Imperial Regalia of Japan
The Imperial Regalia of Japan known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword Kusanagi, the mirror Yata no Kagami, the jewel Yasakani no Magatama. The regalia represent the three primary virtues: valor and benevolence. Due to the legendary status of these items, their locations are not confirmed, but it is thought that the sword is located at the Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, the jewel is located at the Three Palace Sanctuaries in Kōkyo, the mirror is located at the Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture. Since 690, the presentation of these items to the Emperor by the priests at the shrine has been a central element of the enthronement ceremony; this ceremony is not public, these items are by tradition seen only by the Emperor and certain priests. Because of this, no known photographs or drawings exist. Two of the three treasures were last seen during the accession and enthronement of Emperor Akihito in 1989 and 1993, but were shrouded in packages. According to legend, these treasures were brought to earth by Ninigi-no-Mikoto, legendary ancestor of the Japanese imperial line, when his grandmother, the sun goddess Amaterasu, sent him to pacify Japan.
These treasures were said to be passed down to Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan and was Ninigi's great-grandson. Traditionally, they were a symbol of the emperor's divinity as a descendant of Amaterasu, confirming his legitimacy as paramount ruler of Japan; when Amaterasu hid in a cave from her brother Susanoo-no-Mikoto, thus plunging the world in darkness, the goddess Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto hung the mirror and jewels outside the cave and lured her out of the cave, at which point she saw her own reflection and was startled enough that the gods could pull her out of the cave. Susanoo presented the sword Kusanagi to Amaterasu as a token of apology. At the conclusion of the Genpei War in 1185, the eight year-old Emperor Antoku and the Regalia were under the control of the Taira clan, they were present when the Taira were defeated by the rival Minamoto clan at the Battle of Dan-no-ura, fought on boats in the shallow Kanmon Straits. The child-emperor's grandmother threw herself, the boy, the sword and the jewel into the sea to avoid capture.
The mirror was recovered, but according to the main account of the battle, a Minamato soldier who tried to force open the box containing it was struck blind. The jewel was recovered shortly afterwards by divers. There are a number of medieval texts relating to the loss of the sword, which variously contended that a replica was forged afterwards, or that the lost sword itself was a replica or the sword was returned to land by supernatural forces; the possession by the Southern Dynasty of the Imperial Regalia during the Nanboku-chō period in the 14th century has led modern chroniclers to define it as the legitimate dynasty for purposes of regnal names and genealogy. The importance of the Imperial Regalia to Japan is evident from the declarations made by Emperor Hirohito to Kōichi Kido on 25 and 31 July 1945 at the end of World War II, when he ordered the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan to protect them "at all costs"; the phrase "Three Sacred Treasures" is retrospectively applied to durable goods of modern Japan.
During a policy address in 2003 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that during the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, the "three sacred treasures" for durable goods were the washing machine and the black and white television, the automobile, air conditioner, color television set from the mid-1960s to the mid 1970s. Alvin and Heidi Toffler's Powershift use them to symbolize the three kinds of power they distinguish: force and knowledge. Regalia Chrysanthemum Throne Imperial House of Japan Japanese mythology National seals of Japan Order of the Sacred Treasure Shinto Jinnō Shōtōki
East Asian hip-and-gable roof
In East Asian architecture, the hip-and-gable roof consists of a hip roof that slopes down on all four sides and integrates a gable on two opposing sides. It is constructed with two large sloping roof sections in the front and back while each of the two sides is constructed with a smaller roof section; the style has spread across East Asia. The original style and similar styles are found in the traditional architecture of Japan, Vietnam, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Kalmykia, it influenced the style of the bahay na bato of the Philippines. It is known as xiēshān in Chinese, irimoya in Japanese, paljakjibung in Korean. Irimoya arrived from China to Japan in the 6th century; the style was used in the main and lecture halls of a Buddhist temple compound. It started to be used for the honden at shrines during the Japanese Middle Ages, its gable is right above the moya, or core, while the hip covers the hisashi, a veranda-like aisle surrounding the core on one or more sides. It is still in wide use in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan, in palaces and folk dwellings.
