The Ritual Ceremonies of the Imperial Palace

Spring Ceremony of Koreiden and Shinden (Imperial Palace Sanctuary) (March 2009)

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress faithfully observe the time-honored traditions and rites of the Imperial Court, and continually pray for the prosperity of the people of Japan in almost 20 ceremonies and events held throughout the year. Other members of the Imperial Family also honor and observe the traditions and rites of the Imperial Court.

The Imperial Palace Sanctuaries

These refer to the Kashikodokoro, Koreiden and Shinden in the Imperial Palace.

Kashikodokoro

Enshrines the Imperial Ancestor Amaterasu-omikami (Sun goddess).

Koreiden

Houses the departed souls of the successive Emperors and Imperial Families, who are enshrined one year after they have passed away.

Shinden

Enshrines various Japanese gods from throughout the country.

The Imperial Palace Sanctuaries house the Shinkaden, Kagurasha, Ryoukiden, Sougakusha, Akusha and other buildings.

Ceremonies

Taisai (Grand ceremonies)

His Majesty the Emperor presides over the ceremonies himself and delivers a special address Otsugebumi.

Shousai (Minor ceremonies)

Grand Master of the Division of Rituals presides over the ceremonies, during which His Majesty the Emperor offers prayers of worship.

Shunsai (Regular ceremonies)

Grand Master of the Division of Rituals presides over the ceremonies held on the 1st, 11th and 21st day of each month. In principle, His Majesty the Emperor offers prayers of worship at the ceremony held on the 1st of each month.

Shouten-shoku (the Division of Rituals)

Shouten-shoku (the Division of Rituals) is the inner-court organization apart from the Imperial Household Agency as the national government organization. It is responsible for the Ritual Ceremonies of the Imperial Family.

Under the administration of the Grand Master of the Division of Rituals are the Vice-Grand Master of the Division of Rituals, Master of the Division of Rituals, Female Master of the Division of Rituals and others.