Shrine (jinja)

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Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Backup copy only.

This file has moved - latest update here : April 2013

. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja) - Introduction .

Introducing shrines and temples of Japan !



Shrines are places of worship. They are found in many areas of the world. They are the places where religious worship and festivals take place.

CLICK for more taisha shrines
Shrine Izumo Taisha

In Japan, the term SHRINE is used for Shinto Shrines and not for Buddhist temples.

Shinto shrine, jinja 神社
..... miya, guu 宮
..... taisha 大社 big shrine
..... yashiro  社 small shrine, furu yashiro 古社 old shrine

Click HERE to look at Shrine Photos !

. Torii 鳥居 Gate of a Shinto Shrine

. Chigi 千木 "1000 roof beams" .
katsuogi 鰹木 "bonito beams"
ochigi 男千木(おちぎ) male chigi
mechigi 女千木 (めちぎ) female chigi

. Shrines, Amulets and Talismans .

- - - new since 2013
. - - - Japan - Temples and Shrines- - - .
- - - . Shrines - Latest Additions .


Introduction: Jinja
By Inoue Nobutaka

This section deals with terminology relating to the religious institution of the Shinto jinja, customarily translated as "shrine," including its architectural structures and other facilities, ritual implements, and clerical vestments.

Permanent shrine facilities were virtually non-existent in the ancient period, and while some examples of sacred spaces referred to as iwakura and iwasaka can be found, most occasions of ritual worship were observed at temporary sites. Present-day shrines are ordinarily composed of main shrine buildings (shaden) together with halls of sacred dance (kaguraden), shrine offices (shamusho), and other elements of the shrine precincts (keidai).

Along the approachway inside the shrine such items as torii (sacred arches or gateways), Komainu ("Korean Lions"), votive lanterns (tōrō), and purification fonts (temizuya) can be found. Shrine buildings may include distinct structures such as a sanctuary (honden), oratory (haiden), and hall of offerings (heiden).

The symbolic "kami body" (shintai) is usually sequestered inside the remote recesses of the sanctuary. Shintai may include mirrors (kagami), swords, jewels or any of many other items. Following the introduction of Buddhism and its influence, shintai came to include graphic images of kami (shinzō) and the esoteric paintings known as mandara. Natural objects are also occasionally found as shintai; when a mountain is viewed in this role, it is called a shintaizan ("kami-body-mountain").

Aside from the shintai proper, other objects within the shrine precincts may also be viewed as sacred, including "sacred trees," (shinboku or shinju), which are frequently viewed as yorishiro, namely, objects in which kami may lodge and manifest themselves. Some shrines possess large numbers of ritual and art objects with sacred significance (see shinpō). Most are related to the legendary origins of the respective shrine, and they include some items classified as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.

It is not unusual to find multiple smaller shrines within the precincts of a single larger shrine. In addition to the main shrine, others may be subsidiaries called sessha, massha, or edayashiro. On occasion, a shrine complex may be composed of a dual set of shrines having the relation of a main shrine, located on the peak or high on a mountainside, to a facility located at the mountain's foot and provided for "remote worship" (yōhai). In such cases, the remote main shrine is called the yamamiya (mountain shrine) while the closer facility is the satomiya (village shrine).

Read more details HERE
© Encyclopedia of Shinto

Art and Shintoism
Mark Schumacher

Predominant Shrine Types

1.Asama Shrines 浅間 (Mt. Fuji, Easy Childbirth)
2.Benzaiten Shrines 弁財天 (Wealth, Art, Literature, Water)
3.Daikoku - Ebisu Shrines 大黒 & 恵比寿 (Wealth, Prosperity)
4.Ebisu - Daikoku Shrines 大黒 & 恵比寿 (Wealth, Prosperity)
5.Gion Shrines (Protect People Against Evil & Epidemics)
6.Goryō Shrines 御霊神社 (Appease Dead Souls & Angry Spirits)
7.Hachiman Shrines 八幡宮 (Warriors, Archery)
8.Hakusan Shrines 白山神社 (Mountain worship, ascetic practices)
9.Hie Shrines 日吉 (Monkey, Happy Marriage, Kids, Syncretism)

10.Hitohira Shrines (Kotohira) 琴平 (Seafaring, Fishing, Water)
11.Inari Shrines 稲荷 (Rice, Fox, Agriculture)
12.Ise Shrines 伊勢神宮 (State Shintō, Amaterasu)
13.Izumo Taisha 出雲大社 (Happy Marriage, Medicine)
14.Jingū Shrines (State Shintō, Amaterasu)
15.Kasuga Shrines 春日大社 (Fujiwara Clan; Syncretism)
16.Komagata Shrines 駒形 (Devoted to the gods and goddesses of horses)
17.Konpira Shrines 金比羅 (Seafaring, Navigation, Fishing)
18.Kotohira Shrines 金刀比羅宮 (Seafaring, Fishing, Water)
19.Kumano Sanzan 熊野三山 (Syncretism, Sacred Mountains)

