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Special Reverence

The project with Himeji Jinja is continuing. I still can’t link to their web page, but we are moving forward on creating it, and the hope is that the Japanese version, at least, will go live before the end of this year. We are planning to have the English material ready for March, so that it will be available when the tourist season starts. As part of this, the jinja wants to offer “tokubetsu sanpai”, which I am currently translating as “special reverence”. This is, basically, a kigansai, where the… Read More »Special Reverence

Tales of Sacred Forests: Gosho Jinja

Jinja Honchō has released the second “Tales of Sacred Forests” video on its YouTube channel. The matsuri introduced in this video is an example of the way in which traditions are being adapted to changing circumstances. My impression is that this is a fairly typical example — which is probably one reason why it was chosen for the video. As before, comments are turned off on the video, but not here. My revisions to the description text to make it easy to reuse also seem to have worked. I have… Read More »Tales of Sacred Forests: Gosho Jinja

Tamao Pre-Orders

I have written a work of Shinto-based fiction: Tamao. It’s an urban fantasy, and the blurb is as follows: Akiko Tanahata liked her normal life in Japan, with a clerical job and a serious boyfriend. Shinto shrines were just places to visit at New Year. But that all changed when she sought shelter from a sudden downpour, and found herself in an impossible space, confronted by a great serpent. Now the serpent will not leave her alone, and she can see the pollution that is slowly corrupting Kawasaki. As her… Read More »Tamao Pre-Orders

Sacred Forests as OECMs

There were two articles about sacred forests in the October 10th issue of Jinja Shinpō: one on the front page, and one on the back. The back page carried the last article in the series of sacred forest articles, and it was essentially a retrospective. The front page article was about OECMs under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As I have mentioned before “Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures” refers to areas that are not nature reserves, but which still make an effective contribution to preserving biodiversity. The Japanese government has… Read More »Sacred Forests as OECMs

Oversight Council and Presidency

The Oversight Council of Jinja Honchō met on October 13th, for the first time since the disputed election to the presidency. In all, Jinja Shinpō spent two whole pages (out of six in the newspaper) on it, and the event is well captured by one of the subheadings. Sale of the Dormitory Also Raised; Debate Goes Nowhere I am not going to summarise everything that was said, because there was a lot of rehashing of ground that has already been covered, and you can get the background by looking at… Read More »Oversight Council and Presidency

The Cry for Peace

The Cry for Peace is the English name of a meeting held in Rome last week by the Community of Sant’Egidio. As you might guess from the fact that I am writing about it, Jinja Honchō sent a delegation, and I went along as the interpreter. This event also had a heavyweight guest list, including the Pope (who was also at the meeting in Kazakhstan) and the presidents of both Italy and France, and booked the Colosseum for the closing ceremony. It certainly has a bit more gravitas than your… Read More »The Cry for Peace

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