Emperor Conducts 1st Rice Planting since Enthronement

Society

Tokyo, May 20 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito on Monday conducted the first rice planting at the Imperial Palace since he assumed the throne on May 1.

Rice farming at the palace in Tokyo was initiated by Emperor Hirohito, the grandfather of Emperor Naruhito and posthumously called Emperor Showa.

The practice was passed on to Emperor Akihito, the father of the current Emperor and now holding the title of Emperor Emeritus, and has now been inherited by Emperor Naruhito.

Wearing a light blue long-sleeve shirt, gray pants and black rubber boots, Emperor Naruhito carefully planted rice seedlings so that they will not be blown over by wind. The rice planting took place in a paddy field near a biology laboratory at the palace.

The Emperor planted the "Mangetsumochi" glutinous rice variety and "Nihomasari," a nonglutinous brand. The seedlings were grown from unhulled rice seeds planted by the Emperor Emeritus last month, before his abdication on April 30.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press