Emperor sows rice seeds at palace

NHK -- Apr 07
Japan's Emperor Naruhito has planted rice seeds at the Imperial Palace.

Rice cultivation at the palace was initiated by the Emperor's grandfather, Emperor Showa, to encourage farming. Emperor Naruhito took over the activity from his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who abdicated in 2019.

On Tuesday morning, the Emperor squatted down at a nursery bed and planted two kinds of rice seeds from last year's palace harvest. He sowed about 180 seeds each in several 30-by-30-centimeter plots.

In May, he will take the seedlings that grow and plant them in a rice paddy, also at the palace.

The rice will be harvested in the autumn and offered to deities in Shinto rituals at the palace, including the Niinamesai harvest festival in November.

- NHK

天皇陛下が皇居で稲の種もみをまかれました。  まかれたのは、うるち米のニホンマサリと、もち米のマンゲツモチの2種類です。  陛下はジャンパーにズボン姿で腰をかがめ、かごに入った約700粒の種もみを苗代に丁寧にまかれていました。  皇居での稲作は、農家の苦労を感じるために昭和天皇が始められました。その後、上皇さま、陛下へと引き継がれています。  おととしは上皇さまが種もみまきを、陛下が田植えと稲刈りをされました。  収穫された米は、皇居の中で行われる祭祀(さいし)で使われます。 - ANNnewsCH