Kirishima Jingu Shrine Designated a National Treasure
Kirishima Jingu Shrine’s Main Hall, Shinden Hall and Worship Hall were designated national treasures by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on February 9, 2022. This marks the first time a cultural asset in Kagoshima Prefecture has received a national treasure designation for its architecture.
Located in Kirishima City, Kirishima Jingu Shrine sits on a slope on the hillside of Mt. Kirishima, its buildings facing the summit of Mt. Takachiho. The current shrine was built in 1715 by the feudal lord of the then-Kagoshima domain.
In bestowing the recognition, the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs praised the composition of the shrine buildings, which takes advantage of the difference in elevation, and the stunning decorations throughout the shrine complex. In front of the main shrine are ryubashira (dragons carved into pillars), which are known as “dragon pillars” and are unique to southern Kyushu. Their presence shows the influence of East Asian cultures such as Ryukyu and China at that time.