UNESCO has added two more Japanese traditions to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The two new registrations are Mibu no Hana Taue, the ritual of transplanting rice in Hiroshima Prefecture, and the Sada Shin Noh sacred dance performed at a shrine in Shimane Prefecture.

Mibu no Hana Taue is an annual event held in Kitahiroshima Town. It is dedicated to the god of rice paddies and calls for a good harvest. In the ritual, villagers use colourfully decorated cattle to plough paddies. Sada Shin Noh is a dance performance at Sada Shrine in Matsue City that dates back nearly 400 years. The inclusion of the two brings the number of Japanese traditional events on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list to 20. UNESCO defines intangible cultural assets as traditions handed down over the generations that are in need of urgent safeguarding.

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