Rice Harvested for Emperor's "Daijosai" Rite

Society

Takanezawa/Nantan, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)--A ceremony to harvest rice for use at the "Daijosai" thanksgiving ceremony, to be performed by Japan's Emperor Naruhito in November, was held Friday at rice paddies in the town of Takanezawa, Tochigi Prefecture, and Nantan, Kyoto Prefecture.

The "Saiden-Nukiho-no-Gi" ceremony at the "Saiden" rice paddy in Takanezawa, selected to grow rice on behalf of eastern Japan, or Yuki Province, began at 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) and was attended by the prefectural governor, the town mayor and others. Makeshift "Shinden," which enshrines Japanese deities, and "Inanomiden," which stores the harvested rice, were built out of tents at the ceremony site.

The "Nukiho-shi," an envoy of the Emperor dressed in traditional attire, recited a Shinto ritual prayer on harvesting the rice.

The prayers were followed by the harvesting of the rice by paddy owner Takeo Ishitsuka, 55, and 10 people selected to gather in the crop. Ishitsuka, clad in "Hakucho" ancient work wear made of white hemp, led the group in collecting four bundles of the plant with a sickle.

The Nukiho-shi then checked the state of the rice, and Ishitsuka and others placed it in the Inanomiden. The ceremony lasted around 50 minutes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press