JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Last additions - Yuki Saiden Rice-Planting Festival 悠紀斎田 お田植えまつり
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May 29, 2008
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Almost finished planting the rice in this paddy. The festival was over after 11 am.May 29, 2008
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Rice-planting Festival in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture with Mt. Mikami in the background. Also see my YouTube video here.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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Rice-planting festival dancer, Yasu, Shiga Pref.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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A gate with sacred ropeMay 29, 2008
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They also had a short break.May 29, 2008
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Young children also joined in the singing.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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Woman planting rice at the rice-planting festival in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture.May 29, 2008
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Rice seedlings in hand.May 29, 2008
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Rice-planting festival dancer, Yasu, Shiga Pref.May 29, 2008
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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May 29, 2008
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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).May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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On the ridges were women dancers.May 29, 2008
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In the background is cloud-capped Mt. Mikami.May 29, 2008
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Ready to sink into the paddy.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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Their feet are more than ankle deep in the mud. No one lost their balance and fell into the mud.May 29, 2008
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When the taiko drumming and folk singing started, they started planting the rice seedlings. On the ridge, there were dancers.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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First they threw bunches of rice seedlings into the paddy.May 29, 2008
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Everyone took off their straw sandals and went into the paddies barefoot.May 29, 2008
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Rice-planting Festival Shinto ceremony. A torii stands next to the rice paddy. MAPMay 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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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.May 29, 2008
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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May 29, 2008
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