In the last case, it is called moya-zukuri. In Sri Lanka, a style known as the Kandyan roof bears many similarities to the original East Asian hip-and-gable roof; the Kandyan roof is used for religious, royal buildings. Its roots however lie in the traditions of the "Sri Lankan village". Gablet roof
Ise Grand Shrine
The Ise Grand Shrine, located in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture of Japan, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu. Known as Jingū, Ise Jingū is a shrine complex composed of a large number of Shinto shrines centered on two main shrines, Naikū and Gekū; the Inner Shrine, Naikū, is located in the town of Uji-tachi, south of central Ise, is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu, where she is believed to dwell. The shrine buildings instead joined wood; the Outer Shrine, Gekū, is located about six kilometers from Naikū and dedicated to Toyouke-Ōmikami, the god of agriculture, rice harvest and industry. Besides Naikū and Gekū, there are an additional 123 Shinto shrines in Ise City and the surrounding areas, 91 of them connected to Naikū and 32 to Gekū. Purportedly the home of the Sacred Mirror, the shrine is one of Shinto's holiest and most important sites. Access to both sites is limited, with the common public not allowed beyond sight of the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind four tall wooden fences.
However, tourists are free to roam the forest, including its ornamental walkways after Meiji period. During the Edo period, it is estimated that one out of ten Japanese conducted an Okage Mairi pilgrimage to the shrine. Accordingly, pilgrimage to the shrine flourished in both religious frequency; because the shrine is considered sanctuary, no security checkpoints were conducted, as it was considered sacrilege by the faithful. The two main shrines of Ise are joined by a pilgrimage road that passes through the old entertainment district of Furuichi; the chief priest or priestess of Ise Shrine must come from the Imperial House of Japan and is responsible for watching over the Shrine. The current high priestess of the shrine is Sayako Kuroda. Around the 6th Century CE, the Yamato Court declared their lineage to Amaterasu, which created a connection between the court and Ise Shrine; this declaration of lineage would be a passed belief of the future emperors to come. According to the Nihon Shoki, around 2000 years ago the divine Yamatohime-no-mikoto, daughter of the Emperor Suinin, set out from Mt. Miwa in modern Nara Prefecture in search of a permanent location to worship the goddess Amaterasu, wandering for 20 years through the regions of Ohmi and Mino.
Her search brought her to Ise, in modern Mie Prefecture, where she is said to have established Naikū after hearing the voice of Amaterasu saying " is a secluded and pleasant land. In this land I wish to dwell." Before Yamatohime-no-mikoto's journey, Amaterasu had been worshiped at the imperial residence in Yamato briefly at Kasanui in the eastern Nara basin. When Princess Yamatohime-no-mikoto arrived at the village of Uji-tachi, she set up fifty bells to designate the area as enshrined for the goddess Amaterasu, why the river is called the Isuzu, or "fifty bells". Besides the traditional establishment date of 4 BCE, other dates of the 3rd and 5th centuries have been put forward for the establishment of Naikū and Gekū respectively; the first shrine building at Naikū was erected by Emperor Tenmu, with the first ceremonial rebuilding being carried out by his wife, Empress Jitō, in 692. The shrine was foremost among a group of shrines which became objects of imperial patronage in the early Heian period.
In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered imperial messengers to be sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were presented to 16 shrines including the Ise Shrine. From the late 7th century until the 14th century, the role of chief priestess of Ise Shrine was carried out by a female member of the Imperial House of Japan known as a saiō. According to the Man'yōshū, the first saiō to serve at the shrine was Princess Ōku, daughter of Emperor Tenmu, during the Asuka period. Mention of Ise Shrine's saiō is made in the Aoi and Yugao chapters of The Tale of Genji as well as in the 69th chapter of The Tales of Ise; the saiō system ended during the turmoil of the Nanboku-chō period. During the Empire of Japan and the establishment of State Shinto, the position of chief priest of the Ise Shrine was fulfilled by the reigning emperor and the Meiji, Taisho and Shōwa Emperors all played the role of chief priest during their reigns. Since the disestablishment of State Shinto during the Occupation of Japan, the offices of chief priest and most sacred priestess have been held by former members of the imperial family or their descendants.
