Image search results - "rice"
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Rice storehouse
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Giant kagami mochi, rice cake in the Haiden Hall. Over 2 meters tall and over 2 meters diameter. Weighs 4 tons. They are to be cut into small pieces (with a chain saw) and given away the next morning.
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More giant mochi offered to the shrine. Notice the forklift. 大鏡餅奉納
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Giant mochi inside the Haiden hall. 大鏡餅奉納
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Closeup of giant mochi. Solid as a rock.
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View of Mt. Mikami-yama amid rice paddies in Yasu. Elevation 432 meters.
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In summer. Looking at the Hayasaki Naiko reclaimed land from the southern edge with Yamamoto-yama in the distance. This part is not yet flooded and still remains as rice paddies..
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Hayasaki Naiko biotope is still largely rice paddies. For decades since 1970, rice farmers had to toil extra hard due to the water level being lower than Lake Biwa's. The paddy soil is extra watery and soft. Water has to be pumped out constantly.
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What used to be a lake is a rice paddy. Imagine this to be a lake, with an embankment in front of these homes.
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View of Hayasaki Naiko from the eastern edge. One stumbling block to the restoration is high land prices. Shiga needs to purchase all of the reclaimed land.
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View of Hayasaki Naiko from the eastern edge. There is a committee for restoring Hayasaki Naiko, but reaching an agreement on planning and implementation takes a long time.
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Rice paddy and reed bed. Special thanks to Makino Atsushi (Lake Biwa Museum) and Kurahashi Yoshihiro (Hayasaki Biotope Networking) for the tour of Hayasaki biotope.
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Rice paddy and reed bed. Restoring Hayasaki Naiko may take decades. For tours (May-Nov.) of Hayasaki biotope, call in Japanese: 0749-72-2262 (Hayasaki Biotope Networking).
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Rice paddy in May
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Omi rice made in Shiga.
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This rice paddy near the foot of Mt. Mikami and next to Mikami Shrine was used to produce the rice offering used for the Showa Emperor Hirohito's accession to the throne in 1928. Such a paddy is called Yuki Saiden. 悠紀斎田
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On the fourth Sunday in May, the Yuki Saiden O-taue Matsuri, or Rice-planting Festival is held here. It starts at 10 am with a Shinto ceremony with the planters and local dignitaries in attendance in front of the rice paddy.
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Rice-planting Festival Shinto ceremony. A torii stands next to the rice paddy. MAP
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Although a Shinto priest from Mikami Shrine conducts the ceremony, the festival is organized by the Yasu Tourist Association. The rice planters and dancers are from a local rice-planting preservation group.
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At 10:30 am when the ceremony was over, they proceeded to the rice paddies. Four groups of planters and dancers went to the four paddies.
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First they threw bunches of rice seedlings into the paddy.
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Everyone took off their straw sandals and went into the paddies barefoot.
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Ready to sink into the paddy.
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Their feet are more than ankle deep in the mud. No one lost their balance and fell into the mud.
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When the taiko drumming and folk singing started, they started planting the rice seedlings. On the ridge, there were dancers.
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This rice paddy was used to produce the rice used for a ritual called the Daijosai as part of the Showa Emperor's accession ceremonies in 1928. Selected by the Imperial Household Agency, the Yuki Saiden sacred rice paddy must be east of Kyoto. 悠
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For the Daijosai, another sacred rice paddy is also selected to the west of Kyoto. That paddy is called Suki Saiden. In 1928, it was located in Fukuoka Pref.
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It is a great honor to be selected as the sacred rice paddy for an emperor's accession to the throne. The Yuki Saiden paddy for the current Emperor Akihito was in Akita Pref.
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In the background is cloud-capped Mt. Mikami.
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Woman planting rice at the rice-planting festival in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture.
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Rice seedlings in hand.
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On the ridges were women dancers.
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They wear a sedge hat (suge-kasa すげ笠), red trousers (緋ばかま), wrist covers (手甲), and leggings (脚絆).
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Rice-planting festival dancer, Yasu, Shiga Pref.
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The rice paddy actually consists of four square paddies divided by cross-shaped ridges. When you see it from above, it looks like the kanji "ta" 田 which means rice paddy.
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The Yuki Saiden rice paddy is in a scenic, rural location, with Mt. Mikami in the background. You can understand why it was selected to be the Yuki Saiden in 1928.
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A gate with sacred rope
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A local troupe of Taiko drummers called "Mukade Taiko." Mukade means centipede. Mt. Mikami is famous for a folk tale about a giant centipede which occupied the mountain. It was later killed by a brave warrior from Otsu.
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Young children also joined in the singing.
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Rice-planting festival dancer, Yasu, Shiga Pref.
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They also had a short break.
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Almost finished planting the rice in this paddy. The festival was over after 11 am.
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Rice-planting Festival in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture with Mt. Mikami in the background. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Afterward, they washed their feet in a stream next to Mikami Shrine. Also see photos of the Taga Taisha Rice-Planting Festival.
