Maui Jinsha Shrine Moved Piece By Piece

The shrine was built in 1915 in Kahului, Maui, by Japanese immigrants aided by a master carpenter from Japan. It was dedicated to Emperor Hirohito. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the shrine was closed, and in 1942 the Shinto priest and his family were evicted from their adjacent home. They moved into the shrine, where they lived until it was threatened with demolition. In 1951 they and the parishioners moved the shrine piece by piece and reassembled it in Wailuku, completing it in 1954. Mason Architects completed a Historic Structures Report on the building, which is one of the last remaining Shinto shrines in Hawaii but still used regularly.

The unpainted wooden building consists of honden, an elevated space for the Shinto gods, and haiden, a space for worshippers.

The shrine was constructed in accordance with the Kiware system, in which the ratio of the post diameter to the span between posts governs the proportions of the entire building.

The shrine was listed on the National Register in 1978 and on the Hawaii Register in 1981.

The Historic Structures Report

  • Outlined the shrine’s historic significance
  • Prepared measured drawings
  • Assessed its condition
  • Recommended measures for its immediate stabilization, interim maintenance, and eventual restoration to its 1954 appearance.

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Measured drawing of shrine, longitudinal section.