Looks like an ordinary paddy field but...

Actually, this is a special paddy field in Kitaushima, Sado Island

 The paddy field has turned into golden-brown and waits to be harvested soon.

In mid-May, almost extinct ritual began in this rice field.

 This rice planting ritual is called "Kurumada-ue" or "車田植え” and it had started with rice wine poured into the field as an offering for the god. Special prayer was offered too.

 Then, three women dressed in traditional farming costumes started to plant rice seedlings in the field with "rice planting song" sung by a local elderly woman.    

What is "Kurumada"?  "Kuruma" means cars or circle and "da( or ta)" is rice field.  

We usually plant rice seedlings straight and go forward.  But they start planting seedlings in the middle of the field and move backward while making spiral lines like drawing circles.

This unique ritual is preserved only in Sado Island and Gifu Prefecture.

 Because of the rarity, reporters try to record this special song.

 You can see many spectators including locals, tourists and reporters.

 This small strip of field is called "Kamisanda" or "paddy field for the god".

 After the ritual,  light meal was served for the spectators!

Surprisingly, these delicious rice balls were made of the rice harvested in this field last year!

Not only the god in this village but also the locals are so generous to serve us this special meal.

This event is designated as an Importnt Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset.

 Please come and enjoy these rice balls next year!




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