The Ancestral Shrine is used as a place to specifically house one's Ancestors. Historically they have also been used as a place to seat minor deities/gods (Ideologies), spirits or Awakened Ones.
Ancestral Shrines are placed within the home or in a respectable location upon the property.
By paying respects to ones ancestors, a person can cultivate a much greater appreciation for the present moment since an individual is only alive today because of his or her Ancestors.
The Ancestral Shrine acts as a home for one Ancestors and it allows individuals to visit them; to generate a greater appreciation for the Present moment.