J. K. Mauro Pierconti

Sengu. La ricostruzione del Santuario di Ise Il Giappone millenario fotografato da Miyazawa Masaaki

photographs by Miyazawa Masaaki

Sengu. La ricostruzione del Santuario di Ise

€ 69,00

This book illustrates the 62nd reconstruction of the Ise Shrine, presented outside Japan for the first time. The Shrine stands south of Tokyoand is the most symbolic Shinto temple in Japanese culture, not simply for its age but also because the Imperial family is said to be directly descended from the Sun goddess Amaterasu who resides there. The Shrine has therefore been ritually rebuilt every 20 years since 690 AD under Imperial instruction. The reconstruction process is called Shikinen Sengū and was completed for the 62nd time in the autumn of 2013. The construction aspect is inextricably bound to the religious weight of the Shrine, prompting the many questions that never cease to occupy curious minds as to its historical and holy meaning, the age-old building methods still adopted and its legendary origin. Other ancient Japanese temples have been rebuilt periodically but none to date with the same obsessive devotion that has, in the case of the Ise Shrine, been coupled with major uniformity of design. No other reconstruction requires such a complex ritual, marked along the way by a long sequence of religious ceremonies, recorded in the photographs herein – such that it takes eight years to complete.

Even the production of this book required special attention and its format and both graphic and physical design stem from a desire to adhere as closely as possible to the requests and needs expressed by the Shrine authorities. In the Shinto vision, even photographs portraying the sacred contain part of its holiness and become inseparable from it.

The sense of renewal experienced by all Japanese society through the rebuilding of the Ise Shrine instils hope and strength for the future thanks to an ability, for us too, to be reborn in the fullness of life.

hardcover with dust jacket
Year of publication