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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Shrine Architecture
Betsugū
Literally, "detached shrine" or "separate shrine." An auxiliary shrine existing in a main-branch relationship to its central or main shrine (honsha, hongū ). Also called bessha. In practice, a detached shrine and its main shrine may be related in a variety of ways, but in principle the relationship is similar to that of a main shrine to other kinds of auxiliary shrines such as imamiya, shingū , sessha and massha. A detached shrine may be located either within the same precincts as the main shrine with which it is associated, or removed at a considerable distance. Typical examples of betsugū include those associated with the shrines Iwashimizu Hachimangū and the Grand Shrines of Ise. During the medieval period, Iwashimizu possessed "divine estates" (shinryō) throughout Japan; branch shrines of Iwashimizu that were dedicated (see kanjō) at those estates and thus became local tutelaries (chinju no kami) came to be known as betsugū of Iwashimizu. The Grand Shrines of Ise are known for the ten betsugū of the Inner Shrine (Naikū) and the four of the Outer Shrine (Gekū); these detached shrines possess a unique relationship to the rituals or objects of worship (saijin) of the main shrines, and are thus given the title of (originally a "palace," a term reserved for shrines of particularly high status). Their special status is also reflected in the fact that they celebrate a rebuilding each twenty years in the same manner as the regular removals (shikinen sengū ) of the main shrines. In addition to these usages, the term betsugū is also given to one of the temporary festival shrines (otabisho) utilized during festivals at the shrine Yasaka Jinja in Kyoto.

-Inoue Nobutaka
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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