Drum beats for sacred treats

The Yomiuri Shimbun

People wearing traditional outfits plant rice seedlings during an Omiwa Shrine ritual in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, on Saturday. During this annually held prayer for a bountiful harvest, the seedlings were planted in a rice field dedicated to the gods as a taiko drum kept rhythm. The rice will be harvested at a festival on Oct. 20 and used to make festival offerings and sacred sake. If the rice grows well, there is expected to be a harvest of about 90 kilograms.