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David Chart

Young Priest

One of the new year articles in the January 23rd issue of Jinja Shinpō was by a priest who will turn 72 this year, reflecting on his youth. He is now the chief priest of his family’s jinja, and while he had two elder sisters, he was the eldest son, so his grandfather seems to have thought that he would obviously become a priest. As a child, however, he really, really did not want to. When he was in his first year of junior high school (so 12 or 13… Read More »Young Priest

Jinja and Robot

At the beginning of every year Jinja Shinpō runs a series of short articles from a wide range of people, mostly priests, who were born in an earlier year with the same zodiacal animal. This year, it’s people born in the year of the rabbit. As usual, I want to write about a few on the blog. The first one is from the January 16th issue, and by a priest at a jinja in Iwatë Prefecture, in northeast Japan. His jinja has acquired a robot rabbit, a “rabbot”, which is… Read More »Jinja and Robot

Sugō Jinja

Sugō Jinja is in Okazaki, in Aichi Prefecture, and is in the grounds of the castle where Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, was born. Its chief priest contacted Jinja Honchō about preparing an English leaflet, and we recently finished the job; the leaflet should have been printed by now. This task was a good illustration of the difficulties with these kinds of translations. First, the original Japanese history of the jinja was based on texts that were decades old, at least, and hard even for most contemporary… Read More »Sugō Jinja

Practical Issues

A couple of days ago I was talking to the priests at my local jinja about entirely practical issues. The first was the destruction of one of the stone pillars at the entrance. These were put up about 45 years ago when the jinja was rebuilt, and are (or were) carved with the names of the people who supervised, and helped pay for, the rebuilding. The pillar was destroyed earlier this week when a large truck tried to go up the road alongside the jinja, and it didn’t really fit.… Read More »Practical Issues

Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

As normal, Jinja Shinpō is writing about hatsumōdë, an event that is central to the viability of many jinja. There was a front page article in the January 23rd issue, which I will write about here, and they are planning another article soon, when they have collected information from their reporters across Japan. This article primarily relied on contacting a number of prominent jinja, in different areas: Jingū, in Isë, Meiji Jingū in Tokyo, Takëkoma Jinja in Miyagi Prefecture, Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, Hōfu Tenmangū in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Munakata… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

LGBTQ Course

People who have been reading this blog for a while may remember that there was a scandal a while back when the Shintō Seiji Renmei, the political campaigning organisation closely linked to Jinja Honchō, distributed a leaflet to members of the Diet that included a summary of a speech saying that LGBTQ people were mentally ill. The January 30th issue of Jinja Shinpō includes an article on a couple of training sessions held online by the Osaka Prefecture Shinto Youth Association and Prefectural Shintō Seiji Renmei. One was on SDGs,… Read More »LGBTQ Course

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