People: Oct. 3, 1969

A group of aging men trudged slowly through the imperial paddyfield in Tokyo's Palace compound, stooping to cut the rice plants in an annual harvest ritual as old as the gods of Japan. Their leader, in a gray shirt and a battered panama hat, was once considered the descendant of the sun and is still patron of all agriculture—the Emperor himself. In a traditional announcement, the Palace reported that Hirohito, 68, and his chamberlains had harvested "a good crop" from the 350-square-yard paddy. Part of the sacred grain will be distilled into black and...

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