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Medieval and Early Modern

§ Outline of institutions and systems of medieval and early modern period

The medieval period was centered on the system, founded in the mid-Heian period, of offerings to the twenty-two shrines of the central imperial court (nijūni-sha), the operation of provincial shrines (ichinomiya/sōja) located throughout the country, and the observance of imperial ritual (...

Ichi no miya / Sōja

Ichinomiya, (literally first shrine) is a shrine occupying the highest rank among the shrines of a province. A sōja is the shrine established in each province which collectively enshrines all of the deities being worshipped at other shrines within the province. Sōja was originally a gener...


The "Agency of the Department of Divinities" (Jingikandai) emerged to carry out a portion of the functions and powers of the archaic Department of Divinities (Jingikan), after these functions underwent a process of reduction and deterioration. Particularly from 1609 onward, the Jingikandai generall...

Jingū tensō

A court post that handles miscellaneous matters involving the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise jingū), including ritual procedures, public ceremonies, and lawsuits. From the Heian period on, agencies were established within the Grand Council of State to process specific administrative duties. Since t...

Magistrate of Temples and Shrines: Medieval (Jisha bugyō)

The term for the system — which existed from the Kamakura to Edo period — and those responsible in the bakufu for supervising Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Along with the general appellation "Magistrate of Temples and Shrines," the term also refers to specially assigned magistrates...

Magistrate of Temples and Shrines: Pre-modern (Jisha bugyō)

The position and Bakufu agency in charge of bureaucratic matters concerning shrines and temples. Under the Kamakura and Muromachi Bakufu magistrates — who were in charge of supervising temple and shrine repairs and prayers and ritual, and solving disputes — were created on an individual b...

Nijūnisha (The 22 Shrines)

Twenty-two shrines (Ise, Iwashimuzu, Kamo, Matsuno-o, Hirano, Inari, Kasuga, Ōharano, Ōmiwa, Isonokami, Ōyamato, Hirose, Tatta, Sumiyoshi, Hie, Umenomiya, Yoshida, Hirota, Gion, Kitano, Niukawakami, Kibune) that received special patronage from the imperial court beginning in the mid-...

Shake bugyō

Within the Murmoachi shogunate, the shake-bugyō was the name of the magistrate office in charge of lawsuits and other issues concerning shrines and shake (which are hereditary families of Shinto priests, also known as shashike). It also referred to the magistrate who filled that office. In the...


A post within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate of Temples and Shrines (Jisha bugyō) in the Tokugawa shogunate, a shintōkata had jurisdiction over matters related to Shintō. In the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate strove to extend control over shrines nationwide and stipulated the...

Shosha negi kannushi hatto

This is an ordinance aimed at all shrines and shrine affiliated priests, pronounced as part of the religion control policy of the Edo Shogunate. The fundamental principles of the shogunate regarding shrines and Shintō priests is shown therein. It was promulgated along with the temple ordinance...

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