Otaue(rice planting) festival at Kirishima Grand shrine


Date: February 4 of the old lunar calendar (In the new calendar, it is a month late, in mid-March)
Location: Kirishima taguchi 2605-5, Kirishima city, Kagoshima prefecture
Access: 10 minutes by bus from Kirishimajingu Station on the Nippo Line. (About 1 hour from Kagoshima)

霧島神宮 位置
Kirishima Grand shrinr 霧島神宮 https://www.kagoshima-yokanavi.jp/spot/20063

Kirishima Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Kagoshima. However, it is located in a rather inconvenient place. It is about six kilometers away from the nearest station. There is only one bus every hour. However, it is also one of the places where Japanese mythology is handed down, with a history of over 1500 years. More than 100 rituals are held here every year. One of them is the “Rice Planting Festival”.

There are many rare statues in Kagoshima that are not found in other prefectures. They are called “Tanokansaa”. It means the deity of rice fields. In Japan, if you look at the side of the road, you may see a statue of “Jizo-san”. In Kagoshima, we have “Tanokansaa” like that.

It is said that there is a festival in which “Tanokansaa” appears at Kirishima Shrine, the home of Tanokansaa.

It starts at 10:00 on the day. After the Shinto ritual, the first thing to do is to bring in the shii tree with the cow in the lead and scatter the branches around the area. This is supposed to be fertilizer. After that, several rituals are performed, and then the old man and woman appear.

the aged husband
the aged wife

These two perform a skit.
“Do you know where the cow is?” “I don’t know where the cow is,” “That cow is always annoying me.” “It’s because you don’t take care of it,” and so on. Then the cow finally appears. But the cow doesn’t listen to them. It does everything on its own and annoys the couple.

After this, the “rice field gods,” who should be called the main characters, finally appeared.

It looks as if a roadside “tanokansa” has just stood up and walked away. He is holding a large rice ladle in his hand. After this, they say a few words and end with a dance. The performance is scheduled to end around noon. Japanese have always lived on the basis of agriculture. Rice has always been the staple food, and in the past, rice itself was the standard of national power, and salaries were paid in rice. This festival is a precious opportunity to experience the original scenery of Japan.

The area is also dotted with hot springs and an art forest. Above all, the shrine itself stands in the midst of a mythical setting. It takes an hour and a half from Fukuoka to Kagoshima by Shinkansen.

Enjoy the spiritual world of Japan and heal yourself in a hot spring. One way to enjoy Japan.

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