shamusho 社務所
KEY WORD : architecture / shrines
A group of administrative and sometimes commercial buildings at a Shinto Shrine. In ancient times each shrine was relatively independent and each had its own special organization, and thus the administrative system among shrine officials and priests differed. No distinction was made between public and private affairs and business was frequently carried on at the private home of the administrator, keieisha 経宮者, especially at small shrines. At large shrines, a building that corresponded in some respects to the shamusho was called *mandokoro 政所 or chousha 庁舎. From the latter part of the 19c, shrines were organized more and more into specific ranks. The shamusho was recognized as an important element for establishing a proper relationship with the public. The buildings included administrative offices, quarters for visiting officials, servants koshi 小使, and a storeroom, etc. In the largest shrines, rooms for ceremonies and facilities for preparing and selling amulets and cards, etc. were added. No particular architectural style has been prescribed for the shamusho. Today at Ise Jinguu 伊勢神宮 in Mie prefecture, such offices are called jinguu shichou 神宮司庁 and at Atsuta Jinguu 熱田神宮, in Aichi prefecture, guuchou 宮庁.


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