General Incorporated Association Yudo Culture Promotion Association The 7 first winners of the “Yudo Culture Award”, an award for sublimating bathing to “culture”, have been decided!

Yudo Culture Promotion Association
Seven winners of the first “Yudo Culture Award”, an award for sublimating bathing to “culture”, have been decided!
~Yufuin inns, shrines, public bath painters, public bath owners, bucket craftsmen, and even hot water heater manufacturers~

Yudo Culture Promotion Association (Representative Director: Kundo Koyama, Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) aims to sublimate the bathing behavior that Japanese people perform on a daily basis into “culture”. Established the “Yudo Cultural Award” to shed light on such efforts. The first seven winners were selected, and an award ceremony was held at Daitokuji Shinjuan in Kyoto.
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Detailed URL:
(Awardee profiles, judges’ comments, etc.)
◆First Prize Winner
Yudo Cultural Award: Individuals and groups that have made
particularly brilliant achievements in sublimating bathing into a culture.
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Mr. Kentaro Nakatani, Kamenoi Besso
(Substitute attendance: Mr. Taro Nakatani, 4th owner of Kamenoi Besso) In the early 1960s, Yufuin Town was a village with nothing. There, I have seen up close how Kumpei-san, my father, and everyone else have created a culture in Gamshala. Nearly 50 years have passed since then, and many customers have come to visit us.
I believe that my mission is to inherit Yufuin with great care, make it a place that people will enjoy, and pass it on to the next generation. We will take the words and awards we received home with us and strive for future prosperity and development.
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Yufuin Tamanoyu Kumpei Mizoguchi
(Substitute attendance: Mr. Izumi Kuwano, President of Yufuin Tamanoyu) Kentaro and his father have been running for a long time with the desire to maintain a rich environment and welcome everyone warmly. Not only the residents themselves, but also the visitors come together to create it… I think that’s what leads to the unique culture of this place.
Also, by receiving this award, I have a sense of mission to “pass on the spirit of ‘Yudo’ to the next generation.” I think that the way of thinking and thoughts of “Yudo” is something that Japan can be proud of to the world. As the number of overseas customers increases, I would like to welcome everyone while conveying the spirit of “Yudo” so that they can experience the goodness of Japan.
Yudo Special Award: Individuals and groups that have supported the development of bathing culture and built culture for many years. [Image 5d112490-2-9ba043282c9280cc35a8-6.jpg&s3=112490-2-29156664eabdc4f420edccb247484bf4-2118x1596.jpg
Dewa Sanzan Okumiya Yudonosan Shrine Hongu
(Substitute attendance: Dewa Sanzan Shrine Counselor Toshiki Yoshizumi) Dewa Sanzan is a mountain of Shugendo and a mountain of mountain worship. Before the introduction of Western medicine, “hot water” was used as the greatest medicine to heal not only the body but also the mind. And mines and hot springs were indispensable for the famous mountain of Shugendo. Hot springs were important for healing the body that was injured during training and purifying the mind and body. Mt. Yudono, which has been worshiping “hot water” since ancient times, may be the origin of “Yudo” in a sense. Today, I strongly believe that hot water should be the foundation of Japanese people’s hearts.
Taking care of the history, tradition, and culture left by our predecessors, and valuing them without forgetting gratitude and prayers through “hot water” is the Japanese people who will overcome the corona disaster, and “Yudo”. I think that is the way to open the flower.
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Sento painter Kiyoto Maruyama
I’ve been drawing as a public bath painter for over 60 years, but I think I’ve lived a really good life. I would like to put into practice the saying, “Continuity is strength,” and I would like to continue to live with the sento paintings.
I feel sad that the number of public baths in Tokyo is gradually decreasing. I would appreciate it if everyone could carry their feet to the sento.
Yudo Creation Award: Individuals and groups that add new value to bathing with unprecedented ideas and efforts.
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Kosugiyu Mr. Yusuke Hiramatsu
Kosugiyu was founded in 1933, and this year marks its 89th year. After the war, my grandfather came out of Niigata, worked hard and saved money to buy Kosugiyu and run a public bath. My father inherited it, and I inherited it in 2016.
Many public baths in Tokyo were built when there was no water supply and sewerage system, so they run on well water. Thanks to the abundant well water, Kosugiyu is still able to run every day, and as the philosophy of “Yudo” suggests, I am grateful for the water and the earth. Kosugi-yu considers public baths to be “Ke-no-Hare”, and defines them as places where you can truly feel and realize small happiness in everyday life. I would like to do my best to continue the public bath culture with the spirit of “Yudo”.
Yumichi Kogei Award: Individuals and groups that produce
bathing-related tools in traditional Japanese crafts and contribute to the promotion of their appeal.
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Mr. Shuji Nakagawa, Nakagawa Mokkougei
In the work of the okeya, making the yuoke is an important job. In my grandfather’s time, we used to make buckets that would fill a six-tatami room from the tatami mats to the ceiling, and store them in public baths and hot spring inns. At that time, there were nearly 200 workshops that made wooden buckets in Kyoto, but only a few remain today. As part of our efforts to preserve the culture of wooden barrels, we are also working to expand our horizons overseas. Due to the connection with Mr. Kundo, I made a new tool for “Yudo”. Using the “katakuchi” technique, which is also used for making sake cups, it looks like a fox’s face with a pointed mouth when viewed from the front, so it was named “kitsuneoke”. I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award.
Yudo Contribution Award: Individuals and groups who deeply sympathize with the spirit of Yudo and embody it.
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The late Toshiro Ota, Founder and Honorary Chairman of Noritz Co., Ltd. (Substitute attendance: Mr. Satoshi Haramaki, President and CEO, Noritz Corporation)
Toshiro Ota, the founder of the company who received the award, unfortunately passed away three years ago. A company must continue to change in response to changes in the environment, but the idea that “baths make people happy”, which is the starting point of our founding, is a value that all employees cherish and should never change. Watch. Even if the times change and the value we provide and the products we offer change, we will go back to the thoughts that founder Ota had when he started this company and business, think about what we can do now, and boldly take on the challenges of all social issues. I think that I want to do it.

