Skip to content

Identifying Kami

A little while ago, I read a book about jinja in depopulated areas of Japan. (過疎地神社の研究 (Kasochi Jinja no Kenkyū, Research on Jinja in Depopulated Areas), 冬月律 (by Fuyutsuki Ritsu)) The book is a report of several years’ anthropological study of the jinja in an area of Kōchi Prefecture, on Shikoku. Dr Fuyutsuki interviewed the priests and the sōdai, and the book is very interesting, in part because it makes it clear that it is not easy to say anything general about the problem. I may write at more length… Read More »Identifying Kami

State Investigation

The “Former Unification Association” is big news in Japan at the moment. (NHK always refers to it like that (in Japanese)); its current official name in English is “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification”, while the popular name for the group is “the Moonies”. The reason it is big news is that Abe’s assassin said he was motivated by Abe’s links to the group, because the group had bankrupted his family by pressuring his mother to make an unreasonably large donation. The opposition parties picked up on this, and… Read More »State Investigation

Shinto Vestments

Shinto has formal vestments for priests, which are different for male priests and female priests, and for miko. However, these vestments do not have quite the same purpose as the vestments worn by priests of other major religions. In Christianity, and, it seems, Buddhism and Islam, the vestments are a mark of the sacred status of the priest. In Shinto, however, the vestments are pure clothes worn to approach the kami. This difference became obvious when we went to the international conference of leaders of world and traditional religions in… Read More »Shinto Vestments

Pray for Today, Ask for Tomorrow

Jinja Honchō has released a couple of very short videos on their channel. One is 15 seconds: And the other is 30 seconds: These are actually publicity videos for Jingū Taima, and Jingū Taima do appear, on modern-style kamidana, right at the end of the video. The tag line is “Kyō ni Inoru, Ashita ni Negau”, which means something like “Pray for Today, Ask for Tomorrow”, and “Jinja Honchō” appears on the screen at the end. Because these commercials are targeted at a Japanese audience, I had nothing to do… Read More »Pray for Today, Ask for Tomorrow

Tamao Live

Tamao is now available for purchase on Amazon, Gumroad, and DriveThruFiction. (Affiliate links to Amazon and DriveThruFiction. I only get the royalties from Gumroad.) Here is the blurb again, in case you missed it last time. Akiko Tanahata liked her normal life in Japan, with a clerical job and a serious boyfriend. Shinto shrines were just places to visit at New Year. But that all changed when she sought shelter from a sudden downpour, and found herself in an impossible space, confronted by a great serpent. Now the serpent will not leave her alone,… Read More »Tamao Live

Shinto Fiction

As my urban fantasy Shinto novel, Tamao, will be released tomorrow, it should be obvious that I do not think that there is anything wrong, in principle, with Shinto-based fiction. That said, I do have some thoughts. First, and most importantly, I have already said that no-one has the authority to regulate others’ Shinto practice in general, and that goes double for fiction. Fiction is not even claiming to be real, so an attempt to regulate fiction is to say that you cannot mention certain things even if you are… Read More »Shinto Fiction

%d bloggers like this: