09/20/2019, 12.55
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Naruhito harvests rice for the first time since his coronation

The Emperor is keeping with a tradition established by his grandfather, Hirohito, monitoring the stages of rice cultivation to reflect upon farmers’ hard work. He reaped 100 loads of up to average rice stalks.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japan’s new emperor Naruhito harvested rice in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo yesterday, carrying on a tradition established in the early 1900s.

This is his first crop since he ascended to the Chrysanthemum throne last May after the abdication of his father, Akihito. According to the Imperial Agency, the emperor reaped 100 loads of up to average rice stalks.

Wearing boots, a sickle in his hand, Naruhito placed the fruit of his labour in a small pavilion in the Palace gardens. In May, he had planted Nihonmasari, an ordinary grain, and mangetsumochi, a glutinous variety.

According to tradition, the Emperor follows the various stages of rice cultivation together with his subjects. 

The custom developed under Hirohito, grandfather of the current sovereign, in the first decades of the 20th century. It was a way to reflect upon farmers’ hard work in growing their own crops. Naruhito's father, now emperor emeritus Akihito, continued the tradition during his reign.

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