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Encyclopedia of Shinto

This is a short post. I have posted about the Encyclopedia of Shinto at Kokugakuin University before, but that was a while ago, and one of my patrons sent me a message revealing that he didn’t know about it.

This is a freely-accessible English translation of the standard Japanese Encyclopedia of Shinto. I think it is very reliable; I use the Japanese version when I want to check particular facts, and the translation was done by most of the English-speaking scholars of Shinto who were active at the time.

It is probably the most authoritative source of information in English on Shinto available online. Yes, more authoritative than this blog — it was written and translated by a group of specialists who checked each other’s work.

That doesn’t mean it is perfect. It is getting a bit old now, so research on some topics has moved on, and there is always room for reasonable academic disagreement. However, if you want to check whether a new source you have found is reliable, and are not an expert yourself, it is a good thing to check against.

It’s also, of course, the perfect place to check individual Shinto facts. As it is an encyclopaedia, it is not the best way to get an overview and a picture of how things fit together. That is what I am trying to provide in my Patreon essays.

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