- Rice-field play. A ceremony connected with the planting and/or transplanting of rice. It was traditionally performed around the time of the first full moon of the lunar new year, as a kind of pantomime of the whole cycle of rice cultivation to pray for a good harvest, and emphasises the close association between Shinto matsuri and agriculture. Venues today include the Akasuka Suwa Jinja in Tokyo on February 10th and the Mishima taisha, Shizuoka on January 7. A rite with a similar purpose, the Utsu-ue matsuri of the Yatsufusa jinja, Kagoshima is performed on March 6th by men wearing large ox-head masks. The Fujimori-no-ta-asobi at the Oihachimangu in Shizuoka which takes place on March 17 features twenty-seven different dances. In May-June at rice transplanting time a number of ta-asobi called ta-ue-sai (rice-transplanting festivals) are celebrated in various ways. On the first weekend in April at the Katori Jingu, Chiba, women known as ta-ue onna 'rice-planting women' perform a transplanting ceremony accompanied by hayashi music. The Ise Jingu o-ta-ue shinji (rice-planting rite) takes place on 15th June. In the Izonomiya o-ta-ue matsuri in Mie-ken held on June 24, boys aged 5—6 dressed as women play the taiko (large drum). There are also festivals to celebrate the end of transplanting such as the Onda matsuri at Aso-jinja, Kumamoto which is held on July 28 and features a parade of white-robed unari (women bearing a midday meal to the kami).
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.