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Rice Photo Gallery III  

Kazuko Tomiyama's 'Rice in Japan' Calendar (2003)

Nijo Mountain as seen from Mt. Miwa

(Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture)

In New Year celebrations, rice straw has always played a leading role. To welcome a year in a 21st century calendar, what better way than with rice-straw festoons of shimenawa?

The New Year is the time that most intensely evokes the deep relationship between rice and the people of Japan. These shimenawa are hung at Omiwa Shrine. They say that the forerunners of the grand shrines of Ise were built in the precincts here.

Parishioners in Kishiwada City make shimenawa from straw gathered from about 50 acres of designated paddy field. Every year they provide four huge ropes of straw. This view of the twin peaks of Nijosan is seen from the shrine of Miwasan.

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