The sanshu no jingi, or Imperial Regalia (right) are holy relics which appear in Japan's Ancient Myths. They are the symbols of the legitimacy and authority of the emperor.
In order of importance, they consist of the sacred mirror (yata no kagami, stored at Ise Shrine), the sacred sword (kusanagi no tsurugi, stored at Atsuta Jingu shrine in Nagoya) and the curved jewels (yasakani no magatama, kept at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo). The original sacred sword was lost at the famous Battle of Dannoura in 1185.
According to the myth, the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami was driven to hide herself in a cave by the boisterous behaviour of her younger brother, Susanoo no Mikoto, god of the oceans. The sacred mirror was used to lure her from her hiding place. When she emerged, the deities of heaven presented her with the sacred jewels. The sword was removed from the tail of a serpent by Susanoo and presented to his sister as a sign of his submission.
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