◆ What is the “Yudo Cultural Award”?
An award system aimed at preserving and promoting Japanese bathing culture, and sublimating daily bathing behavior into “culture”. Established in 2022. Winners will be selected in each of the five categories, The award ceremony was held at Daitokuji Shinjuan, the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism in Kyoto, where Ikkyu Zenji is the founder.
・Novelist and essayist/Director of Yudo Culture Promotion Association Mr. Hisashi Kashiwai
・Onsen beauty researcher and travel journalist Hiroko Ishii
・Sento Ambassador Stephanie Collin
・Onsen photographer Kei Sugimoto
・Broadcast Writer / Representative Director of Yudo Culture Promotion Association Kundo Koyama
◆ What is “Yudo”?
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The act of “bathing” that Japanese living in modern times do not doubt as a daily habit.
However, if you think about it calmly, you can boil drinkable water and make it into hot water, and people can soak in it…
Considering that out of 196 countries in the world, there are only 9 countries where tap water is safe to drink,
There is no greater luxury and appreciation than this.
The act of bathing for the Japanese is a life culture that is unique in the world,
I came to the idea that by pursuing the spirit and style, it would become one “path”.
With the three spirits of “Having a sense of gratitude”, “Cultivating a thoughtful mind”, and “Improving one’s self” as the core,
It is an activity to disseminate Japanese bathing culture to the world. ◆ Organization overview
Organization name: Yudo Culture Promotion Association
Location: 5-11-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Established: October 19, 2020
Representative Director: Kundo Koyama
Business content: Preservation and dissemination of Japanese bathing culture, and educational activities in Japan and overseas.
Preservation, dissemination and promotion of Japanese traditional crafts.
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