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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Objects of Worship and Shrine Treasures
Shintai
A physical object serving as an object of worship at shrines, and in which the spirit of the kami is believed to reside. Those used in Shrine Shinto (Jinja Shintō) are frequently called mitamashiro. Shintai are typically mirrors, swords, and jewels, although ritual wands (gohei) and sculptures of kami (shinzō) are also found, and in some cases natural objects such as stones, mountains, and waterfalls may also serve as shintai. The term shintai has been used since the mid-Heian period and is found in such works as Iroha jirui kagami and Shaku Nihongi. Related terms indicating objects inhabited by the spirits of kami include kami no mikata, found in the Saikaidō fudoki itsubun (extant excerpts of ancient gazetteers from the western provinces), and mikatachi, found in Kōtai Jingū gishikichō. In the medieval work Hyakurenshō, the terms shōtai and gyotai were also used as synonyms.

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