• Archaeorogy
  • Shinto
  • Kokugakuin Archives

From ancient times, the people of the Japanese islands have conducted rites for the kami or gods
through the use of physical objects that were also spiritually potent and objects of faith—connected
to the kokoro or spiritual life. In this exhibition, we turn to the rites or matsuri that have been
conducted throughout Japan at Shinto shrines (jinja)—the locus of faith. This exhibit makes clear
the ways in which physical objects used at shrines were also objects of faith and connected to the
spirit (kokoro) of Japanese religious life. This exhibition also attempts to uncover the characteristics
of Shinto, a foundation of Japanese culture that takes many forms throughout the archipelago and
over the ages.



  • Sōgyō Hachiman shinzō (Image of Hachiman as monk)

    Edo Period (repaired 1718)
    painter unknown.

    One scroll, paint on silk canvas, h: 81 cm x w: 41 cm, Edo Period (repaired 1718), painter unknown.

    Painting depictin...more

  • Offerings of artificial flowers, Iwashimizu Hachimangu shrine


    Exhibited here are examples of the artificial flower offerings (kyōkashinsen) presented during the Iwashimizu Festival (Iw...more

  • Wooden statues of male and female deities

    Late Muromachi period

    Wooden statue pair, featuring a male deity (danshin) 60 cm long and a female deity (joshin) 47 cm long. The names of the deities ar...more

  • Illustrated scroll of annual events [Nenjū gyōji emaki Gion goryō-e],

    Late Edo period (18th-19th century)

    Illustrated scroll depicting Gion goryō-e held at Gion Shrine (present-day Yasaka Shrine) in Kyoto. This festival is known to...more

  • Altar for Yoshida shinto goma rite


    The alter for goma rites is used for performing the fire ceremony in Yoshida Shintō. The altar here is an octagonal piece centere...more

  • Folding screen showing the San’nō festival [San’nō Sairei zu byōbu]

    Edo period

    Folding screen depicting the San’nō festival as held at the shrine Hiyoshi Taisha (Ōtsu City, Shiga Prefecture). Hiyoshi Tais...more

  • Archaeorogy
  • Shinto
  • Kokugakuin Archives