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Crest of the Imperial Chrysanthemum Throne.


Yamatohime (倭比売命 / 倭姫命) was the daughter of Emperor Suinin and Hibasuhime and is creditted with the establishment of the Ise Grand Shrine.1

Apparently there are miraculous tale relating to her birth and she is said to have lived for several hundred years.4

The care of Amaterasu is passed from Toyosukiiribime to Yamatohime. She goes searching for a place to enshrine Amaterasu travelling through Sasahata in Uda, then Mino and finally reaches Ise.1

The Jinnō Shōtōki says she toured the provinces at Amaterasu’s command, further saying she chose the headwaters of the Isuzu River in the Watarai District of Ise in the 26th year, 10th month of Suinin’s reign.2

Here the kami communes with Yamatohime saying she wishes to dwell in Ise and so a shrine was built. When the shrine was first built Amaterasu made a descent from Heaven.1 And so following this the Emperor takes the Sacred Regalia and houses them in the Naiku Shrine here.3

The Jinnō Shōtōki says that she placed the Sword and Mirror into the shrine herself.2

During the establishment of the area it is said she enquired about the area.
Ōtanomikoto, a descendant of Sarudabiko, was the one who told her about the place she chose. He tells her that here there were 50 bells arranged in the shape of the shrine of Heaven, one legend even saying the Jewelled Spear of Heaven was also kept here.

Ōtanomikoto also telling her that these items here had been worshipped for 80,000 years.2


1. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
2. Varley, H.P (1980) “A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa.” New York: Columbia University Press.
3. Ponsonby, F. (1959) “The Imperial House of Japan.” Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society.
4. Chamberlain, B. H. (1932) “Translation of the Kojiki.” Kobe: J.L. Thompson & Co.

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