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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Inadama is the spirit that dwells within the rice plant and governs its cultivation and successful harvest. From ancient times people prayed for a bountiful harvest by welcoming the descent of the Ta no kami (the deity of the rice fields) from the mountains. In autumn, when the harvest was over, they once again greeted the Ta no kami, presenting it with the first fruits. They believed that by sharing a meal together with the kami, they would imbibe the rice spirit and reconstitute its power in their own bodies. An early instance of the rice spirit in the written record can be found in the Engishiki, in the Ōtono hogai ("Blessing of the Great Palace") norito, where the palace deity Yabune toyouke hime no mikoto is interpreted in an interlinear gloss to be the rice spirit: "This is the spirit of the rice plants, commonly called Uka no mitama." The verse mentions scattering rice grains to exorcise an area of baleful influences. Uka no mitama is considered to be a kami of grain in general, the spiritual power residing in all grains and controlling their cultivation and bountiful harvest.

—Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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