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Japan is situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometers, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. Japan consists of four major islands, surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands.

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Otaue Rice Planting Festival

An ancient event praying for a rich rice harvest with merry dancing and songs

Date: June 14th
Place: Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
City: Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City

The Japanese lifestyle and rice cultivation are deeply associated with one another. Of particular significance is the process known as taue in which rice seedlings growing in the nursery are replanted in the paddy fields. Although events associated with this rice planting can be found all over our country, the festival at the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is unique for its reproduction of the rituals in faithful observance of ancient procedures in such a grand ceremonial style.

First, the paddies are tilled by oxen, which is a scene you rarely come across today in large cities. The main attractions of the rituals are the spectacular dance performances and songs. Dancing is believed to enhance the vitality of the grains. People living in the remote past used to believe that powerful spirits dwelled inside the rice seedlings that were to be replanted in Mother Earth. Outside the paddy fields where the women sing as they replant the seedlings, all kinds of performances are given one after the other. In addition to a dance performed by women wearing kasa (braided hats) adorned with flowers, there is a procession of samurai warriors clad in full armor.

The liveliest performance of all is the Sumiyoshi Odori by 150 young girls. The prayers of the people participating in the festival are answered in the form of fine rice crops in the autumn, and once the rice has been harvested, offerings of rice are made to the shrine deity in October. Also, on November 23rd, a ceremony is held to express gratitude for the bountiful crop.


*By train:3 minutes' walk from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station.Sumiyoshi Taisha Station can be reached from Shin-Imamiya Station on Nankai Dentetsu Line.Shin-Imamiya Station can be reached from JR Osaka Station on the JR Kanjosen Line*By air:3 minutes' walk from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station.Sumiyoshi Taisha Station can be reached from Shin-Imamiya Station on the Nankai Dentetsu Line.Shin-Imamiya Station can be reached from Kansai Airport on the JR Kanku Kaisoku (Kansai Airport Rapid Service).To Kansai Airport, take a flight from Haneda Airport.


Festivals & Events

Traditional Annual Events

Traditional Annual Events