ABOVE: Artist's impression ... definitely NOT the real objects.
In today's blog post ... Why is the trilogy titled "Sword Mirror Jewel"? EXCERPT FROM "THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY":
The Imperial Regalia of Japan (AKA the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, Sanshu no Jingi in Japanese) are three mysterious and extremely powerful objects, each in their own right, and each with a long history. They each represent the three primary virtues: valor (the sword), wisdom (the mirror) and benevolence (the jewels).
The Kusanagi (the sword) was given as a peace offering to Amaterasu, and later given by the Sun Goddess to the warrior Yamato Takeru, to help him subdue the warlords and bandits plaguing the land. Its current resting place is Atsuta Shrine, in Nagoya city.
The Yata no Kagami is the mirror, forged by the Kami, that the Sun Goddess looked into when she opened the door of the cave that she had hid herself in. The Yasakani no Magatama were the jewels placed on the sasaki tree behind the mirror. The mirror is currently housed at the Ise Shrine complex in Mie prefecture, and the jewels are located in the Imperial Palace, in the center of Tokyo.
Are these treasures the genuine articles, you may ask? Is the Japanese Royal Family really in possession of super-weapons forged by gods (or aliens with superior intelligence masquerading as gods)?
It’s impossible to tell, as these treasures are kept in secret inner sanctums, off limits to the public. Since the year 690, an important part of the Imperial Coronation ceremony has been the presentation of these items to the new emperor by certain elite Shinto priests. The ceremony is not televised, and the identity of the priests is not publicized – so the truth remains a matter of personal belief. One thing we do know is that between 25th and 31st July 1945, when Japan was on the verge of being invaded by Allied forces, the Emperor Showa issued a declaration to his closest advisor, Koichi Kido (Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal 1940-1945) ordering the protection of the Sanshu no Jingi – “at all costs”.