the shinto heritage periods of pre‑historic japan jōmon 10,000 b.c.e.‑‑200 b.c.e. yayoi 200 b.c.e.‑‑300 c.e. tumulus 300 c.e.‑‑ca.

The Shinto Heritage
Periods of Pre‑historic Japan
Jōmon 10,000 B.C.E.‑‑200 B.C.E.
Yayoi 200 B.C.E.‑‑300 C.E.
Tumulus 300 C.E.‑‑ca. 600 C.E.
Early Shinto Deities
Amaterasu
Izanami and Izanagi
Ninigi
Susanoo no Mikoto
National Shrines
Ise Shrine, Mie Prefecture
Inner Shrine (naiku), Amaterasu Ōmikami, Sun Goddess, Ancestress of
the Imperial Family
Outer Shrine (geku), Toyouke Ōkami, god of crops
Shrine rebuilt every twenty years at the order of Emperor Temmu (r.
673‑686), last rebuilt in 1993. Houses the mirror.
Izumo Shrine, Shimane Prefecture
Grandson of Susanoo Ōmikami.
Houses the jewel.
Atsuta Shrine, Nagoya city
Houses the sword.
Other Important Shrines
Hyōzu Shrine, Shiga Prefecture
Chinese deity adopted into the pantheon of Japanese kami by immigrants
Iwashimizu Shrine, Kyoto.
Protective shrine of the city. Founded 860. Structure dates to 1632.
Highly syncretic in nature.
Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima
Tutelary shrine of the Taira clan, founded 1168
Kasuga Shrine, Nara
Tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara family. Founded 768. Gate and
corridors date to 1368, honden to 1863. Deer is sacred vehicle of the
clan ancestor.
Kibitsu Shrine, Okayama Prefecture
Local shrine of the region. Founded early Heian Period. Present
structure dates to 1425.
Kitano Shrine, Kyoto
Dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, the patron saint of
letters. Founded 947/960. Present structure dates to 1607
Kumano Shrines, Wakayama Prefecture.
Includes Nachi Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Shrine and Kumano Hongū Shrine.
Dedicated to the deities of the Kii Peninsula. Present structure date
to the late 19th cen.
Tōshōgū Shrine, Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture.
Mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Iemitsu. Built 1634-6.
Usa Shrine, Oita Prefecture
Headquarters of the Hachiman cult. Founded early 8th century. Present
structure dates to 1861.
Terms
dōgū (clay figurine)
dōtaku (metal bell‑shaped ritual instrument)
haniwa (literally "clay ring")
hinoki (Japanese cypress)
kami (indigenous god
kofun (tumulus)
magatama (comma‑shaped jewel)
main hall (honden)
sacred rope (shimenawa)
seat of the god (shinza)
streamers (gohei)
Shinto (the "way" of the gods)
shōden (main sanctuary)
torii (open gateway, symbol of a shrine)
worship hall (haiden)
Suggested Readings
Barnes, Gina. Proto-historic Yamato. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese
Studies, 1988.
Edwards, Walter. "Event and Process in the Founding of Japan: the
Horse-rider Theory in Archaeological Perspective." The Journal of
Japanese Studies, vol. 9, no. 2 (1983).
Egami, Namio. The Beginnings of Japanese Art. Tokyo: Weatherhill,
1973.
Kidder, J.E., jr. Japan Before Buddhism. London: Thames and Hudson,
1959.
Pearson, Richard, ed. Windows on the Japanese Past: Studies in
Archaeology and Prehistory. .Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies,
1986.

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