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David Chart

For the Kami

At the 75th Anniversary Meeting of the National Association of Young Shinto Priests, Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa (hereafter “Princess Akiko”) gave a speech in which she talked about the purpose of jinja. This was reported in the May 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō. Princess Akiko is a minor member of the Imperial Family. She is a great-granddaughter of Taishō Tennō, which means that her father was a cousin of the previous Tennō. Her activities are certainly not reported on the national news, but I have a great… Read More »For the Kami

Jinja and Business

The May 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō reported on the 75th anniversary meeting of the National Young Priests’ Association, at which Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa gave a speech. The editorial picked up on this event, and the speech, and I, in turn, want to pick up a couple of points — from the editorial today, and from Princess Akiko’s speech next time. One of the things that the Young Priests’ Association does is organise training sessions for young priests across the country. It has done that since… Read More »Jinja and Business

Hikari no Mai

Hikari no Mai is a new sacred dance. Half of the back page of the March 18th issue (yes, this post got significantly delayed) of Jinja Shinpō  was devoted to an article about it, and the article was unsigned, which means that it was produced by core staff. The dance was created at the initiative of the Fukushima Prefecture Young Priests’ Association, which first proposed it in 2016. The idea was to create a dance that could both commemorate people who had died in natural disasters, and pray for the… Read More »Hikari no Mai

New Priests 2024

Every year, Jinja Shinpō publishes a summary of the newly-qualified priests and their employment destinations. This covers the people who train full time for at least a year, and mainly focuses on the Shinto universities of Kokugakuin University in Tokyo and Kōgakkan University in Isë. It does not cover the people who qualify through the short intensive courses, but you can only take those if you already have a post lined up at a jinja, making employment statistics a bit boring. This year’s report was in the April 22nd issue.… Read More »New Priests 2024

The Sale of Ofuda

The May 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō included an article about the sale of ofuda by, er, me. This is the next step of my strategy to make it easier for people overseas to legitimately get hold of ofuda and omamori: convince the Shinto community that there is a problem here that needs to be solved, and that creating practical, legitimate channels through which ofuda can be obtained from outside Japan is the best way to solve it. There are a number of obstacles to establishing such channels, some of… Read More »The Sale of Ofuda

Depopulation

Rural depopulation was, apparently, a topic that a lot of priests mentioned in the survey about hatsumōdë that Jinja Shinpō carried out and reported in the March 18th issue. It is the only subject where they explicitly mention that they do not have space to report all the comments that they received. This obviously is a serious problem, and one that I have mentioned many times before. The comments in the survey bring out two aspects of it. One is the absolutely simple “there are not enough people” problem. One… Read More »Depopulation