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Coins and Cards

A couple of issues that I have mentioned previously also came up in the free responses to the hatsumōdë survey, both connected to practical issues around offerings. The first is the service charge for depositing coins. Most jinja seem to have failed to find a way around that. Some are simply giving one yen coins (which cost more than one yen to deposit in a bank account) to UNICEF, while others have managed to make arrangements with local shops that cope most of the year, but cannot handle the vast… Read More »Coins and Cards

Reactions to the Noto Earthquake

The responses to Jinja Shinpō’s survey about hatsumōdë this year also included quite a few references to the 2024 Noto Earthquake — naturally enough, as it happened on January 1st. A couple of local reporters who live in the area did respond. One started by saying that messages of support had started coming from the Shinto community almost immediately after the earthquake, and for that they were very grateful. However, not only had the sanctuaries been destroyed, but so had the surrounding area. With the population shrinking and mostly elderly,… Read More »Reactions to the Noto Earthquake

Hatsumōdë Survey 2024

As last year, Jinja Shinpō conducted a survey of hatsumōdë across the country by sending enquiries to all the priests who are engaged as local reporters. They received responses from 349 in total. These priests are at a wide range of jinja, from large ones with multiple priests, to multiple jinja that cannot support a full-time priest between them, and cover the entire country. I think the results came out rather earlier last year, and I suspect that the reason for the delay this year was the 2024 Noto Earthquake.… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2024

The Shikinen Sengū Begins

The front and back pages of the April 15th issue of Jinja Shinpō were devoted to the news that the process of the 2033 Jingū Shikinen Sengū has formally begun. Jingū, in Isë, Mië Prefecture, central Japan, is a complex of 125 jinja centred on the Kōtai Jingū, which enshrines Amaterasu Ōmikami, and the Toyo’ukë Daijingū, which enshrines Toyo’ukë Ōmikami. The whole complex is rebuilt once every twenty years, and the sacred treasures for the kami are all replaced at the same time. This is the Shikinen Sengū. “Sengū” means… Read More »The Shikinen Sengū Begins

Cherry Blossoms

I think the Japanese may have a reputation for being a bit obsessed with cherry blossoms. This is largely justified. To support that stereotype, here are some photographs I took recently of the cherry blossoms at Shirahata-san, my local jinja. As you might notice, they were not all taken on the same day. The precincts at Shirahata-san have several varieties of cherry trees, and they blossom at slightly different times. The last photograph was taken yesterday; I think this is the time of year when the precincts at Shirahata-san are… Read More »Cherry Blossoms

A Norito for Noto

The National Association of Young Shinto Priests recently prepared and published two norito for use when praying for recovery from the 2024 Noto Earthquake. They can be downloaded (in Japanese, of course) from the association’s website. One of the norito is for use in jinja, while the other is for use at home, at one’s kamidana. I thought that my readers might be interested in the kamidama one, so I contacted one of the vice-presidents of the group, with whom I had worked on one of the projects through Jinja… Read More »A Norito for Noto