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Ise Jingu

Listed under Tombs & Memorials in Kinki, Japan.

Photo of Ise Jingu
Photo by flickr user 顔なし
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Ise Jingu or simply Jingu is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the supreme Shinto god, Amaterasu Omikami, the only one out of the hundred thousand or so shrines that litter Japan, so very sacred.

According to Japanese legend the Imperial family are directly descended from Amaterasu Omikami who carefully selected the location, in Mie in the southern part of Ise for the shrine around 1500 years ago. Jingu is referred to in the oldest Japanese texts edited more than 1300 years ago and is still in it’s original form, though it has been rebuilt identically every 20 years since the 7th Century to keep it ‘fresh’ using the original nail-less method (a spare is constructed nearby then a nocturnal ceremony, called Sengyo is held during which the switch is made.).

In Shinto religion spirits and energy forces are believed to gather in nature, so it’s very important that the right kind of trees which have accumulated the right kind of energy are used in building Jingu. It is also significant that Jingu is built in a dense forest of giant cryptomeria.

Two main shrines make up Jingu: Naiku, the inner shrine, which is for Amaterasu Omikami and Geku the outer shrine where Toyouke Omikami, deity of food, clothing and shelter is worshiped. Each shrine then has several attendant shrines and buildings to house relics and treasures in a gated complex.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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