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Sect Shinto Anniversary

The October 10th issue of Jinja Shinpō contained, very unusually, an article about sect Shinto. “Sect Shinto” is the general term for groups based on Shinto that are undeniably religions, are not restricted to one area of Japan, and are legally registered as independent religious corporations. Within this, the term “Kyōha Shinto” refers to the groups that were recognised as Shinto-derived religions by the pre-war Japanese government. This is an area of Shinto I do not know much about — I don’t work in it, and I do not have… Read More »Sect Shinto Anniversary

Digitising Norito

When I posted about the process of writing out norito at Jingū a couple of weeks ago, I had a comment about the possibilities for digitalisation. That very topic, complete with a reference to the article that inspired my blog post, was taken up in a book review in the October 3rd issue of Jinja Shinpō. The review was of a collection of norito for regular matsuri written by the chief priest of Akasaka Hië Jinja in Tokyo, and the comments were inspired by the fact that the book includes… Read More »Digitising Norito

New Book: Myths from the Hitachi Fudoki

I have just released two more of the past essays from my Patreon on Amazon. Myths from the Hitachi Fudoki retells and comments on the myths found in the Hitachi-no-Kuni Fudoki. This text was compiled by order of the Tennō in the early eighth century, and describes the ancient province of Hitachi, which roughly corresponds to modern Ibaraki Prefecture, to the northeast of Tokyo. Over fifty of these Fudoki seem to have been prepared (there should have been over sixty, but there are no surviving references at all to some… Read More »New Book: Myths from the Hitachi Fudoki


The September 26th issue of Jinja Shinpō included a short article from Kanzaki Noritakë, a priest and folklorist who writes regularly for the “Mori ni Omofu” (“Thoughts in the Forest”) column. His columns are always interesting, and this was no exception. It was about Konsei-sama, also known as Konsei-kami (or Konsei-no-kami), Konsei Daimyōjin, Kinmaro-sama, Kanamaro-sama, or Kanamara-sama. There are signs of the veneration of Konsei-sama all across Japan, and the practice survives widely today, particularly, he says, in the area of Okayama Prefecture where he lives — he was able… Read More »Konsei-sama

Presidency in Court

Not wanting to be left behind by the USA, Jinja Honchō is currently in court to decide who the president is. The tags on this post should now link to all the immediately relevant posts, but I will start with a quick recap. At the last Oversight Council meeting in May, the chairman was re-elected, and a new board of directors was chosen. The new board of directors had a lot of overlap with the old one, despite the problems over the last court case. At the board meeting to… Read More »Presidency in Court

Cashless Payments

The second interesting presentation at the Shinto Youth Association training session (first one here), as reported in the September 12th edition of Jinja Shinpō, was about cashless payments. I have mentioned before that the (belated) spread of cashless payments in Japan is an issue for jinja, both for practical reasons, and because the physical offerings have religious significance. At the training session, further issues were raised. Omamori and ofuda are not bought and sold at jinja. This is because of the religious significance of the items: omamori and ofuda are… Read More »Cashless Payments

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