20.Mikumari Myōjin Shrines 子守明神 (Children, Rain)
21.Munakata Shrines 宗像 (Safety at sea, bountiful fishing,
island and water kami)
22.Sengen Shrines 浅間 (Children, Easy Childbirth)
23.Shirahata Shrines 白旗 (Genji clan, Minamoto clan, warriors, war)
24.Shirayama Shrines 白山神社 (Mountain worship, ascetic practices, syncretism)
25.Shugendō Sites (Mt. Ōmine region, ascetic practices)
26.Sōja Shrines 総社 (Consolidated, multiple deities)
27.Suitengū Shrines 水天宮 (Water, Fertility)
28.Sumiyoshi Shrines 住吉 (Hachiman, Wars on the Sea, Sailors)
29.Tendai Sannō Shrines 天台山王 (Monkey, Fertility, Syncretism)

30.Tenjin Shrines 天神 (Deified People)
31.Ujigami Shrines 氏神 (Clan Specific)
32.Yakumo (Yagumo) Shrines 八雲神社 (Health, Sickness, Epidemics)
33.Yasaka Shrines 八坂神社 (Health, Sickness, Epidemics)
34.Yasukuni Shrine 靖國神社 (War Dead)

source : Mark Schumacher


My local Shrine ...Wadakita Hachiman Shrine (Ichi no Miya) 

Gabi Greve


Yama no Sachi -
the Gods make merry
and multiply

Yamasachihiko 山幸彦 - Hikohohodemi no mikoto 彦火火出見尊
and Toyotama-hime 豊玉姫
at the Wakasa Wedding
. WKD : Umi no Sachi .

Notes on the Shinto Tradition and Haiku

Blyth, vol. 1 of Haiku:

The relation of Shinto to haiku is a vital one, but owing to the obscurity of the nature of Shinto it is difficult to write clearly on the subject. With Shinto and its boring and repulsive mythology, haiku has little to do, directly or indirectly, but primitive, or crude Shinto, which still persists throughout Japan, both expresses the national character and affects it. As far as it concerns haiku, there are two aspects of this Shinto which we must describe, animism and simplicity.

Joan Giroux on the subject:

The communal aspects of Shinto did dovetail nicely with the utopian theories of Confucianism. But the Shinto word 'kami' (translated into English by 'gods') really indicates the animism which is the essence of Shinto. Animism is a primitive belief which endows even inanimate things with both life and spirit to explain two phenomena: first, the difference between a living man and a corpse (described as caused by the disappearance of life from the body), and secondly, the existence of dreams (explained as the ability of the spirit to move about.)
Shinto, with its belief in the many 'kami' or minor deities of mountains, streams and trees, is a religion of nature worship. This fact is reflected in the large part played by nature in Japanese haiku.
source : www.thehaikufoundation.org

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


. Shrines visited by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - .

. Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 visiting shrines .


ko yashiro ya o o hikkakete yuu kigisu

this little shrine -
a pheasant drags its tail
in the evening

Kobayashi Issa


miya suzushi baba wa kami o katari-ori

coolness in the shrine -
an old woman
talks about God

Kuehle im Schrein -
ein altes Weib
redet von Gott

Gabi Greve


first shrine visit -
only the sound of
snow melting

Look at my local shrine in Ohaga, Japan
Gabi Greve


old Shinto shrine -
amongst cedar trees
too many leaves fallen

Look at the situation after a typhoon ...
Gabi Greve

Related words

***** . Shrine festivals and Kigo  
Saijiki of Japanese Festivals, Events and Ceremonies

. Introducing Temples and Shrines of Japan - BLOG .

***** Temple (tera) and Haiku - Introduction

***** . Roadside Sanctuary (tsujidoo 辻堂)

***** . Ryuu Jinja 龍神社 Ryu Jinja "Dragon Shrine" .
The Dragon Shrines of Japan





Gabi Greve said...

akikusa o/gotta ni tsukane/sonae keri

putting autumn flowers
into a rough bundle, I offered them
to the shrine

Kubota Mantaroo

Tr. Susumu Takiguchi

Anonymous said...

green shinto

Green Shinto is a blog by John Dougill operating out of Kyoto, Japan, which is dedicated to the promotion of an open, international and environmental Shinto. It seeks to celebrate the rich heritage of the tradition, from sacred rocks and shamanistic roots to bawdy myths and fertility festivals. It believes Shinto to be essentially diverse, localised and community oriented. It looks to a Shinto free of borders, liberated from its past to meet the demands of a new age.
It looks in short to a Shinto that is green in deed as well as in word.



Gabi Greve said...

The Invention of Religion in Japan
Jason Ananda Josephson

Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call "religion." There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ānanda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed.

More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson's account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of "superstitions" -- and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance.

Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today.

This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.

Gabi Greve said...

hokora, hokura, shi 祠 (叢祠 神庫) small shrine


Gabi Greve - WKD said...

massha 末社 - sessha 摂社 - subordinate shrines

sessha 摂社 "auxiliary shrine" - - - massha 末社 "branch shrine"
setsumatsusha, setsu matsu sha 摂末社

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

shaden 社殿 main Shrine building

and haiku

Gabi Greve said...

Images of Shinto:
A Beginner's Pictorial Guide
Encyclopedia of Shinto



Gabi Greve said...

The shrine with the longest name in Japan

Asukakawakaminiimasuusutakimikoto Jinja

Nara-ken, Takaichi-gun, Asuka-mura, Inabuchi, 698