The current chief priest of the shrine is adoptive son of Takatsukasa Kazuko. He succeeded Kitashirakawa Michihisa, a great-grandson of Emperor Meiji, in 2007. Takatsukasa Kazuko was succeeded by Ikeda Atsuko. In 2012, Ikeda was joined by her niece Sayako Kuroda, sole daughter of reigning Emperor Akihito, to serve as a high priestess under her. On 19 June 2017, Sayako replaced her aunt as supreme priestess; the architectural style of the Ise shrine is known as shinmei-zukuri, characterized by extreme simplicity and antiquity: its basic principles date back to the Kofun period. The shrine buildings use a special variant of this style called Yuitsu-shinmei-zukuri, which may not be used in the construction of any other shrine. Yuitsu-shinmei-zukuri style mimics the architectural features of early rice granaries; the old shrines are dismantled and new ones built on an adjacent site to exacting specifications every 20 years at exorbitant expense, so that the buildings will be forever new and forever ancient and original.
The present buildings, dating from 2013, are the 62nd iteration to date and
In Japan a tōrō is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China. In Japan, tōrō were used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were considered an offering to Buddha. During the Heian period, they started being used in Shinto shrines and private homes; the oldest extant bronze and stone lanterns can be found in Nara. Taima-dera has a stone lantern built during the Nara period, while Kasuga-taisha has one of the following Heian period. During the Azuchi-Momoyama period stone lanterns were popularized by tea masters, who used them as a decoration in their gardens. Soon they started to develop new types according to the need. In modern gardens they have a purely ornamental function and are laid along paths, near water, or next to a building. Tōrō can be classified in two main types, the tsuri-dōrō, which hang from the eaves of a roof, the dai-dōrō used in gardens and along the approach of a shrine or temple.
The two most common types of dai-dōrō are the bronze lantern and the stone lantern, which look like hanging lanterns laid to rest on a pedestal. In its complete, original form, like the gorintō and the pagoda the dai-dōrō represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology; the bottom-most piece, touching the ground, represents the earth. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form. Called kaitomoshi, tsuri-dōrō hanging lanterns are small, four- or six-sided and made in metal, copper or wood, they were introduced from China via Korea during the Nara period and were used in Imperial palaces. Bronze lanterns, or kondō-dōrō have a long history in Japan, but are not as common or as diverse as the stone ones. In their classic form they are divided in sections that represent the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. For details on the structure of one of these lanterns, see the following section, Stone lanterns. Many have been designated as Cultural Properties of Japan by the Japanese government.
The one in front of Tōdai-ji's Daibutsuden for example has been declared a National Treasure. Kōfuku-ji has in its museum one built in 816 and, a National Treasure. A dai-dōrō is most made of stone, in that case it is called ishi-dōrō; the traditional components of a stone lantern are, from top to bottom:Hōju or hōshu The onion-shaped part at the top of the finial. Ukebana The lotus-shaped support of the hōshu. Kasa A conical or pyramidal umbrella covering the fire box; the corners may curl upwards to form the so-called warabide. Hibukuro The fire box where the fire is lit. Chūdai The platform for the fire box. Sao The post oriented vertically and either circular or square in cross-section with a corresponding "belt" near its middle. Kiso The base rounded or hexagonal, absent in a buried lantern. Kidan A variously shaped slab of rock sometimes present under the base; as mentioned, the lantern's structure is meant to symbolize the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. With the sole exception of the fire box, any parts may be absent.
For example, an oki-dōrō, or movable lantern lacks a post, rests directly on the ground. It may lack an umbrella. Stone lanterns can be classified in each possessing numerous variants. Tachidōrō, or pedestal lanterns, are the most common; the base is always present and the fire box is decorated with carvings of deer or peonies. More than 20 subtypes exist; the following are among the most common. Kasuga-dōrō Named after Kasuga-taisha, it is common at both temples and shrines; the umbrella has either six or eight sides with warabite at the corners. The fire box is either square with carvings representing deer, the sun or the moon. Tall and thin, it is found near the second torii of a shrine. Yūnoki-dōrō The second oldest stone lantern in Japan, found at Kasuga Shrine, is a yūnoki-dōrō or citron tree stone lantern; this style goes back to at least as the Heian period. The post has rings carved at the bottom and top, the hexagonal base and middle platform are carved with lotuses; the umbrella has neither warabite nor an ukebana.
