On the 18th, a ritual of harvesting the fruit of the sacred Tobiume (flying plum tree) at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was held. As the tree branches were shaken by a 3.5-meter-long green bamboo pole, shrine maidens picked up the plums one by one. The Tobiume ceremony is usually held on June 1, but this year, the harvest was moved up two weeks earlier than last year due to the warm weather. Six hundred sixty-eight plums, compared to just 138 last year and the most in five years, were harvested from the tree. The harvested “flying plum” fruits are dedicated to the gods, and from November, they will be given to visitors who wish to receive them as a good-luck charm for the rest of their lives. Source: KBC
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