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Home » 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices » The Emperor
Kyūchū sanden
(Inner Sanctuary of the Imperial Palace)
Kyūchū sanden (Inner Sanctuary) refers to the three Imperial Palace buildings located in the southeastern part of Fukiage Park (Fukiage Gyōen): the Kashiko-dokoro ("Place of Awe"), the Kōrei-den ("Pavilion of the Imperial Ancestral Spirits"), and the Shin-den ("Kami Pavilion"). The Kashiko-dokoro houses the sacred mirror of the Imperial ancestor Amaterasu Daijin; the Kōrei-den houses the spirits of the Emperors and Imperial family; and the Shin-den is where the Tenjinchigi are worshipped. Out of these three structures, the Kashiko-dokoro — also known as the naiji-dokoro or the unmei-den — has been a site of worship from antiquity. The Kōrei-den and the Shin-den, however, were moved to the Imperial grounds during the restructuring of Imperial rites in the wake of the Meiji Restoration. The Kōrei-den, which had been part of the jingikan shinden (established in December 1869), was moved onto the Imperial grounds in September 1871. At this time it was known as the "Kōbyō," and also included the Kashiko-dokoro. Originally, only the earliest Emperors were worshipped at the Kōrei-den, but, in 1878, all members of the imperial family were included. With the abolishment of the Department of Shinto Affairs (Jingishō) in March 1872, the tenjinchigi and hasshin (eight kami) that had been worshipped in the jingikan and Jingishō hasshinden (Pavilion of the eight kami) were moved onto the Imperial grounds. In this same year, the tenjinchigi and hasshin were amalgamated into the Shin-den. With this, the basic structure of the current Inner Sanctuary was established. In June 1873, however, due to a fire on the Imperial grounds, these buildings were moved to the temporary Imperial grounds located in Akasaka. In January 1889, with the completion of the new buildings on the current Imperial grounds, these three structures were moved to their current location.

— Sakamoto Koremaru
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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