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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

Toyo’okoshi Jinja

An article in the January 29th issue of Jinja Shinpō described Toyo’okoshi Jinja (or possibly Hōkō Jinja, because the article does not give the reading for the jinja name). This jinja is the tutelary jinja for Toyota, the car company. According to the article, the jinja was founded in 1939, enshrining the kami of Atsuta Jingū, in Nagoya, and Nangū Taisha, in Gifu Prefecture. These are both important jinja from areas close to the head office of Toyota, which is in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. (The city is named after… Read More »Toyo’okoshi Jinja

Tenjinsai in Romania

The January 29th issue of Jinja Shinpō included an article on “Tenjinsai in Romania”, an event held in Bucharest on the 4th and 5th of November last year. In March last year, Japan and Romania signed a strategic partnership, and the Romanian government declared November “Japanese Culture Month”, with a range of events, including this one. Osaka Tenmangū, a large and important Tenjin jinja in Osaka (you could probably have guessed most of that), was responsible for it. The annual Tenjinsai is one of the larger matsuri in Osaka, and… Read More »Tenjinsai in Romania

The Year’s First Poetry Gathering Ceremony

On January 19th, the “Utakaihajimë no Gi”, or “Year’s First Poetry Gathering Ceremony”, was held at the Imperial Palace. This is an annual event, and while it has changed substantially its roots go back at least seven centuries. The core is that the Tennō sets a topic, people compose traditional 31-syllable waka poems on that topic, and those poems are declaimed in the presence of the Tennō. The details of the topic, who gets to compose, and how the poems are declaimed have changed a great deal, but the basic… Read More »The Year’s First Poetry Gathering Ceremony

Hatsumōdë 2024

The January 22nd issue of Jinja Shinpō had an article about hatsumōdë, as normal for this time of year. The Noto Earthquake, of course, cast a pall over things this year, but hatsumōdë went ahead in the rest of the country and, as usual, it was strongly influenced by the weather. For the article, Jinja Shinpō contacted five major jinja around the country. The first was, of course, Jingū. This was the only jinja to give a number: they had 377,011 visitors over the first three days of the year,… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2024

The 2024 Noto Earthquake 2

As expected, Jinja Shinpō has continued to report on the Noto earthquake. NHK news has also been covering it; the new problem is heavy snowfall, which might bring damaged buildings down and is hindering recovery efforts, as well as putting people in evacuation centres at risk of hypothermia. It sounds as though the authorities have set up to make it possible for everyone in evacuation centres to move temporarily to hotels in safer areas, but that means leaving their homes behind for an unknown period of time, so most have… Read More »The 2024 Noto Earthquake 2