Dirty but sacred ritual is coming soon in Sado

Quite unique shrine ritual in Sado called "Taasobi shinji".

Can you imagine what this is?  Is it a commedy show?

Actually, this is a sacred shrine ritual held in early February at Kobie Shrine in the precinct of Rengebuji temple in Ogi.

"Taasobi" literally means play in paddy fields.  "Shinji" means shrine ritual.  Combined, this ritual represents the entire process of producing rice from spring when farmers plow paddy fields,  plant rice seedlings, control water and harvest rice in autumn.

But not smoothly?


 The ritual starts with shooting arrows at the target.

Then, the main ritual starts and farmers plow paddy fields with hoe in spring.

Suddenly,  crows and  moles appear and attack farmers smearing mixture of black ink and snow!

Farmers go back to work and...

Another attack begins. This time crows and  moles tie a poor farmer to a tree!  How mean they are! 

 These interferences happen several times after each step of growing rice until they harvest it.

A farmer starts leveling the paddy field, I guess... and...


 Farmers briefly enjoy snack break called "Oyatsu", eating dried persimmons, one of Sado's special products.

 After an hour long ad-lib ritual,  finally farmers enjoy sake and pray for the rich harvest of the year.

 Simmered vegetables, sweets and hot tea are served to spectators.

The ritual will be held on Feb.6 (Sat.), from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Kobie Shrine in Ogi this year.

Another authentic and sacred "Taasobi shinji" rituals are held at Hakusan Shrine in Hatano and Gosho Shrine in Akadomari.

 Because of this uniqueness, many spectators including many ptotographers come to see this ritual.

I'm happy if some of the readers are interested in this ritual and come to see it next month.   See you there!


 Sado my tour




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