|Katori Jingū |
The haiden, or prayer hall of Katori Shrine
|Festival||Reisai, Shinkosai (April 14th)|
Shimousa no Kuni
|Location||1697 Katori, Katori|
Chiba Prefecture 287-0017
|Date established||642 BC (traditional)|
|Glossary of Shinto|
The Katori Shrine (香取神宮, Katori Jingū) is a Shintō shrine in the city of Katori in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is the ichinomiya of former Shimōsa Province, and is the head shrine of the approximately 400 Katori shrines around the country (located primarily in the Kantō region).
The main festival of the shrine is held annually on April 14, with a three-day Grand Festival held every 12 years. 
The foundation of Katori Shrine predates the historical period. Per the Hitachi Fudoki, an ancient record and per shrine tradition, it was established in 643 BC, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Jimmu. During this period, the Ō clan (多氏, Ō-shi) migrated from Higo Province in Kyushu, conquering local emishi tribes, and forming an alliance with the nearby Nakatomi clan, the progenitors of the Fujiwara clan at what is now Kashima Jingū.
The Honden of Katori Shrine was traditionally reconstructed every 20 years, similar to the system used at Ise Shrine until the system fell apart during the Sengoku period. The current structure was built in 1700 and is designated as Important Cultural Property.
Katori Shrine holds one National Treasure, the Kaijū Budō Kagami (海獣葡萄鏡), a round cupronickel mirror with a diameter of 29.6 centimeters, and weight of 4.56 kilograms. Probably from Tang Dynasty China, the mirror is decorated with bas-relief flowers, insects and a variety of real and mythological animals. It is almost identical to a mirror held by the Shosoin Treasury in Nara. The mirror itself is preserved at the Nara National Museum.
Furthermore, the shrine also has a ceramic Koseto pair of komainu, standing 17.6 and 17.9 centimeters high. Dating from the Muromachi period, one of these statues was featured on a 250 Yen definitive stamp of Japan. The set of statues is designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Honden (main hall)
- Modern system of ranked Shinto Shrines
- List of Jingū
- List of Shinto shrines
- Iizasa Choisai Ienao
- Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū
- List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts-others)
- Japanese cruiser Katori, the Imperial Japanese Navy light cruiser named after the shrine
- Clark, Timothy (2001). 100 Views of Mount Fuji. Weatherhill Books. ISBN 0-8348-0492-1.
- Plutschow, Herbe. Matsuri: The Festivals of Japan. RoutledgeCurzon (1996) ISBN 1-873410-63-8
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1962). Studies in Shinto and Shrines. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 3994492
- ____________. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887
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