Soil and grain

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Soil and grain (Chinese: sheji; Japanese: 社稷 shashoku) was a common political term in East Asia for the state. Altars of soil and grain were constructed alongside ancestral altars. Local kings performed ceremonies of soil and grain to affirm their sovereignty at Beijing Shejitan and Seoul Sajiktan.[1] It has also been rendered "gods of soil and grain" in English, owing to its associations of prayer and supernatural possibilities.[2]

During the Warring States period, ministers defied the emperor by claiming a greater loyalty to the "soil and grain".[3]

Tu Di[edit]

A similar concept to sheji is that of Tu Di, the Earth Deity.[4]

See also[edit]



  • Yang, C. K.. Religion in Chinese Society : A Study of Contemporary Social Functions of Religion and Some of Their Historical Factors (1967 [1961]). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.