Mibu no Hana Taue, ritual of transplanting rice in Mibu, Hiroshima
Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Mibu no Hana Taue, ritual of transplanting rice in Mibu, Hiroshima
Mibu no Hana Taue is a Japanese agricultural ritual carried out by the Mibu and Kawahigashi communities in Kitahiroshima Town, Hiroshima Prefecture to assure an abundant rice harvest by celebrating the rice deity. On the first Sunday of June, after the actual rice transplanting has ended, the ritual enacts the stages of planting and transplanting. Villagers bring cattle to Mibu Shrine to be dressed with elaborately decorated saddles and colourful necklaces. An elder carrying a sacred stick then leads them to a rice field specially kept in reserve for the ritual. After the cattle have ploughed the field, colourfully dressed girls place seedlings inside a case while singing a song under the direction of an elder. Then the rice field is levelled with an implement (eburi), said to contain the deity of rice fields. The girls then transplant the seedlings one by one, walking backwards, followed by the eburi-user and the person carrying the seedlings, who level the field as they pass. Ritual songs are sung accompanied by drums, flutes and small gongs. Once this ritual transplantation is completed, the eburi is placed upside down in water with three bunches of rice seedlings. Transmission is ensured by the elders, who know the songs and music for rice planting and oversee the ritual’s smooth execution.
Decision 6.COM 13.25
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Mibu no Hana Taue is preserved and transmitted by farmers and local people of the Mibu and Kawahigashi communities who consider it as part of their cultural heritage and the source of a sense of identity and continuity;
- R.2: Inscription of the Mibu no Hana Taue on the Representative List could contribute to the visibility and awareness of the significance of the intangible cultural heritage more broadly and could foster mutual understanding between peoples that practise similar agricultural rituals;
- R.3: Current and recent safeguarding measures demonstrate the cooperation of the community concerned with the prefecture and State, while future measures such as documentation and education activities can contribute to the future viability of the element;
- R.4: The nomination has been submitted with the active cooperation of the Association for the Preservation of Mibu no Hana Taue, which gave its free, prior and informed consent;
- R.5: With the participation and consent of the concerned associations, Mibu no Hana Taue was included in 1976 as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property on the national inventory maintained by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Inscribes Mibu no Hana Taue, ritual of transplanting rice in Mibu, Hiroshima on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
© 2009 by Kitahiroshima-cho
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