About Shinto Shrines
Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan and Shinto Shrine is the place where gods of spirits representing all the concepts like sun, river, food, trees, etc. Kami resides.
It is believed that we human beings also become kami after our death. People visit the Shinto Shrines in order to pay homage to their ancestors and to celebrate any event or festival. In Japan, you will find thousands of sacred Shinto Shrines.
Shinto Shrines of Japan
Each and every shrine has an object that is defined as sacred and this is what represents the kami. The construction styles of these Shinto Shrines are of huge range and maximum of them are influenced by the Asian architecture. However, some of today’s shrines reflect pure Japanese style of architecture.
Features of Shinto Shrines
Have a look at the major features of these shrines –
- Torii – Symbolic gate marking the entrance to this sacred place.
- Purification Trough – They are found near the entrance and it is believed that their water is used for the purification purpose.
- Komainu – Found on each sides of the entrance, Komainu is a pair of guardian dogs.
- Main and Offering hall – These are either two separate buildings or combined into one depending on the style and architecture of the shrines.
- Omikuji – These are fortune telling slips of paper.
- Ema – These are wooden plates on which people write their wishes and leave them behind in the shrines.
- Shimenawa – Straw rope that marks the boundary of any sacred material especially around sacred stones or trees.
Syonan Shinto Shrine
Syonan Shinto Shrine was founded in the memory of the Japanese soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War. It was built in the year 1942 inside the dense forest of MacRitchie Catchment Area. But, this shrine was demolished by the British forces after their return in the year 1945. Today, you will find only remnants of this shrine. Interestingly, National Heritage Board, in the year 2002 marked the location of this shrine as a historic site.
Description of Syonan Jinja
The design of this popular Japanese Shinto Shrine of Singapore was based on the architecture of Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine. You will be amazed to know about the popular belief behind the location of this shrine. Shinto followers believed that kami live in the nature and that is why it was built in the middle of a dense forest. This shrine was a cylindrical wooden pylon and was 12 meter high. There was a font in front of its entrance which was meant for the visitors. It was necessary for the visitors to cleanse themselves before offering prayers and because of this reason the provision of the font was kept. The remains of this shrine are preserved by the government of Singapore.
Disclaimer: The data provided here is based on the facts and research using available sources. As the data is made available on "as is" basis and subject to change anytime. This website shall not be liable for any discrepancy found in the data on our site and actual figures.