Saipan Katori Shrine

The Saipan Katori Shrine (サイパン香取神社, Saipan Katori Jinja) is a Shintō shrine in Sugar King Park, Garapan, Saipan. The main festival of the shrine is held annually in October.[1] Ceremonies are conducted by the Japanese Society of Northern Marianas and presided over by priests of the Katori Shrine in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.[2] The shrine is a place of prayer for peace and prosperity.[2] It is listed on the Garapan Heritage Trail, a project of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council with financial support by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Office of Insular Affairs, United States Department of the Interior.[3][4]

Saipan Katori Shrine
Saipan Katori Shrine3.JPG
Torii at the entrance of the shrine
FestivalAutumn Festival (October)
LocationSugar King Park, Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands
Geographic coordinatesCoordinates: 15°12′06″N 145°43′19″E / 15.20172°N 145.72187°E / 15.20172; 145.72187
Date established1914
Shinto torii icon vermillion.svg Glossary of Shinto


The shrine was built by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1914 after it bloodlessly captured the island in the Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I.[2] It was named after the battleship Katori, which was used to capture Saipan and named in honor of the Katori Shrine in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The portable shrine aboard theKatori housed a sacred repository object (goshintai) where the spirit of Futsunushi resided. A piece of the goshintai was taken from the battleship after a "dividing of spirit" rite and was enshrined on the island. It burned down during the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

The Katori Shrine Association of Japan, with the support of the CNMI government, rebuilt the shrine in 1985.[5][6] The shrine was damaged by typhoons in the past.[7] In October 2016, it was vandalized.[8] The CNMI government and non-profit organizations have funded the restoration the shrine over the decades.[9]


The shrine has torii, komainu, tōrō, a chōzuya, and a honden.[4]


  1. ^ "Autumn Festival and Katori shrine ceremony on Saturday". Saipan Tribune. October 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Rite celebrates anniversary of Katori Shrine in Garapan". Saipan Tribune. October 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "A trail of unsurprising comments". Saipan Tribune. November 15, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Saipan Jinja". Garapan Heritage Trail.
  5. ^ "Sugar King Park's Katori Shrine celebrates its 100th anniversary". Saipan Tribune. October 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "World War II fallen honored at Sugar King Park ceremony". Saipan Tribune. October 31, 2016.
  7. ^ "MVA and partners clear the Sugar King Park". Saipan Tribune. August 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "Garapan's Katori Jingu Shrine is vandalized". Saipan Tribune. October 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "Group donates $5K to restore shrine in Japan". Saipan Tribune. October 26, 2011.