Twenty-Two Shrines

Twenty-Two Shrines

Twenty-Two Shrines

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The of Japan is one ranking system for Shinto shrines. The system was established during the Heian period. The shrines listed below receive special offerings from the Imperial Court. Most were selected from shrines that were in the immediate vicinity of Kyoto, the capital of Japan at the time.Grapard, Allan. History of Religions, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Feb., 1988), pp. 246-269.


Under the Ritsuryō law system, the shrines that the Imperial Court would present offerings to for rites such as the kinensai (祈年祭), a service to pray for a good harvest, were mostly decided by the , but once the Ritsuryō system began to deteriorate, the offerings were only given to a select few shrines.

In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were presented to 16 shrines: 1. Ise; 2. Iwashimizu; 3. Kamo; 4. Matsunoo; 5. Hirano; 6. Inari; 7. Kasuga; 8. Oharano; 9. Miwa; 10: Isonokami; 11. Ōyamato; 12. Hirose; 13. Tatsuta; 14. Sumiyoshi; 15. Nibu and 16. Kibune.Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1962). Studies in Shinto and Shrines, pp. 116-117.

In 991, Emperor Ichijō added three more shrines to Murakami's list—17. Yoshida; 18. Hirota; and 19. Kitano; and two more were added three years later in 994;—20. Umenomiya; and 21. Gion.Ponsonby-Fane, Shrines, p. 118.

In 1039,......
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