Ise Grand Shrine - Rebuilding The Shrine

Rebuilding The Shrine

The shrine buildings at Naikū and Gekū, as well as the Uji Bridge, are rebuilt every 20 years as a part of the Shinto belief of the death and renewal of nature and the impermanence of all things — wabi-sabi — and as a way of passing building techniques from one generation to the next. The rebuilding of the main shrine takes place on an adjacent site next to the old, and each rebuilding alternates between the two sites. The next scheduled rebuilding of Naikū is due in 2013 on the lower, northern site.

In the lead-up to the rebuilding of the shrines, a number of festivals are held to mark special events. The Okihiki Festival is held in the spring over two consecutive years and involves people from surrounding towns dragging huge wooden logs through the streets of Ise to Naikū and Gekū. In the lead-up to the 2013 rebuilding, the Okihiki festival was held in 2006 and 2007. A year after the completion of the Okihiki festival, carpenters begin preparing the wood for its eventual use in the Shrine.

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