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Shrine of Ise

The Grand Shrine of Ise, one of the most prominent Shinto shrines in Japan, was first constructed 1,300 years ago — although the present buildings are not the originals. Not by a long shot. Every 20 years, for the last 1,300 years, the shrine complex has been ritually burned to the ground, then rebuilt in an exact replica of the original. Certain sacred objects are removed from the shrine first, but the building itself is destroyed.

The Japanese value the symbolism of replanting the seed of their faith in each new generation.