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Nantan City , Kyoto
(Sonobe-cho)
Related category:
Otauesai festival of Make Shrine    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 40 minutes
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On a morning in June, amidst a verdant breeze and the refreshing rays of the sun, the Otauesai festival takes place at Make Shrine in Takei, Sonobe-cho.
The rice-planting maidens in cotton kasuri kimono dyed indigo-blue and light green obi belts, with their sleeves vigorously tied with red tasuki rope, dedicate the Otaue Odori dance on the haiden stage in time to the song, "Planting the rice sprouts with hearts in harmony to the great ground before the god..." On the steps in front of the inner shrine, a priest in hakama trousers performs the gesture of shirokaki (leveling the ground for rice planting) using a house-shaped board to which naruko or bird clappers are attached at the end of a bamboo stick, and the rice-planting maidens place chimaki (rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) which are meant to be rice sprouts onto the steps.
The ritual has been handed down for more than a thousand years and is imbued with the peoples trust in and wishes for nature. This willpower and pride will ensure that the song for fertility continues to be performed proudly in the years to come.

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