The yunoki seems to stem from a citron tree. This type of lantern became popular in tea house gardens during the Edo Period. Ikekomi-dōrō, or buried lanterns, are moderately sized lanterns whose post does not rest on a base, but goes directly into the ground; because of their modest size, they are used at stone basins in gardens. The foll
Katsuogi or Kasoegi are short, decorative logs found on Japanese and Shinto architecture. They are placed at a right angle along the ridge of roofs, are featured in religious or imperial architecture. Katsuogi predate Buddhist is an architectural element endemic to Japan, they are placed on the roof with chigi, a forked ornamentation used on Shinto shrines. Today and chigi are used on Shinto buildings and can be used to distinguish them from other religious structures, such as Buddhist temples in Japan; the original purpose of the katsuogi is uncertain. A theory is that the wooden logs were used to weigh down the thatch roofing seen in early Japanese structures; as construction techniques improved, the need for weights disappeared, the logs remained only for ornamental value. Their existence during the Jōmon period is in any case well documented by numerous artifacts. Like the chigi, the katsuogi was reserved only for the powerful nobility, it was first described in the Kojiki, a 7th-century Japanese text, where it seemed to be something accessible only to the emperor.
In the excerpt, Emperor Yūryaku sees an official's house laden with katsuogi on the roof. Angered by this, he pronounces the official a knave and a scoundrel for building a house in imitation of the imperial palace. In history, emperors granted families such as the Nakatomi clan and the Mononobe clan permission to use katsuogi on their houses; as these clans were fervent supporters and administrators of Shinto, the katsuogi would come to decorate Shinto shrines. By the 6th century, katsuogi were beginning to be used on the homes of powerful families, along with chigi. After the Meiji restoration their use in new shrines was limited to the honden; the katsuogi is a short, rounded log. Most are round, although square or diamond shapes have been used; some are carved with tapered ends. More ornate katsuogi will be covered in gold or bronze, decorated with the clan symbol or motif; the number of katsuogi used on any given roof varies, but in general there is always at least one on each end. Earlier buildings tend to employ more katsuogi.
Katsuogi are always used in buildings constructed in the shinmei-zukuri, kasuga-zukuri, sumiyoshi-zukuri, taisha-zukuri styles. They are always paired with the chigi. Chigi Shinto architecture Shinto shrine The Glossary of Shinto for terms concerning Shinto and Shinto architecture
Mon is a generic Japanese term for gate used, either alone or as a suffix, in referring to the many gates used by Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and traditional-style buildings and castles. Unlike gates of secular buildings, most temple and shrine gates are purely symbolic elements of liminality, as they cannot be closed and just mark the transition between the mundane and the sacred. In many cases, for example that of the sanmon, a temple gate has cleansing properties. Gate size is measured in ken, where a ken is the interval between two pillars of a traditional-style building. A temple's rōmon for example can have dimensions from a maximum of 5x2 ken to a more common 3x2 ken, down to one ken; the word is translated in English as "bay" and is better understood as an indication of proportions than as a unit of measurement. Like the temples they belong to, gates can be in the wayō, daibutsuyō, zen ` setchūyō style, they can be named after: Their location, of the omotemon or the karametemon. The deity they house, as the Niōmon, a gate enshrining two gods called Niō in its outer bays.
