The April 26th issue of Jinja Shinpō had a couple of articles about the ongoing court case involving Jinja Honchō. I’ll keep this brief, because it’s not particularly about Shinto, but people who read the earlier articles might want to know what is happening.
The Board of Directors has decided to appeal. There are two important points at issue. One is whether the disciplinary action was legitimate, and the other is whether the actions that those employees were complaining about, the sale of some real estate, were corrupt. The court ruling was that the disciplinary action was not legitimate, but that the original actions were not corrupt. Jinja Honchō’s lawyer doesn’t think that they will get the verdict changed. However, at least some members of the Board of Directors want a clearer statement from the court that their initial actions were not corrupt.
The Board is not united in this. The Chairman pointed out that the votes on appealing had been taken on the basis that it was important to do what they needed to do to get the time to consider the verdict, rather than on the basis of that consideration, and several board members said that the appeal should be withdrawn; others insisted that it had to go forward. There are reports of widespread opposition to the appeal among priests across Japan.
There was also an article in the same issue from Revd Sano (who seems to have become the public face of the internal opposition), arguing that the appeal should be withdrawn because it had no possible benefit for the Shinto world, and would definitely cause damage.
The main annual meeting of the Oversight Council is in a couple of weeks. I suspect it will be a bit more lively than normal.