I have mentioned before on this blog that I wrote a booklet for Jinja Honchō entitled “Jinja: Heart of Japan” to serve as their general introduction to Shinto for foreigners. Most of the content was incorporated into Jinja Honchō’s English language website, and has been available for a while, but the only way to see the full booklet was to get hold of a physical copy. That has changed.
The PDF is now available on their website.
As you can see, there are nine languages available. The choice of languages was based on the languages spoken by people living in or visiting Japan, which is why there is a Thai translation — the number of Thai tourists in Japan is surprisingly high. As you might also notice, there is no Japanese version. That is because the English version is the original, and translating it into Japanese has not seemed sensible. There has been talk of doing something similar in Japanese, because most Japanese today know little of Shinto, but this booklet was aimed at foreigners, with no daily experience of Shinto and jinja, so the equivalent for Japanese would have to be slightly different.
I wrote about the process of producing this before, so I have little more to say here. I will just complain about the file names. They are called jinja_xx.pdf, where xx is replaced by a code for the language. The English one is jinja_us.pdf. No. It is written in British English. It should be jinja_uk.pdf. Or even jinja_en.pdf. Hmph.
Ah, so your text has all the extra Us getting left in assorted words.
Thank you for sharing. Your language rant is noted. 😉
Thanks for sending this. I quite agree about the problems caused by the difference between English and “USish”, I find that a good example is, appropriately, on the language app Duolingo where some of the phrases are unintelligible to an English speaker. With reference to the booklet could I point out that it doesn’t print out well as the front and back cover are A4 whereas the rest is A5. But nonetheless, many thanks for the booklet, I am going to see if they have it in the tourist section at Japan House here in London and if not, I shall bring it to their attention.
Best regards Ged
Thanks! The Tourism Agency received copies from Jinja Honchō, so it should be possible for Japan House to get hold of them in some way. However, I don’t know what Jinja Honchō’s policy is for distribution beyond jinja.
Sorry about the printing problem. I’m not even sure whom I should speak to about it.