Ritual held to build shrines for emperor's succession ceremonies
Japan Today -- Jul 27
Japan held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday at the imperial palace, where Shinto priests prayed for safe and successful construction of a pair of shrines for Emperor Naruhito's key succession rituals later this year.

Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 after his father retired. A main ascension ceremony is planned in October, when thousands of guests will be invited, followed by a religious harvest rite in November.

Five Shinto priests offered sake, rice and neatly folded silk fabric and prayed as traditional gagaku music played. Senior officials from the Imperial Household Agency and construction company Shimizu Corp watched.

The planned 957 million yen ($8.8 million) shrines, which are to be demolished later, will be the site of Naruhito's first Daijosai, or the Great Thanksgiving, ritual on Nov 14-15. Daijosai is the first harvest ritual that a new emperor performs. The emperor offers newly cropped rice and other items for the goods, thanking good harvests and peace for the nation.

皇居では26日、即位に伴う伝統儀式で11月に行われる「大嘗祭(だいじょうさい)」に向け、会場として設営される大嘗宮の地鎮祭が行われました。 地鎮祭は皇居の東御苑で午前10時ごろから1時間半にわたって行われました。大嘗宮は大嘗祭の中心儀式「大嘗宮の儀」の会場として建てられる神殿です。今回の大嘗宮の儀は11月14日夕方から夜を徹して行われ、天皇陛下は中で国の安寧を祈られます。地鎮祭では儀式を執り行う掌典が陛下が祈られる予定地の四隅を塩や酒で清め、絹織物などを地中に埋めて今後に始まる工事の安全を祈願しました。なお、大嘗宮の設営は清水建設が予定価格の約6割で請け負っています。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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