on the surface of the river. The water is beautiful and clear, and you can see fish such as minnow and carp chasing under the boat. Waterfowl also follow while swimming and flying around.

In such a landscape, the heavy and mellow beats played by KENSEI and the beautiful and fantastic sounds of the inserts echoed on the surrounding rock walls, making us feel like we’re traveling in an indescribable space. Waterfowl flutter and fly to match the sound, the babbling of water can be heard when the volume is lowered a little, and the constant rhythm of the boatwoman’s paddle hitting the boat creates a mysterious world view.

The beat was also added to “Geibikei Oiwake” sung by the boatwoman, and a collaboration between folk songs and dance music was also recorded. At first, we were worried that DJ could play in the shaking because the booth was set up on the boat, but the boat was quite large and the bottom was flat, so we were able to complete it safely.

About Geibi Gorge

Geibi Gorge is a gorge along the Satetsugawa River, which is a tributary of the Kitakami River, a first-class river that flows through Iwate Prefecture, which is also selected as one of Japan’s 100 most scenic spots. On both sides of a winding river with a total length of about 2 km, limestone rock walls with a height of more than 50 m are lined up, and strange rocks and waterfalls are scattered in places, forming a beautiful landscape. Even in the rain or snow, it gives a moist and beautiful look like an ink painting. It is said that the name “Geibikei” is derived from the fact that the rock protruding from the rock wall at the back of the gorge resembles a lion’s nose (Gei ­= Lion).

Geibi gorge became known from the Meiji era, and before that, it is said that some of the people living in the surrounding area did not know it. Also, when the clan officials visited Geibi gorge during the old clan era, the locals were driven out and forced to work.In order to escape from such a burden, it seems that the existence was hidden without being represented in the *Fudoki and *Ezu that had to be submitted to the clan.
*Fudoki are ancient reports on provincial culture, geography, and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan, also known as local gazetteers.
*Ezu is a Floor plan drawn with pictures of houses, land, gardens, etc.

Boat rides down Geibi gorge

Boat rides down Geibi gorge is a boat where you can relax and enjoy the valley on a rowing boat in the scenery of the four seasons on a boat that the boatman skillfully manipulates with a single paddle. Even if it is called a boat rides down, it is a style that goes up and down a process of about 2 km, which is very rare among river tourist destinations in Japan. In addition, the commentary by the boatman and the folk songs sung along the way are one of the highlights and listening points. There are also events to enjoy *Ohanami and *Otsukimi, and weddings on board.In winter, you can enjoy a boat ride in a *kotatsu boat while eating a Kinagashi-nabe(A local traditional food that is said to have been eaten in the meantime by the old people who used the felled trees as rafts and carried them down the river.).
*Ohanami is a cherry blossom viewing party in Japan.
* Otsukimi is a seasonal event to enjoy the moon on the night of August 15th, on the lunar calendar. Otuskimi means “Moon viewing”.
* Kotatsu is a table with an electric heater underneath and a heavy blanket on top to trap the warmth.

Hiraizumi and world Heritage

In Hiraizumi, a variety of temples, gardens, and archaeological sites built based on the idea of the Pure Land Buddhism are still in good condition.
The thought of Pure Land Buddhism, also known as the Pure Land Buddhism, is the idea of believing in the teachings of Amida Buddhism and chanting Nembutsu to get into the happy posthumous world of “Gokuraku jodo. (Buddhist paradise)”. It is also characterized by the idea that the power of Amida Buddhism will save all helpless people, which is why it is popular with the public and is said to be the reason why Buddhism became widely known in Japan.

Chūson-ji Temple and Motsuji Temple are famous as World Heritage Sites in Hiraizumi. For example, on the official homepage, the origin of the construction of Chūson-ji Temple was opened by Ennin, a high priest of Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei in 850. After that, HP said that at the beginning of the 12th century, Mr. Fujiwara Oshu, the first Kiyohirako, built a large-scale temple tower. The purpose of its construction was to comfort the spirits of living creatures who died in the war that continued in the Tohoku region in the latter half of the 11th century, regardless of whether they were friends or foes. It is written that it was to build a Bukkokudo (a peaceful ideal society according to the teachings of Buddha) in the Tohoku region, which was called “Michinoku”.

In other words, it can be said that the people of that time tried to realize an ideal world of equality and peace based on the Pure Land Buddhism in this world in which they live. The Konjikidō is also a collection of the best of craftsmanship at that time, not for the purpose of showing off wealth, but for expressing the state of the paradise pure land. It is thought that Kiyohira’s feelings for peace, who lost his family in the war, are included in it.

Based on this Pure Land Buddhist idea, people at that time wanted to create an ideal world in the world in which they live, and built temples and gardens, and while being influenced by foreign countries, they achieved their own development. It can be said that it expresses the ideal of Buddhist egalitarianism and pacifism that blossomed in Hiraizumi.


As with location scouting, the closing date for shooting in Iwate is always at DJ BAR ABANZALE. Similarly, when we visited the bar with Mr. Ken Saito, the president of Sunroute Ichinoseki, who always let us stay at his hotel, the owner, Mr. Chiba, welcomed me with great joy. Actually, KENSEI has a deep connection with this bar, and he used to play at events related to this, so he seems to be a legend and an idol for Mr.Chiba.
Thanks to him, he made us feel better than usual, and he treated many glasses of tequila. It was fun and the night went on. Perhaps when we came on location scouting, I drank too much and forgot about myself, and I became shirtless and danced too much…I sorry for the trouble but it may all is forgiven.

DJ BAR ABANZALE https://www.facebook.com/DJBARABANZALE

Put the scenic winding gorge on a heavy beat and go down the boat as if you were rolling an American car, and enjoy the third THAT IS GOOD “Zekkei x DJ KENSEI | Boat rides down Geibi gorge “!

Written by THAT IS GOOD editorial department Nakamura