Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Engishiki (延喜式, "Procedures of the Engi Era") is a Japanese book about laws and customs. The major part of the writing was completed in 927.[1]



In 905, Emperor Daigo ordered the compilation of the Engishiki. Although previous attempts at codification are known to have taken place, neither the Konin nor the Jogan Gishiki[2] survive, making the Engishiki important for early Japanese historical and religious studies.[3]

Fujiwara no Tokihira began the task, but work stalled when he died four years later in 909. His brother Fujiwara no Tadahira continued the work in 912 eventually completing it in 927.[1]

After a number of revisions, the work was used as a basis for reform starting in 967.[citation needed]



The text is 50 volumes in lengths and is organized by department:

Engishiki Jinmyocho


Engishiki Jinmyocho is a part of the Engishiki where the main shrines and gods of Japan are listed.[6]

It is from it that many categorizations of Shinto shrines are found

  • Myojin Taisha (名神大社) ones listed as especially significant.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
  • Shikinai Taisha (式内大社) another class
  • Shikinai Shosha (式內小社) minor shrines listed
  • Shikigeisha (式外社) ones that were ignored by both the Engishiki Jinmyocho and the Rikkokushi
  • Kokushi genzaisha (国史見在社) ones in the Rikkokushi but not the Engishiki.[4][14][15][16]

Myojin Taisha


Myojin Taisha is a high rank of a Shinto shrine.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

These shrines are considered "great shrines" or "taisha" under the ancient system of shrine rankings. Myojin Taisha shrines are found throughout Japan, particularly in the Kyoto-Osaka region, including Yamashiro, Yamato, Ōmi, Mutsu, Tajima, and Kii provinces. There are 224 shrines that enshrine 310 kami listed as Myojin Taisha in the Engishiki Jinmyocho. Additionally, there are 203 shrines with 285 kami listed for Myojinsai or "festivals for famed deities" in book 3 of Engishiki. While most of the shrines in these two listings overlap, there are some differences in names and numbers. There are several theories about these differences, but it is unclear why the lists differ.[7] Myojin Taisha is one of the highest ranks of Shinto shrines.[17]

A related list is the Kokushi genzaisha (国史見在社) which refers to shrines which appear in the Rikkokushi (六国史) but not in the Engishiki[18]

Shikinai Taisha


Shikinai Taisha (式内大社) are shrines that are listed in volumes 9 and 10 of the "Engishiki" as Shinto shrines, also known as Shikinaisha, that are ranked as major shrines. There are 492 of these shrines listed. This category includes both the historical shrines and their modern equivalents. However, shrines that are designated as "Myojin Taisha [ja; simple; zh]" are not included in this category.

Shikinai Shosha


Shikinai Shosha (式內小社) are shrines listed in the Engishiki Jinmyocho as minor shrines.



Shikigeisha (式外社) refers to Shinto shrines that were known to have existed in the early 10th century when the Engishiki Jinmyocho [simple] was being written, but were not included in it.

Shikigeisha, therefore, were considered "off-register" or "unofficial" shrines that were not recognized by the government as official state shrines.

Shikigeisha can be further classified into various categories, including shrines outside the control of the imperial court, those with their own power and influence, shrines that integrated Buddhism into their practices, and shrines managed by Buddhist monks. Additionally, some Shikigeisha lacked proper formal shrine buildings.

Shikigeisha contrast with Shikinaisha which are shrines that were recorded in the Engishiki.

Kokushi genzaisha are a type of Shikigeisha which appear in the Rikkokushi.[4][14][15][16]

Kokushi genzaisha


Kokushi genzaisha (国史見在社) are a type of Shinto shrine. It means a shrine that appears in the Rikkokushi (六国史) but not in the Engishiki Jinmyocho[4][14][15][16]

The Rikkokushi or the Six Official Histories, includes Nihon shoki, Shoku nihongi, Nihon kōki, Shoku nihon kōki, Montoku jitsuroku, and Sandai jitsuroku. They chronicle the mythology and history of Japan from the earliest times to 887.[19] The six histories were written at the imperial court during the 8th and 9th centuries, under order of the Emperors.[20] Kokushi gensaisha are also called kokushi shozaisha or "shrines that appear in the Official Histories". This gives them a high level of historical significance. Some of the shrines listed in the Engishiki Jinmyocho as Myojin Taisha also overlap with the kokushi genzaisha, but the term usually refers to shrines that are only mentioned in the Official Histories.[4]

国史 (Kokushi) means official history, 見在 gensai means appearing and 社 sha means shrine

Shrine lists


These are non-exhaustive lists of shrines of the given categories defined by the Engishiki

List of Myojin Taisha


List of Shikinai Taisha


List of Shikinai Shosha


List of Shikigeisha


List of Kokushi Gensaizha


See also



  1. ^ a b Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Engi-shiki" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 178.
  2. ^ "Jogan Gishiki" in Stuart D. B. Pecken, ed., Historical Dictionary of Shinto. Second edition. (Lanham, MD, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2011) p. 139.
  3. ^ " Engishiki" in Stuart D. B. Pecken, ed., Historical Dictionary of Shinto. Second edition. (Lanham, MD, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inv, 2011) p. 92.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Encyclopedia of Shinto詳細". 國學院大學デジタルミュージアム (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  5. ^ " Engishiki" in Stuart D. B. Pecken, ed., Historical Dictionary of Shinto. Second edition. (Lanham, MD, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2011) p. 92.
  6. ^ "The History of Harima" (PDF). sohsha.jp. Retrieved 28 April 2024.
  7. ^ a b c "Encyclopedia of Shinto詳細". 國學院大學デジタルミュージアム (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  8. ^ a b Watanabe, Yasutada (1974). Shinto Art: Ise and Izumo Shrines. Weatherhill/Heibonsha. ISBN 978-0-8348-1018-1.
  9. ^ a b Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. International Institute for the Study of Religions. 2002.
  10. ^ a b Moerman, David Leo (1999). Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage in Medieval Japan. Stanford University.
  11. ^ a b Matsumoto, Yoshinosuke (1999). The Hotsuma Legends: Paths of the Ancestors. Japan Translation Centre. ISBN 978-4-931326-01-9.
  12. ^ a b Moerman, David Max (2005). Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage and the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan. Harvard University Asia Center. ISBN 978-0-674-01395-7.
  13. ^ a b 国立歴史民俗博物館硏究報告 (in Japanese). 国立歴史民俗博物館. 2008.
  14. ^ a b c "「It,is,Kokushi,genzaisha,shrines,not,listed,in,the,registers,but,mentioned,Six,National,Histories」を使った英語表現・例文・フレーズ|Cheer up! English". Cheer up! English (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  15. ^ a b c "国史見 - Translation into English - examples Japanese | Reverso Context". context.reverso.net. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  16. ^ a b c Grapard, Allan G. (2002). "Shrines Registered in Ancient Japanese Law: Shinto or Not?". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 29 (3/4): 209–232. ISSN 0304-1042. JSTOR 30233722.
  17. ^ "Original History - Ooasahiko Jinja". www.ooasahikojinja.jp. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  18. ^ "Encyclopedia of Shinto詳細". 國學院大學デジタルミュージアム (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  19. ^ Kōdansha, ed. (1983). Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. Kōdansha.
  20. ^ Sakamoto, Tarō; tr. John S. Brownlee (1991). The Six National Histories of Japan. UBC Press, University of Tokyo Press. ISBN 0-7748-0379-7.

Further reading