Imperial sword, jewel taken to Ise Shrines
Japan News March 25, 2014 (The Yomiuri Shimbun)
The Emperor and Empress arrived at the Ise Grand Shrines in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on Tuesday afternoon with the sacred sword and jewel of the Imperial family.
The Imperial couple is making a private visit to the shrines where the Shikinen Sengu renewal ceremony was held last year. The Shikinen Sengu is a series of events held once every 20 years to transfer deities to newly constructed shrine buildings.
It was the first time that the sacred sword and jewel have been brought out of the Imperial Palace since the couple visited the shrines after the previous Shikinen Sengu 20 years ago.
The sword, Kusanagi no Tsurugi, the comma-shaped jewel, Yasakani no Magatama and the mirror, Yata no Kagami constitute the three sacred treasures of the Imperial family. The first two treasures taken together are referred to as Kenji, meaning sword and jewel.
The Emperor and Empress are scheduled to visit Geku, the outer shrine, and Naiku, the inner shrine, at the Ise Grand Shrines on Wednesday, and to return to Tokyo on Friday.