The modern system of ranked Shinto shrines (近代社格制度, Kindai Shakaku Seido) (sometimes called simply shakaku (社格), was an organizational aspect of the establishment of Japanese State Shinto. This system classified Shinto shrines as either official government shrines or "other" shrines. The official shrines were divided into
- Imperial shrines (kampeisha), which are parsed into minor, medium, or major sub-categories; and
- National shrines (kokuheisha), which are similarly categorized as minor, medium, or major.
Some shrines are the "first shrines" called ichinomiya that have the highest rank in their respective provinces of Japan.
Modern system of ranked Shinto shrines Wikipedia
In 1871, an Imperial decree established a hierarchic ranking of Shinto shrines. These rankings were set aside in 1946, when such rankings were deemed "State Shinto" by the Occupation Shinto Directive. The Jinja Honcho currently has a slightly different List of Special Shrines (別表神社, beppyo jinja).
In 1871, the Kanpei-sha (官幣社) identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines most closely associated with the Imperial family. The kampeisha were shrines venerated by the imperial family. This category encompasses those sanctuaries enshrining emperors, imperial family members, or meritorious retainers of the Imperial family.
The most highly ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社) encompassed 67 sanctuaries.
The mid-range of ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-chūsha (官幣中社) included 23 sanctuaries.
The lowest ranked among the Imperial shrines or Kanpei-shōsha (官幣小社) were five sanctuaries.
In addition to the officially ranked Imperial shrines, there were also other shrines at which the kami of emperors were venerated.
The Kokuhei-sha (国幣社) identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines with national significance. The kokuheisha enshrined kami considered beneficial to more local areas.
The most highly ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Taisha (国幣大社) were six sanctuaries.
The mid-range of ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Chūsha (国幣中社) encompassed 47 sanctuaries.
The lowest ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Shōsha (国幣小社) includes 50 sanctuaries.