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Practical Pictograms

Quite a bit of the work I do for Jinja Honchō is internal translations, and the most recent pamphlet I developed for them wasn’t put online, so I haven’t been able to introduce any of my work in detail for quite a while. However, I now have a chance.

Jinja Honchō has prepared a set of pictograms for jinja to use to provide guidance to visitors about the jinja’s COVID-19 precautions. You can download them from the Jinja Honchō website. As well as PDF and PNG versions, you can download PowerPoint and Word files that let you design your own 3×3 or 2×2 poster, in either A4 or A3.

So, if you’ve felt a desperate need for a “Purification Font Not In Use” warning sign, you can now get one.

Admittedly, some of them are not a great deal of use if you are not a jinja, but they are very helpful if you are. They are all bilingual, and, as you may guess, my job was providing the English, and making suggestions for additional signs that might be useful for foreign visitors. There are not many foreign tourists in Japan right now, of course, but there are a significant number of foreign residents, some of whom are more comfortable with English than Japanese.

While this is not terribly “religious”, I think it is exactly the sort of thing that Jinja Honchō should be doing. These pictograms will be useful to many jinja, but most jinja would not have the resources to prepare them. Jinja Honchō, on the other hand, does — and these days, it is easy to make them available to everyone. The pictograms were announced on the front page of Jinja Shinpō, with samples of all the pictograms printed on page two, so that as many jinja as possible would be aware of them. This sort of low-profile help for jinja makes up a large proportion of Jinja Honchō’s work, and arguably the most important part.

I have a Patreon, where people subscribe to receive in-depth essays on various aspects of Shinto, about once per month. If that sounds interesting to you, please take a look.

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