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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Shrine Architecture
Saijō
[Sai jō]
A general term for a ritual site, or any place for the enshrinement of a kami or the performance of ritual worship. At Shinto shrines, the facility may be called either a saijōin or saijōsho, and may be represented by either a permanent or temporary structure. In the case of the ritual Daijōsai or "Grand Festival of Firstfruits" held at the beginning of a new emperor's reign, the term saijō was used to refer to the entire complex of buildings and facilities constructed for the presentation of new grain and other sacred offerings (shinsen), and these structures were immediately dismantled following completion of the rituals.
At the shrine Yoshida Jinja in Kyoto, a facility surrounding the shrine's "great temple of origins" (Daigenkyū) was constructed as a saijōsho, and in the Edo period, this site contained the Hasshinden, a shrine to eight kami for the protection of the imperial person and originally under the aegis of the Ministry of Divinities (Jingikan). The Daigenkyū was an octagonal structure with thatched roof, dedicated to a kami called Daigensonshin (considered the Great kami of Ultimate Origins). Surrounding this central shrine were other shrines dedicated to 3132 kami listed in Engishiki, together with others dedicated to the Inner (Naikū) and Outer (Gekū) shrines of the Grand Shrines of Ise; altogether, this complex represented the central ritual sanctuary for the school of Yoshida Shinto.

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