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imibiyaden@Šõ‰Î‰®“a
KEY WORD :@architecture / shrines
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Lit. pure fire hall. A hall for the preparation of food to be offered to the gods at Ise Jingu ˆÉ¨_‹{. The character Šõ imi is usually associated with mourning, taboo or misfortune. However, a lesser known meaning used here entails keeping one's mind and body pure. Thus, the food ingredients prepared in the imibiyaden must be of utmost purity. The water is drawn from a sacred well and the fire is made in the ancient way i.e., by rubbing two sticks together. At Ise Jinguu the fire is ignited every night and morning by twisting a stick of wild loquat against small blocks of cypress with an implement called mihikirigu Œä‰Îès‹ï. The high priest who prepares the "pure fire" is secluded while performing the ritual (see *sanrousho ŽQâďŠ). This ritual is also performed in the Imperial Palace prior to important ceremonies like the rice tasting ceremony, niinamesai V¦Õ, when the Emperor offers the newly harvested rice to the gods and then eats a little himself.
There are imibiyaden in both the Naikuu “à‹{ and Gekuu ŠO‹{ at Ise. The Naikuu imibiyaden is located west of the Daikuu-in ‘å‹{‰@, the most sacred area in the shrine, and faces south. According to a Kamakura period record, the Naikuu imibiyaden was surrounded by a fence and had a Shinto gate *torii ’¹‹ on its south side. The building was four-bays long and roofed with cypress bark *hiwadabuki •O”畘. The eastern half of the interior had an earthen floor while the western half was covered with boards. In the Edo period, it was 818cm long by 455cm wide. The roof was thatched and the fence and torii had disappeared. Before World War II, the roofing was made of thinly cut shingles *kokerabuki Š`•˜.
Nowadays, the imibiyaden is almost three times its former length and considerably wider. The roof is gabled and covered with boards.
The Gekuu imibiyaden is located to the north of the most sacred inner precinct of the Shrine and also faces south. In the Edo period this building measured 909cm by 364cm. Small aisle-like additions *hisashi ›ù were attached to the north and south sides. Only the eastern half, called ousudono Œä‰P“a, was surrounded by a fence. The western half was called either *mikeden Œäéa“a or okamaya Œäâ}‰®. Board roofing was used. Before World War 2, the Gekuu imibiyaden was enlarged by 545cm to 1872cm. Nowadays its gable roof *kirizuma-zukuri ØÈ‘¢ is covered by wide boards and battens. Walls are made of horizontal planks set between the posts which form the framework and support the roof structure. A fence protects the west end of the building. There is an outlet for smoke above, and usually near the second bay from the west end. This gives the structure the appearance of a simple folk dwelling.
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REFERENCES:
*kashigidono †“a; *kamadodono â}“a.
EXTERNAL LINKS: 
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NOTES
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