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 and Ise Jingu, focusing in this segment on the enshrinement of the principal kami of Ise Jingu.
Amaterasu-Omikami was formerly worshiped in the Imperial Palace. However, following an epidemic, the 10th Tenno (emperor) decided to move her symbol, the sacred mirror, that she might be worshiped more respectfully and thus end the disaster.
It was the 11th Tenno who ordered his princess, Yamatohime-no-mikoto, to seek the most appropriate place to permanently enshrine and worship Amaterasu-Omikami.
It is said the princess traveled the land searching for this special place, until she received a revelation by the banks of Isuzugawa River. This is the origin of Naiku.
In the era of the 21st Tenno, some 1,500 years ago, Toyo’uke-no-Omikami was, in accordance with another revelation from Amaterasu-Omikami, summoned from the north of Kyoto Prefecture and enshrined in her present resting ground. This is the origin of Geku.
Toyo’uke-no-Omikami joins Amaterasu-Omikami in Jingu as her provider of companionship and sacred foods. She blesses us with abundant harvests and is the guardian of well-being, providing cloth, food, and shelter.
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] Ise Jingu: A Place to Pray for the Imperial Family and the Nation
- [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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