At the end of the 19th century, the Meiji government created Kindai Shakaku Seido, a system ranking the Shinto shrines according to their ties with the imperial court. The most important were the shrines venerated by the imperial family and the sanctuaries enshrining emperors, imperial family members or very important retainers.
Among them, the imperial shrines were also classified in three levels, the most important rank being the Kanpei-taisha. One of these first rank shrines is the one in today’s photo, the Akama Jingū in Shimonoseki, dedicated to the Emperor Antoku, who lost his life at a very early age during the sea battle of Dan-no-ura, in March 1185.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: