The two essays I wrote about important jinja in Izumo (modern Shimanë Prefecture) for my Patreon are now available on Amazon.
These two jinja, Izumo Ōyashiro and Miho Jinja, are both ancient, with roots in the myths recorded in the eighth century. Izumo Ōyashiro is one of the most significant jinja in Japan, and has a line of chief priests that claims unbroken descent from Amaterasu Ōmikami, although the jinja enshrines Ōkuninushi no Ōkami.
Miho Jinja has a number of fascinating matsuri, in which local residents, from particular families, take on the central roles, rather than the priests. The matsuri are known to be old, but it is not clear just how old; the jinja is recorded in eighth century records, but seems to have enshrined different kami then. Who knows what else has changed?
Both jinja provide glimpses of the manifold traditions of Shinto, and I hope that the essays are of interest. All of my past Patreon essays are listed on the back numbers page, with information about how to get those that are currently available.