TSU, Mie Pref. – A fire that gutted a hall on the grounds of the Ise Shrine on Saturday may have been caused by a short circuit, police said Sunday.
On Sunday morning, police investigated the 100-sq.-meter “Imibiyaden” (Hall of the Sacred Fire), which was destroyed by the fire. No injuries were reported.
An official of the shrine, in Mie Prefecture, notified firefighters of the blaze around 8:50 p.m. Saturday, police said.
The Ise Shrine is dedicated to the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, the mythological ancestor of the Imperial family.
The one-story wooden building, made of Japanese cypress, was located in the Outer Shrine of the complex in the city of Ise.
According to Ise Shrine officials, the building is not registered as a cultural property.
The firefighters said the fire apparently broke out near the hall’s kitchen, where food is prepared as offerings to Amaterasu.
A building dedicated to the god of food, housing and clothing was 50 meters away from the burning hall but was not affected by the fire, the officials said.
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