Their structure or shape, as the nijūmon and the rōmon. Their function, as the sanmon, the most important gate of a Zen or Jōdo temple. Not all such terms are mutually exclusive and the same gate may be called with different names according to the situation. For example, a Niōmon can be called a nijūmon if it has two stories. Different structurally from the others is the toriimon, a two-legged gate in stone or wood associated with Shinto, but common within Japanese Buddhist temples; as prominent a temple as Osaka's Shitennō-ji, founded in 593 by Shōtoku Taishi and the oldest state-built Buddhist temple in the country, has a torii straddling one of its entrances. The origins of the torii are unknown; because the use of symbolic gates is widespread in Asia—such structures can be found for example in India, Thailand and within Nicobarese and Shompen villages—historians believe it may be an imported tradition. It most symbolically marks the entrance of a Shinto shrine. For this reason, it is never closed.
Hakkyakumon or Yatsuashimon – so called because of its eight secondary pillars, which support four main pillars standing under the gate's ridge. It therefore has twelve pillars altogether. Heijūmon – A gate in a wall consisting in just two square posts. Kabukimon – A gate in a wall formed by two square posts and a horizontal beam. Karamon – A gate characterized by a karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are used at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Kōraimon – Used at castles and daimyō residences, it consists of a tiled, gabled roof on two pillars, plus two smaller roofs over the secondary pillars on the rear of the gate. Masugata. A defensive structure consisting in a courtyard along the wall of a castle with two gates set at a square angle, one giving access to the castle and one facing the outside; the external gate is a kōraimon, the internal one a yaguramon. The Sakuradamon at Tokyo's Imperial Palace is such a gate. Munamon – A gate formed by two pillars sustaining a gabled roof.
Similar to a kōraimon, but lacking the roofed secondary pillars. Nagayamon lit. nagaya gate – A nagaya a long house, was a row house where low status samurai used to live, the nagayamon was a gate that allowed traffic from one side of the structure to the other. Nijūmon – A two-storied gate with a pent roof between the two stories. Distinguishable from the similar rōmon for having a pent roof between stories. Niōmon – A gate enshrining in its two outer bays the statues of two warden gods, the Niō. Rōmon – A two-storied, single roofed gate where the second story is inaccessible and offers no usable room. Distinguishable from the similar nijūmon for not having a pent roof between stories. Sanmon – The most important gate of a Japanese Zen Buddhist temple. Used by other schools the Jōdo, its importance notwithstanding, the sanmon is not the first gate of the temple, in fact it stands between the sōmon and the butsuden. Sōmon – the gate at the entrance of a temple, it precedes the bigger and more important sanmon.
Torii – This distinctive symbolic gate is associated with Shinto shrines, however it is common at Buddhist temples too, as most have at least one. Uzumimon – Gates opened in a castle wall; because they were used to connect surfaces at different levels, they looked as if they were buried in the ground. Yaguramon – A gate with a yagura on top. Yakuimon – A gate having no pillars under the ridge of its gabled gate, supported by four pillars at its corners. Yakkyakumon or Yotsuashimon – so called because of its four secondary pillars which support two main pillars standing under the gate's ridge, it therefore has six pillars. Media related to Gates in Japan at Wikimedia Commons
Nakazonae is a Japanese classification of several intercolumnar struts of different origin installed in the intervals between bracket complexes at wooden architectures in East Asia. In origin they were necessary to help support the roof, they remained in use, albeit in a purely decorative role, are typical of the Wayō style. The Zenshūyō style used by Zen temples has instead bracket complexes between posts; the simplest of these struts are the kentozuka composed of a bearing block. Similar to the kentozuka is the fan-shaped strut called minozuka, which can have decorations on the two sides called 笈形 or a collar-like decoration between post and bearing block; the name comes from similar to that of a traditional straw raincoat called mino. A variant of the hijiki or timu is the hana-hijiki, composed by either one or two horizontal series bearing blocks standing over an elaborately carved floral pattern; the 人-shaped dougong warizuka strut consists of a wooden inverted V topped by a bearing block.
The kaerumata or tuofeng was named after its shape. Its origins are not known with certainty. Invented during the 12th century, it became more and more elaborate, to the point where in the Edo period the strut itself would be hidden behind the decorations. Two basic types exist. In the case of the sukashi-kaerumata, the space above and between the frog legs is either empty or carved. In the case of the ita-kaerumata, the space between the legs has disappeared, leaving behind a solid board with an external frog-leg profile