On June 23, Tenrikyo Church Headquarters held its annual rice-planting ceremony at Somanouchi Farm of Tenri High School’s Agriculture Department. This annual event was begun by the second Shinbashira, who sought to experience and deeply savor the teachings explained through agricultural metaphors in the Scriptures. This ceremony is an early summer tradition in the Home of the Parent, which has continued for more than 80 years since 1937.
At 10:00 a.m., the Shinbashira and his family arrived at the farm. As the Shinbashira and Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama’s daughters, Masae and Shizuku, were looking on, Mrs. Harue Nakayama, Daisuke, and his wife, Nobue, planted rice seedlings together with about 160 people including some resident officials of Church Headquarters, staff members of Tenri High School, and students who belong to the school’s Agriculture Department.
As this region experienced a respite from the rainy season, they each planted three seedlings at a time along a rope with markings for the planting spots. Slowly moving backward and planting the seedlings, they planted approximately 43,000 seedlings in the rice fields in about 30 minutes.
The seedlings had been grown from rice seeds offered at the Kanrodai in the Service for Germination on April 16. Until the harvesting in the fall, students of the Agriculture Department will tenderly take care of the seedlings, picking weeds and controlling the water level in the rice fields.