Hayashida Event of Shinjo (rice planting event)
While the Hanadaue Event of Mibu, in the neighboring town of Chiyoda, is a
colorful major rice planting event, the Hayashida Event of Shinjo is performed
in a rather simple, traditional way. Originally a local rice planting event in the
Chugoku district, the event became widely known through its appearance at the
All Japan Folk Dance and Music Festival representing the Chugoku district in
Soon after the appearance at the event, the Shinjo Provincial Art Preservation
Committee was founded to preserve traditional entertainment. The committee
was forced to cease activities during World War II, but after the war it was
Hayashida is basically a traditional folk event worshipping "Sanbai", the god
of rice fields, rather than an exhibition. Notably it has inherited the function
of kamioroshi, in which the god of rice fields is welcomed to the ground. At the
event, saotome, or rice planting maidens, and the music players are dressed in a
rather subdued fashion.
This event has been officially regarded as the rice planting event (June-July)
for Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima City. The Hayashida is held in the second Sunday of May. This simple, yet nostalgic, rural style of rice planting attracts
many people from Hiroshima City.
Hayashida is performed in reverence for the god of rice fields (Photograph taken circa 1994)
The Hayashida Event was designated as an intangible folk-cultural asset of Hiroshima Prefecture in October, 1959. Later, in 1974, it was made into a documentary film by the Japanese Culture Agency. Taue-zoshi, rice planting songbook, has been handed down in the area, and it is highly noted as a collection of classic songs of the medieval era. Shirokaki, or paddy plowing, is the main part of the Hayashida Event, and many shirokaki zoshi have been written descibing the method for steering cows.