Pickles of all kinds were recently gathered from different parts of Japan and brought to Aichi Prefecture, where the “god of pickles” is enshrined.
Kayatsu Shrine in the city of Ama is known as the “birthplace of pickles”. According to priest Tomoharu Aoki, 43, pickles were born by accident when vegetables offered to the shrine fermented with salt that was also being offered.
Facing the ocean, Aichi has always harvested salt and was a stopping point where merchants from both east and west brought goods for sale.
Legend has it that Prince Yamatotakeru, a mythical hero, had been touched by pickles offered to him by locals as he was making his way to a battlefield.
Aug. 21 is Pickles Day, where those in the businesses bring their wares to the shrine and pray for prosperity.
“I’m not sure how this day came to be regarded as such, but maybe it coincides with the harvesting season for vegetables,” Aoki said.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the ritual for making pickles. Based on traditional procedure, vegetables are put into a pot of salt and enshrined in the altar. When autumn arrives, the pickles will be ready and presented to Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, where Prince Yamatotakeru is enshrined.
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