Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices
カテゴリー2: Shrine Economics
A specific type of gun (district), one of the provincial administrative units under the ancient Ritsuryō system of laws and codes that provided services to a shrine. In the eighth century eight such districts were established. Watarai-gun and Take-gun in Ise Province served the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise jingū), Katori-gun in Shimōsa Province served Katori Jingū, Awa-gun in Awa Province served Awa Jinja, Kashima-gun in Hitachi Province served Kashima Jingū, Ou-gun in Izumo Province served Kumano Jinja, Nagusa-gun in Kii Province served Hinokuma Kunikakasu Jingū, and Munakata-gun in Chikuzen Province served Munakata Taisha. In many cases, the nature of the services performed by the district in conjunction with its shrine remain unclear but the district officials (gunji) were involved in shrine rites and there existed a close connection between these officials and the shrine. At the Grand Shrines of Ise, the negi (Suppliant Priest), uchiudo (Steward Priest), and mono-imi (a type of priestess) were recruited from the shingun population, and part of the offerings and ritual expenses were supplied by the shingun. Previously, Shingun and kanbe were regarded as identical, and it was believed that the shingun was exclusively made up of kanbe households, but this view is rejected today. The term shingun is also easily confused with shinryō, but at least under the Ritsuryō system the relation of people in the shingun to a shrine was limited to ritual service, and must be thus distinguished from shinryō, where shrines exercised comprehensive control over the land. A theory has been advanced in recent years holding that shingun were special administrative districts established by the court to provide a necessary basis for the performance of shrine rites, but this view has not yet been fully accepted. Shingun died out in all but name after the ninth century, except for the shingun of Ise Province, where the Grand Shrines of Ise began to exert comprehensive control over the district. These districts eventually developed into a shinryō. In 897 a new shingun was established in Ise: Iino-gun. Beginning from the tenth through the twelfth century another five gun were made shingun in Ise, for a total of eight in that province.
— Ōzeki Kunio

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