Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集
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|Religious ceremonies of the imperial house, also called Kôshitsu Shintô or Imperial House Shinto. These ancient ceremonies, including the most important ceremonies of state Shinto (see Kokka Shintô) find their origins in the mythological age of the gods. Amaterasu Ômikami imparted to her descendants a sacred mirror, now housed at Ise no Jingû, as the symbol of the imperial house to be established on earth. Each generation of her descendants, upon ascending the throne, have conducted religious ceremonies according to this ancient tradition to honor Amaterasu Ômikami, the gods of heaven and earth, and the generations of imperial ancestors. The ceremonies performed in the imperial household include those in which the emperor himself serves as priest and those performed by a substitute priest. Ancient ceremonies known to no one except the priests who directly participate have been strictly preserved. Since the time of the order abolishing State Shinto following World War II, the kôshitsu saishi have not been treated as official state ceremonies.