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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Shrine Architecture
A shrine observing rituals at which an imperial envoy (chokushi) participates and presents offerings; officially known as a chokushi sankō no jinja ("shrine attended by imperial envoy"). Shrines entitled to chokusai status have existed since ancient times, as typified by the Heian-period system of "twenty-two shrines"; a shrine officially designated as chokusaisha in the modern period is the Hikawa Shrine in Ōmiya (designated in the tenth month of 1868). Other shrines treated as chokusaisha in the early Meiji period include imperially endowed shrines (kanpeisha) of the old twenty-two shrine system, and shrines among Tokyo's "twelve major shrines" such as the Hie Shrine (which had been earlier viewed as quasi-chokusaisha), but these are unrelated to imperial envoy shrines as currently defined. Of those shrines that continue today to receive envoys as chokusaisha, the first were the Kamo Mioya Jinja and Kamo Wakeikazuchi Jinja for their festival of Kamo-sai, and the Iwashimizu (Otokoyama) Hachimangū for its festival of Iwashimizu-sai. These two were officially selected in 1883, while shrines thereafter designated as chokusaisha included the Kasuga Shrine, (Nara), Hikawa Jinja (Ōmiya, Saitama), Atsuta Jingū (Nagoya), Kashihara Jingū (Kashihara, Nara), Izumo Taisha (Shimane), Meiji Jingū (Tokyo), Chōsen Jingū (Seoul), Yasugkuni Jinja (Tokyo), Usa Jingū (Usa, Kyushu), Kashiigū (Fukuoka), Kashima Jingū (Ibaraki), Katori Jingū (Sahara, Chiba), Heian Jingū (Kyoto), and Ōmi Jingū (Ōtsu). Today, sixteen shrines are treated as chokusaisha, namely all of the above shrines with the exception of Chōsen Jingū, which was dismantled following World War II. Of these sixteen shrines, Usa Jingū and Kashiigū receive chokushi offerings once every ten years, Kashima Jingū and Katori Jingū once every six years, while the Kasukuni Shrine receives chokushi offerings twice annually on the occasion of its major festivals (taisai). See also chokusai.

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