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“Tales of Sacred Forests”

Over the past few years, Jinja Honchō has produced a number of short (under five minute) videos introducing “ordinary” jinja around Japan, under the title “Chinju no Mori no Monogatari”, or “Tales of Sacred Forests”. They are more about the jinja and the matsuri than the forests as such, but “mori” is Japanese for the sacred space of a kami as well as for a woodland, so that is fair. They were made with a Japanese satellite television company, and broadcast in Japan.

Jinja Honchō is now making them available on their YouTube channel. (As of this writing, it has 31 subscribers. They probably all work at Jinja Honchō.) As part of this, they have asked me to provide subtitles for the videos, and the first of the subtitled videos went up a week ago.

I should just like to emphasise that, while I was responsible for the subtitles, I was not responsible for the English text in the description. I think you can edit the descriptive text of a video after publication, so I will have a word with them about this.

Anyway, the Japanese, no-subtitles, version has fewer than 60 views as I write this, so let’s see whether we can get the view numbers higher on the English versions. Comments are turned off on the video, but they are still turned on for this blog post.

There will be more of these (I’ve already done some more subtitles), and I will post links when they appear.

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.

3 thoughts on ““Tales of Sacred Forests””

  1. Oo I’m excited to see them all! There’s a typo in the video title though, it says Numakuma 🙂

    1. Oh dear… In their defence, the first character of the jinja’s name can be read “numa” by itself, so it is quite easy to be confused. I’m not sure whether that can be changed, but I will mention it to them.

  2. I just watched the video with english subtitles. Excellent work! I particularly enjoyed how the video gave a holistic view of what the jinja and the sacred forest mean to the community in day-to-day life, rather than just a description of the major matsuri or a famous landmark. I will definitely watch all of these as they’re published. Thank you! 🙂

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