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Ta-no-kami, stone guardian of rice field (80)

Rice field guardian
Kagoshima, Kyushu Island
Edo period, 18th-19th century
H.: 40 cm – W.: 20 cm

Ta-no-kami (literally \"god of rice fields\") has been believed by agricultural producers to be a guardian god for the rice crop and the rice field, and the guarantor of a good harvest. Guardian gods for the rice crop can be seen all over Japan, but this style is specific to Kagoshima Prefecture and the southern part of Miyazaki Prefecture. They are especially commonly seen in Kagoshima because it is said that the Satsuma-han (clan) erected many statues to encourage rice growing during the Edo period. Ta-no-kami can be classified into four types: Shinto priest, Jizo, farmer and natural stone. This god can be identified as being a farmer, because he has a rice scoop in his hand and a rice bowl in his right hand. His smile makes him appear humorous and good-natured.

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