Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Ise no Jingû
Text The Grand Shrine of Ise, the largest and most revered shrine in Japan, composed of the Kôtai Jingû (Naikû) and the Toyouke Daijingû (Gekû), plus their respective subordinate shrines. The imperial ancestress Amaterasu Ômikami is enshrined in the Naikû, and the god Toyouke Ômikami in the Gekû. According to legend, the Naikû was founded in the year 5 AD, during the reign of Emperor Suinin (legendary reign 29 BC to 70 AD), and the Gekû in 478, during the reign of Emperor Yûryaku (r. 456-479). The deity of the Naikû, Amaterasu Ômikami, is symbolized by the yata mirror, one of the three imperial regalia (sanshu no shinki). The shikinen sengû, (the custom of rebuilding the shrine every twenty years), was prescribed by Emperor Temmu (r. 673-686) and first carried out by Empress Jitô (r. 686-689). According to legend, Amaterasu Ômikami was enshrined by the princess Toyosuki-irihime no mikoto during the reign of Emperor Sûjin (legendary reign 97 to 30 BC), and moved to a divinely selected spot on the upper reaches of the Isuzu River by Princess Yamatohime no mikoto. Since that time, the shrine has continued to incorporate under its jurisdiction many subsidiary shrines. The Grand Shrine of Ise is the spiritual center of all shrines in the country and the focus of the faith of the Japanese people. It is patronized by the imperial family, and there is extensive historical evidence of the widespread popular devotion to the shrine, such as the spontaneous mass pilgrimages called okagemairi and the widespread enshrinement of taima amulets on family altars.