Jinja Honchō has released a couple of very short videos on their channel. One is 15 seconds:
And the other is 30 seconds:
These are actually publicity videos for Jingū Taima, and Jingū Taima do appear, on modern-style kamidana, right at the end of the video. The tag line is “Kyō ni Inoru, Ashita ni Negau”, which means something like “Pray for Today, Ask for Tomorrow”, and “Jinja Honchō” appears on the screen at the end.
Because these commercials are targeted at a Japanese audience, I had nothing to do with them, and so my explanation is partly based on assumptions. As I understand it, based on articles in Jinja Shinpō that I think were about these commercials, the goal is to get people to obtain a Jingū Taima and venerate it on a kamidana in their homes. I’m curious; how effective do you think it is likely to be? You can let me know in the comments.
In any case, it is good that Jinja Honchō is trying a wider range of approaches to getting the word out, and the video is clearly supposed to show that venerating Jingū Taima can be part of a wide range of lifestyles.
Just for myself, I prefer the Jingu Taima commercial you posted a while back, the one that aired in Toyama. I liked the focus on nature, and the implied Amaterasu Omikami imagery seemed appropriate. That said I’m not the target audience, so perhaps this campaign will be more effective for the general Japanese public. I’d be interested in knowing if it’s successful!
I do really like the modern kamidana (and have one myself).
Thanks for the comment.
I think the Toyama advert may have been focused on that prefecture, which is quite rural, while this one was concerned to make it clear that this is also relevant to people living in the cities. It does make them quite different, though.
Personally, I have a “traditional” kamidana, as you might expect, but some of the modern kamidana are really very nice.
If the purpose is to get people to venerate a Jingu Taima in their homes, it does seem ‘interesting’ that no-one in the video is actually in their home… Since I assume the target audience is people who are only peripherally interested in Shinto (since, I’m assuming, anyone with more of an interest would already have a Jingu Taima?), I would worry that the videos could cause confusion as to what they were actually supposed to do with the Taima if they got one. But then again, I’m definitely not qualified to offer comms advice for the Japanese market – hopefully they consulted someone who is!
I think the expectation would be that the leaflet you got with the Jingū Taima would clear up any confusion on what to do with it. Not knowing anything about the process leading to this, I have no idea whom they consulted, alas…
Thank you for showing the videos!
Without further information I would have thought the videos are promoting being generally more religious and praying often, no matter where you are and what you are doing. People praying in different places makes it look to me as if having a kamidana (and thus a Jingū Taima) actually less important, because why should it be necessary to have one at home if you can pray to the kami wherever you are anyway?
But of course I’m not the target audience either, so I can’t say if it’s effective to a Japanese audience.
That’s a very good point! Thanks for the comment.