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Because it contains one of the emperor's Three Sacred Treasures, this is revered as one of the three most important shrines in Japan. Founded in the 2nd century and last rebuilt in 1955, it enshrines the Grass-Mowing Sword (Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi), which is one of the Imperial Regalia of the Emperor. The other two sacred treasures are the Sacred Mirror (in the Ise Grand Shrines) and the Jewels (in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo). According to legend, the Grass-Mowing Sword was presented to a prince named Yamato-Takeru, who used it during a campaign against rebels in eastern Japan; the rebels set a field of grass on fire, and the prince used the sword to mow down the grass, thereby quelling the fire. (Atsuta means "hot field" in Japanese.) Actually, there isn't much to see of the shrine -- the sword is never on public display -- yet this remains one of Nagoya's top attractions (especially on New Year's), and Japanese make pilgrimages here to pay their respects, first purifying their hands or mouths with water, then throwing coins into the money box, clapping to gain the attention of the gods, and bowing as they pray. A Treasure Hall displays exhibits that change monthly of items donated through the ages by members of the Imperial family, shoguns, feudal lords, and common people, including furniture, household goods, and, thanks to the legend of the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, an impressive number of swords and daggers. Surrounded by stately, ancient cypress trees, the shrine provides a nice respite from city life.