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The near-completed Syonan Jinja in 1942
|Glossary of Shinto|
Syonan Jinja (Japanese: 昭南神社) was a former Shinto shrine at MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore. Built by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War II, the shrine was destroyed when the British forces re-occupied Singapore. The National Heritage Board declared the site a Historic Site in 2002, although no plans have been made public to develop or to protect the site.
The Syonan Jinja (Light of the South Shrine) was envisioned to be a shrine that commemorated Japanese soldiers who died in the Japanese's conquest of Singapore. Major Yasuji Tamura, commander of the Japanese 5th Division’s Engineers Regiment and the man in charge of the construction of the Syonan Jinja, planned that the Syonan Jinja would be best Shinto shrine in Southern areas of Asia. It was also to be second greatest shrine after the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.
The ruins of Syonan Jinja can still be found in the dense forest of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. These ruins were designated as a historical site by National Heritage Board in 2002. However, the site remains highly inaccessible to the public.
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