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Taga Taisha Shrine's torii is festooned with red banners reading " Taga Taisha O-taue Matsuri" or Rice-Planting Festival. Held on the first Sunday in June at 1 pm at the shrine. MAP
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Near Taga Taisha Shrine is the sacred rice paddies divided by a cross in the middle to form the kanji "ta" (田) which means rice paddy. This is the site of the rice planting festival starting at 2 pm. A 500 yen donation is required to go inside
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At around 1:15 pm, a taiko drum troupe from Asahi, Maibara entered the site. Official festival website here
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Taiko drum troupe from Maibara enters the sacred rice paddy and head for the stage.
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They performed the Rich Harvest Taiko Dance (Honen Taiko Odori). 豊年太鼓踊り 国指定無形文化財
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The Rich Harvest Taiko Dance (Honen Taiko Odori) is an Intangible Cultural Property. Also see my YouTube video here. 豊年太鼓踊り
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The music was a mixture of taiko drums, flutes, and a gong. They performed for about 30 min. 国指定無形文化財
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It was a marvelous performance. Although I think it would've been more impressive if they performed on the ground beside the paddies.
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At around 1:45 pm, a procession of priests and the 70 rice planters entered.
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Spectator tents were set up on both sides of the rice paddy. There weren't so many people. Not all the benches were filled.
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The 70 rice planters are junior high school girls in colorful costumes. They are called Taume. 田植女
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Priests and taume girls enter the paddy.
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Taume rice planters at the Taga Taisha Rice-planting Festival. 田植女
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These girls will sing the rice-planting song. 歌女
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The procession encircle the paddies.
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Taume girls proceed while holding rice seedlings.
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Singer with a tall flower hat.
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The taume girls take their places.
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The cross at the center.
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Hat problem.
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After everyone is in place, on the stage, the Oyushiki ceremony is performed to purify the sacred rice paddies. 御湯式
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Oyushiki ceremony is performed to purify the sacred rice paddies during the Taga Taisha Rice-Planting Festival. 御湯式
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The ceremony has a pot of boiling water.
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She pours sacred sake into the boiling pot.
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Oyushiki ceremony is performed to purify the sacred rice paddies during the Taga Taisha Rice-Planting Festival. 御湯式
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She dips two green branches into the pot, then...
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She flings the branches backward over her head, creating a spray of hot water. She did this a few times. Also see my YouTube video here.
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On the lower right, the guy in blue tries to shield himself from the spray of boiling water. The crowd laughed.
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Rice seedlings await.
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Rice-planting dancers sit through the Oyushiki ceremony.
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After the Oyushiki, the singers on stage start singing the rice-planting song. 御田植歌
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The taume girls enter the rice paddy at about 2 pm.
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Taume girl at the Taga Taisha Rice-planting Festival
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The taume girls start to plant the rice seedlings to match the tune of the rice-planting song sung by the girls on stage.
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They plant the rice seedlings while walking backwards in the ankle-deep mud.
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Now you know why some old Japanese women crouch when they walk. They used to plant rice. Of course, these days, most rice is planted mechanically.
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Besides the rice planters, there are rice-planting dancers who dance along the paddy's perimeter. They dance to the rice-planting song sung on stage. 御田植踊
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O-taue odori dancers
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Otaue odori dancer at Taga Taisha Rice-planting Festival (O-taue Matsuri).
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The rice-planting dancers stay out of the mud. They took a break twice or so, but the rice planters had to continue non-stop.
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The boys in blue on both ends are holding a string to serve as a guide for planting the seedlings in a straight line.
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The rice paddy is not in a scenic location. Being next to a busy road, it was quite noisy.
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I feel sorry for the launderer of the costumes after they finish.
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Taume rice-planting girl at Taga Taisha Rice-planting Festival, Shiga Prefecture.
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Keeping the hat on seemed to be common problem.
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These two girls did away with the hat which could not stay on.
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On stage, shrine maidens perform the Yuminomai Arrow Dance. 弓の舞
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O-taue rice-planting dancers take a break.
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The singers stopped singing and just watched.
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The work continues, without the singing and dancing.
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Girl planting rice, Taga Taisha O-taue Matsuri, Shiga Prefecture
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Rice seedlings in hand
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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Nearing the end. However, they did not finish planting the entire paddy. They ended the festival at around 3 pm even though three of the four paddies were still unfinished.
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Washing their hands in a bucket of water.
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Washing their muddy feet.
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At 3:10 pm, they started to leave the rice paddy.
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Taume rice planting girls leave the rice paddy.
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Unfinished work.
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This paddy is unfinished, but looks pretty neat.
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This unfinished paddy looks pretty messy. I think they should've finished planting all the paddies before ending the festival. Only one of the four paddies was completed.
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The shrine priests and taume girls return to Taga Taisha Shrine.
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Muddy pants. Passers by exclaimed, "Look at their feet!"
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The shrine priests and taume girls return to Taga Taisha Shrine.
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The Taiko Drum troupe from Asahi, Maibara pose for a photo in front of the taiko bridge at the shrine.
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