The Yasukuni Shrine in Kudan, Tokyo, stems from Tokyo Shokonsha facility, which was built in 1869 by the New Meiji Government to repose the souls of soldiers on the side of the new government who were killed in the civil war, named Boshin War, which occurred at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. In 1879, this special facility was renamed the Yasukuni Shrine and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Army and Navy, but its management was mainly entrusted to the Ministry of War. Although it is a Shinto shrine, it differs from most other Shinto shrines in that it worships the souls of those who were killed in the battles for the sake of their country. Specifically, this shrine is dedicated to the souls of the soldiers and some civilians who lost their lives in civil wars after 1853 such as the Seinan War and the Boshin War, as well as the Shino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and the Second World War. The total number of the souls enshrined here is 2.46 million, and an imperial envoy is dispatched to this shrine for the annual spring and autumn festivals. While the majority of the Shinto shrines in Japan are under the control of Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines), this shrine, due to its special historical circumstances as mentioned above, has maintained its independence from Jinja Honcho.
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