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[Soul of Japan] The Enshrinement of Amaterasu-Omikami at Jingu



 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.



Source: Jinja Honcho 


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