Feb 062013
 
Asuka Onda Matsuri - rice, fertility and ...spanking

Onda Matsuri and Ta-asobi—literally playing in the field—are one of the oldest festivals in Japan. They are being held in winter or early spring.

They are a way to preserve and passing the knowledge of rice cultivation from generation to gemeration. During such festival in shrine a pantomime of planting rice on the field is performed with the active participation of children.

Sep 262012
 
Nuibosai - rice harvest festival in Taga Taisha

Three to four months after planting, rice plants yield crops.

In Taga Taisha first ears are taken by girls called nuibome in traditional dress. They give rice to the priests who take it to the shrine and put on the altar.

Rice picked up on this day will be used for Niinamesai ceremony performed by Emperor Akihito on 23rd of November.

Jun 062012
 
Otaue Matsuri – planting rice on a sacred field

When rice planting is coming to an end, just before the rainy season, ceremonies for abundant growth are held in major Japanese shrines.

One such colorful event takes place in Taga Taisha, close to Hikone in Shiga Prefecture. Without machines, accompanied by rituals of shinto priests and shamans, as well as performances of local artists, a sacred field belonging to a shrine is planted with rice.