betsuguu 別宮
KEY WORD : architecture / shrines
Also bessha 別社, edamiya 枝宮 or edayashiro 枝社.

A god is enshrined or venerated as being especially honorable among the governed *sessha 摂社. The building that enshrines the god is usually a branch shrine usually located at some distance from the main shrine. If it is built outside the precincts of the main shrine, it is called *keigaisha 境外社; if within the boundaries, it is called *keidaisha 境内社. Betsuguu is very similar in meaning to sessha, ranked between a main shrine and a lower ranked shrine--a *massha 末社, shinguu 新宮 (new shrine), or imamiya 今宮 (present day shrine)--but all refer basically to a branch shrine. There are many betsuguu with fourteen at Ise Jinguu 伊勢神宮, and ten at Koutai Jinguu 皇大神宮. These so-called subordinate shrines receive gifts from the government as do the main shrines. The most revered shrines are reconstructed at regular intervals. Ise Jinguu, for example, is reconstructed every twenty years. This custom is called shikinen senguu 式年遷宮. Such shrines are dedicated to the ancestors of the emperors who are enshrined as gods. Shrines are also situated at the site where an emperor was born. Examples: Ujikami Jinja Keidaisha 宇治上神社境内社, Kasuga Jinja Honden 春日神社本殿 (13c) in Kyoto and Futarasan Jinja Betsuguu Motomiya Jinja 二荒山神社別宮本宮神社 (17-18c) in Tochigi prefecture.


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