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SNOW INC. February 2011

VOLUME 2

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SNOW INC.

FEATURES

Zenkoji Temple

The main hall of the temple complex overlooks Nagano from its hillside perch. All content published in SNOW INC. is property of their owners. SNOW INC. assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. SNOW INC. is always looking for new material and contributions. Please contact us at snow.inc.zine@gmail.com for futher information. Outdoor activities carry inherent risks, please consult your doctor prior to participating in acitivities and always take proper precautions and safety measures. Seek a qualified profession advice.

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Ski History

A hundred years have passed since skiing was introduced to Japan.

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WELCOME February marks a new issue but with less time to put it together! It also marks the point in which 100 years has passed since skiing was introduced to Japan in 1911. It actually took a year until it was introduced to Nozawa Onsen by Hannes Schneider in 1912 with his Alberg ski techniques but that is another story. It was Major Theodor von Lerch from, again, Austria that first taught skiing at JĹ?etsu, Niigata. Ironically, he visited Japan in order to study the Japanese Army and their tactics and strategies they had employed against the Russians in the Russo-Japanese war yet his passion for skiing had made him the father of Japan’s ski culture. Known today as the Stemmbogen technique, the skis differred from the Nordic skis and utilised one, large ski pole rather than the convention two. Nozawa Onsen relives the past 100 years of skiing by actively taking part in those long, by-gone ski techniques.

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Even the progression of wax package design seems to be a point worth bringing up...

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Let’s go where you want to go... Nozawa Onsen Ski School Back Country Tours 6


school@nozawaski.com

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Zenkoji Temple

The Niōmon holds the wooden statues of two warriors called Niō, literally ‘Two Kings’, guard the entrance gate from enemies of Buddhism.

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Sanmon The sanmon is the most important gate in a Zen Buddhist temple complex. While its size reflects the temple’s status, the gate acts as the threshold between the sacred and the outside world. With no doors, so that it cannot be closed, it symbolically frees pilgrims from the three passions of greed, hatred and foolishness.

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RokujizĹ? JizĹ? is a Bodhisattva who post pones enlightenment until all of humanity can be saved. Shepherding people to enlightenment, the six statues line the approach to the temple courtyard.

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The prayers and hopes of pilgrims inscribed on tablets.

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The main hall of the Zenkoji temple complex.

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RELIVING 100 YEARS OF SKI HISTORY

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As introduced by Major Theodore von Lerch, the skiing technique was quickly adopted by the Japanese army. The Stemmborgen technique allowed the army to ski down steep terrain. The practical applications were quickly understood by the chiefs of the Japanese army and the Takada Ski Club was created soon after the first ever ski lesson. The skis were shorter than the Nordic skis used at the time and also provided greater rigidity in the ski bindings. By combining the bindings and the stiff, leather boots, the skis provided greater response and more control through steep terrain.

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One of the earliest practical applications for skiing was the postal service. By traversing over mountains, it was possible to deliver messages much faster than previously possible. It also enabled the local population to traverse through the snow with much greater ease. The Nordic skis were used by the postal service for its greater ease in traversing. However, due to the high cost in equipment, by altering their traditional snow wear, the locals were able to make an affordable alternative. Note that the boots, cape and hat are made of woven straw.

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As introduced by Hannes Schneider, the Arlberg style of skiing. By stemming the uphill ski, the technique allowed the skiier to maintain control while increasing the speed in which they descended the mountain. The Arlberg technique formed the basis of the Snowplough and the Stem Christie techniques which are taught in contemporary ski lessons. By utilising the three piece suit, Hannes Schneider managed to turn skiing from a practicality to a leisurely past time and promote the sport to the wealthier classes of Japan.

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With innovations in materials, the following decades saw grea Laminated skis, plastic boots, synthetic fabrics enabled skiers ever before. This innovation would eventually lead to the para

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ater changes in the materials rather than the techniques. s to pursue the sport with greater comfort and precision than abolic carving skis of today.

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Snow Inc Feb 2011  

Volume 2 of SNOW INC.

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