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Jinja Etiquette Videos

Last year, Tokyo Jinjachō made two videos demonstrating the etiquette for visiting a jinja and put them online. They are both less than three minutes long, and were filmed at jinja in Tokyo.

The first is about how to purify yourself, both when there is a ladle, and when there isn’t.

The second is about the etiquette of paying your respects, both with and without a bell rope.

The Japanese subtitles on both videos mainly give descriptions of what is being done, rather than additional explanation, with an encouragement to visit your local jinja at the end. There was an article in Jinja Shinpō about these videos (which is how I know about them), and it seems that one of the priests responsible for training other priests in matsuri actions in Tokyo oversaw the etiquette to make sure it was all correct. In addition, both of the women appearing in the videos are priests, and the whole thing was watched by the directors of Tokyo Jinjachō and the heads of all the local groups before it was put online.

In short, if you copy the etiquette in these videos, you will definitely not be doing it wrong. However, this is not the only way to do it right. Do not forget about the diversity of Shinto practice.

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2 thoughts on “Jinja Etiquette Videos”

    1. She hides her mouth with her hand while she spits it out. That’s one part of the etiquette that they tend to avoid mentioning explicitly, partly because, I think, the Japanese word used means that you don’t drink the water. It’s a bit harder to be clear in English.

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