Culture

Rice Field Gods

Rice field gods, known as Ta-no-kamisama or Ta-no-kansaa in the local dialect, are stone statues that stand guard over the fields, and serve as a symbol of fertility.

Rice growing has long been considered to be one of the most sacred acts in Japan for thousands of years, therefore there are many ways of worshiping rice gods throughout the nation.

What makes our rice field gods so special is the fact that they are made of stone. Unique to southern Kyushu, covering almost the entire area of Kagoshima and the southern area of Miyazaki, you can witness these stone rice field gods.

In Kimotsuki alone, there is a total of 67 rice field gods many of which were made in the 18th century. The oldest is found in Otta district of Uchinoura, which dates back to 1742.

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You can witness the deep cultural bond between Japanese people and rice growing through these stone gods of all different shapes and sizes.

Unique to southern Kyushu is the “Tambo no Kamisama” or God of the Rice Field. Statues can be found all over the Kimotsuki area, some of which are hundreds of years old.

Rice Field Gods overlooking the rice paddies

Rice Field Gods overlooking the rice paddies