Many of Japan’s traditions and ideas are unfamiliar to those outside of Japan. Therefore, JAPAN Forward and Jinja Honcho have collaborated to bring readers an explanation of the key concepts of kami, matsuri, shrines, myths, and many other traditions and beliefs which form the core of Japanese culture.
The “Soul of Japan” series provides an introduction to Shinto, focusing in this segment on the sanctuary of shrines at the heart of Shinto — Ise Jingu.
Ise-Jingu, ofﬁcially known as “Jingu,” includes 125 jinja or shrines.
Jingu is centered around Kotaijingu (Naiku), the most venerable sanctuary in Japan. This shrine was dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, the ancestral deity to Japan’s imperial family, about 2,000 years ago.
Toyo’uke-daijingu (Geku) is also on the premises. It is the shrine dedicated to Toyo’uke-no-Omikami, the kami who was said to be summoned to Ise by Amaterasu-omikami to be her companion and provider of sacred foods.
In land area, Jingu is roughly the same size as the city of Paris. More than 1,500 rituals are conducted here yearly to pray for the prosperity of the imperial family and the peace of the nation.
OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUL OF JAPAN SERIES:
- [Soul of Japan] What is Shinto?
- [Soul of Japan] Kami, the Divine Powers of Nature
- [Soul of Japan] Matsuri, the Sacred Rituals of Prayers and Festivities
- [Soul of Japan] Jinja: Places of Worship Infused with Nature’s Energy
- [Soul of Japan] The Divine Age of Shinto
- [Soul of Japan] Amano-Iwato, the Celestial Cave
- Soul of Japan] Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the Kami Who Established A Nation
- [Soul of Japan] The Enshrinement of Amaterasu-Omikami at Jingu
- [Soul of Japan] Imperial Rituals of Matsuri at Jingu
- [Soul of Japan] Shikinen Sengu, the Ritual of Rebuilding and Renewal
- [Soul of Japan] Visiting a Jinja
Source: Jinja Honcho
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