Izumo Taisha (Grand Shrine) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to a deity, Okuninushi-no-okami, who is known as the deity of "En-musubi", the creation and arrangement of relationships.
The first Sengu to be conducted in 60 years is currently underway.
The current main structure (a national treasure) of Izumo Taisha was built in 1744. As a rule, a Sengu has been conducted every 60 years, making this its fourth Sengu.
Sengu literally means to move the Goshintai （a sacred representation of the god enshrined in a shrine) or Goshinza （the god's seat）temporarily, while construction of a new shrine building or repair work on a shrine building is conducted. There are various views regarding the purpose of conducting Sengu. Below are some theories:
- To maintain structures made of wood materials.
- To pass on traditional artisans' techniques.
- To keep a shrine building immaculate and clean. (As a result, the power and vitality of the deity of the shrine is thought to be renewed.)
In April of 2008, the Kari-den senza-sai (a Shinto ritual) was held to transfer the main deity, Okuninushi-no-okami, to the Okari-den (a temporary main hall building). Then renovation work, not only for the main structure but also for the auxiliary and subordinate shrines of Izumo Taisha, began, and it has been underway since 2009.
First, the roof of Izumo Taisha, which is extremely large in size and made of cypress bark, was completely removed. Then, after the sheathing boards were repaired, the work to lay down a new roof began. It was completed in March of 2012.
In the summer of 2012, the protective building which covered the main structure during the construction work was removed, and the newly revitalized main hall was finally revealed to the public.
The Hon-den senza-sai (a Shinto ritual to transfer Okuninushi-no-okami back to the main structure) will be held on May 10, 2013. After the Hon-den senza-sai, a series of Shinto rituals will be held.