Alva Review-Courier -

Japan Emperor performs last harvest ritual before abdication


November 23, 2018

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Emperor Akihito gave thanks Friday to the gods for a bountiful autumn harvest, the last time he will perform one of most important annual palace rites before abdicating next spring.

Akihito conducted the Niiname ritual on Friday at an Imperial Palace shrine illuminated by torchlight as ancient music was played. He offered harvested rice and other items to the gods, thanking them and praying for peace for the nation. Nov. 23 is Japan's national thanksgiving holiday.

Some of the rice was harvested by Akihito from a field inside the palace grounds. The rest was offered...

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