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“Miyajima” (Shrine Island) is the popular name for Itsukushima, an island in northwestern Hiroshima bay in the western part of Japan’s Inland Sea. It is believed to be the island where God dwells; its most famous landmark, the “floating” Itsukushima Shrine, was built in the water because the entire island was sanctified as God's body. In 1643, in “Nihon Sankei” (Three Views of Japan), Hayashi Gahō, the hereditary daigaku-no-kami (the nation’s chief educational officer) designated the shrine as one of Japan’s three most celebrated scenic sights (the other two were Matsushima in Miyagi and Amanohashidate in Kyoto).
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