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Digital Okayama

The February 5th issue of Jinja Shinpō included an article by a senior staff member of Okayama Prefectural Jinjachō, about their digital transition. This transition seems to have been driven by the head of the Jinjachō, which is probably how the first examples had to happen. There seem to be two main elements to this transition. First, they have stopped requiring inkan stamps (the name stamps that used to be needed on everything back when I first came to Japan, eeee, those were the good old days, where’re my glasses,… Read More »Digital Okayama

Divination by Wind

The February 5th issue of Jinja Shinpō included an article reporting on the Shinto-related intangible cultural assets recognised by the most recent meeting of the relevant government committee. Such articles are frequent, and also cover the meetings dealing with tangible cultural assets. One of the intangible assets recognised this time was a ceremony from a jinja in Saga Prefecture, on Kyushu. On July 15th, men from among the ujiko purify themselves, and then climb the sacred tree with a sacred flag attached to the end of a bamboo pole. This… Read More »Divination by Wind

The 2024 Noto Earthquake 3

The response to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake on January 1st continues, and it is still a common subject on the news. People have started to move into the medium-term temporary housing that the state builds after a major earthquake, but a significant number (over 10,000) are still in evacuation centres. Given that the area was remote to start with, and considering the damage to the routes into it, it is not clear how much more quickly they could have been helped. However, the preoccupation of the central government with a… Read More »The 2024 Noto Earthquake 3

Mimusubi in Jinja Shinpō

The February 12th issue of Jinja Shinpō includes an article about Mimusubi. Admittedly, I wrote it, but they have printed it, and so now people in mainstream Shinto who carefully read Jinja Shinpō every week know about this website. It also mentions my tendency to rely on articles in the newspaper for content for the blog, so we can now safely assume that they are happy with that. The article is about my efforts to make Shinto culture more widely known and accessible overseas, and talks about Mimusubi as the… Read More »Mimusubi in Jinja Shinpō

Sacred and Sacred

The jinja visit after the Japan-Iran dialogue raised an interesting question about the relationship between Shinto’s view of the sacred, and that of other religions. Contemporary Jinja Shinto does not see any need to claim superiority over or incompatibility with any other religion. (There are and have been varieties of Shinto that did one or both, but they are not currently mainstream. It is, perhaps, important to note that pre-war State Shinto was not one of them — it was as accepting of other traditions as contemporary Jinja Shinto.) However,… Read More »Sacred and Sacred

Japan-Iran Religious Dialogue Meeting

The February 5th issue of Jinja Shinpō had a substantial article on the back cover about the third Japan-Iran Religious Dialogue Meeting. The first one was held in 2019 under the auspices of the Iran Culture Centre of the Iranian embassy in Japan and Kōgakkan University in Isë. The second was supposed to be held in Tehran, but the pandemic interfered, and it was ultimately held online in 2022. At that meeting, the Japanese organiser asked Jinja Honchō to coordinate the Japanese side of future meetings, and they agreed. The… Read More »Japan-Iran Religious Dialogue Meeting