As your tour ends, two more objects catch your eye. High on the ceiling at the far end of the great room are two painted panels. One shows a turtle, the other a crane, each an ancient symbol of long life and happiness.
In September, 2017, these two icons stood for a day on the topmost beam of the roof. On the ground below, a traditional ceremony marked the completion of the framework of the building. Streamers of black, white, red, yellow, and blue fluttered in the breeze, their colors recalling the ancient Chinese symbolism of water, metal, fire, earth, and wood. An altar held offerings of vegetables, fruits, dried foods, salt, sake, and rice, in thanks for the divine gift of land and the bounty of nature.
In the spirit of that ceremony, we thank our visitors for coming to see the Takeyama Rice Retailer Shop. May kame the turtle and tsuru the crane be with us as we preserve the treasures of the past and create the wonders yet to come.
【Audio guide is also available 】