Ise ē´sā [key], city (1990 pop. 104,164), Mie prefecture, S Honshu, Japan, on Ise Bay. It is one of the foremost religious centers of Shinto, the site of the shrines of Ise. These three shrines, set deep in a forest, are said to have been built in 4 BC They exhibit an archaic style of architecture, completely without Chinese or Buddhist influence until 1868 Buddhist priests and nuns were forbidden to enter the shrines. The Naigu, or Inner Shrine, is dedicated to Amaterasu-o-mikami, the divine ancestress of the imperial family, and still houses the Sacred Mirror, one of the three treasures that comprise the imperial regalia. Ise has a university and several museums of antiquities. Pilgrimages to the shrines support a steady tourism industry. It was called Uji-yamada until 1955.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Japanese Political Geography

Browse by Subject