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Photo Journal: Shrine shakeup

A shrine maiden puts fallen Japanese plums onto a small wooden stand while a Shinto priest knocks them out of the tree with a stick at Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on June 1, 2018. The sacred plum tree in front of the main shrine is called "Tobiume" (flying plum tree). According to legend, Tobiume flew there from Kyoto by night following Heian period noble Sugawara no Michizane, who is revered as the deity of the shrine. In the annual event, two Shinto priests hit the branches of Tobiume with bamboo sticks and five shrine maidens pick the fruit up to dedicate to the deity. A total of 75 plums were gathered, a drop from the 135 last year. The Tobiume plums will be sold as lifetime good luck charms for 100,000 yen each. (Mainichi)

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