Rice harvested for Emperor's Daijosai ceremony
NHK -- Sep 28
Rice has been harvested at two sites in Japan to prepare for the Daijosai, or Great Thanksgiving Ceremony. The ceremony in November will be one of the key events to mark Emperor Naruhito's ascension to the throne.

The crop was harvested on Friday at two chosen paddies -- one in Tochigi Prefecture in the east and the other in Kyoto Prefecture in the west.

At the paddy in Kyoto, an Imperial envoy stepped inside a ceremonial site marked by straw festoons, and offered prayers inside a makeshift shrine.

The paddy's owner and other farmers then harvested the rice with sickles. They were dressed in traditional court attire of a black hat and white robe.

Bundles of the crop were placed on a stand and delivered to the ceremonial site, where the rice was checked and placed in storage. The ceremony ended in about one hour.

The Imperial Household Agency is to purchase 180 kilograms of polished rice and 7.5 kilograms of brown rice from the paddy.

At the Daijosai ceremony in mid-November, Emperor Naruhito will offer rice from the two paddies to his ancestors and deities, and taste some himself to pray for peace and abundant harvests.

The Emperor ascended the throne in May, following the abdication of his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

天皇陛下の即位行事「大嘗祭(だいじょうさい)」に使われる米を収穫する儀式「斎田抜穂の儀」が栃木県と京都府で行われました。  11月の大嘗祭で天皇陛下は栃木と京都の「斎田」に実った米を食べ、国の安寧を祈られます。それぞれの斎田では、27日午前10時から米を収穫する儀式「斎田抜穂の儀」が行われました。天皇陛下の使者で神職の「抜穂使」がテント張りの神殿で祝詞(のりと)を読み上げ、その後に米の生産者の「大田主」らが装束姿で斎田に入り、慣例にのっとって稲を4束、鎌で刈り取りました。抜穂使が稲を確認した後、参列者らが神殿で拝礼しました。陛下には27日中に儀式の終了が報告され、収穫された米は今後、皇居に運ばれる予定です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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