This is where the kami (spirits) of those war dead are enshrined. This is where people come to pray for their family members who are enshrined here. Behind this building is another building which has the Book of the Souls in it. The Book of the Souls has over 2,466,000 names of men and women who dedicated their lives to the service of their country and the Emperor. Mainly, ones who were killed in wartime. Here are the eligiblity categories for being enshrined in the shrine. I got these from Wikipedia so they arent in my own words but so that you can understand who is allowed to be enshrined there. There are also 1,068 of those enshrined who have been convicted of war crimes and who were enshrined in secret. Yet another controversial topic.
- Military personnel, and civilians employed by the military, who were:
killed in action, or died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty outside the Home Islands and within the Home Islands after September 1931
- Those missing and presumed to have died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty
- Those died as a result of war crime tribunals
- Civilians who participated in combat under the military and killed by resulting wounds or illnesses
- Civilians who died, or are presumed to have died, in Soviet labor camps after the war
- Civilians who were officially mobilized or volunteered (such as factory workers, mobilized students, Japanese Red Cross nurses and anti air-raid volunteers) who were killed while on duty
- Crew who were killed aboard Merchant Navy vessels
- Crew who were killed due to the sinking of exchange ships (i.e. Awa Maru)
- Okinawan schoolchildren evacuees who were killed
- Officials of the governing bodies of Karafuto Prefecture, Kwantung Leased Territory, Governor-General of Korea and Governor-General of Taiwan
Monument to commemorate the war widows who had to bring up their children without fathers because of the wars. THe other is a monument to commemorate the horses and dogs who were the faithful servants of the Japanese soldiers during war.
ゆうしゅうかん - The Museum
This what the Book of the Souls is carried in when the Japanese commemorate those enshrined in the shrine. I think this happens once a year on the 15th of August. The book is part of the Book of the Souls.
Modern Japan (skyscraper) meets Traditional Japan (torii gate)