“J-Simple Recipes” is the abbreviation for “Japanese Simple Recipes.”
We explain Japanese recipes you can easily cook, as well as typical meals, foodstuffs & table manners.

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Japanese Food Tips

Niinamesai (November 23rd)

November 23, 2016



November 23rd is Kinroukansha no hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day) which is a national holiday in Japan. Actually, the day originated as Niinamesai (Japanese Thanksgiving Day). On this day, the Emperor and Shinto priests of shrines nationwide dedicate this year's grain harvest to the gods, and then enjoy a feast which includes grain as one of the dishes. Perhaps the practice of Japanese Emperors dedicating the rice each year has continued for more than 1000 years. Recently, most Japanese do not recognize that this day is Niinamesai. It seems that before World War Ⅱ it was the custom to offer the year's new rice (shinmai) harvest at home. However, in our time the home offering is hardly ever held. In my opinion, the Japanese habit of pressing their hands together and reciting "itadakimasu" before each meal represents giving their thanks for food. So, it might be considered that Japanese think they do not need a special ritual such as Niinamesai for only one day. If Japanese would like to hold Niinamesai at home again, it is up to each househeld to decide this.