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Kusano Jinja

The March 11th issue of Jinja Shinpō devoted half of its back page to the rededication of Kusano Jinja, in Namië, a town in Fukushima near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The article was published thirteen years to the day since the disaster, and the jinja had only just been rebuilt. The author is currently the head of the Fukushima Prefectural Jinjachō, and he was the deputy at the time of the disaster. The area of Namië in which the jinja stood was devastated by the tsunami, and not… Read More »Kusano Jinja

Crowdfunding Trees

I have mentioned the use of crowdfunding in the Shinto community before, and in this post I am going to introduce one that is currently active. This is organised by Daini no Furusato Sōsei Kyōkai (Second Hometown Creation Group, although the official English translation is apparently “The Japanese Festival and Forest Association”), an organisation I have done quite a bit with — they organise the volunteers for Natsumoude at Asakusa Jinja, which I have done several times. This crowdfunding is for replanting the sacred forest at a jinja in Iwatë… Read More »Crowdfunding Trees

The 2024 Noto Earthquake 5

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the March 4th issue of Jinja Shinpō included an article on the damage in Toyama Prefecture. This article was a solid page of text listing jinja, again by chief priest, and the damage to each jinja. Even so, it didn’t cover the whole of the prefecture — two areas were held over for a later issue. A comparison between this article and the corresponding article for Ishikawa Prefecture makes the difference in impact starkly apparent. The Ishikawa article included a number of… Read More »The 2024 Noto Earthquake 5

Approaches to Depopulation

The February 26th issue of Jinja Shinpō devoted over a page, including most of the front page, to a study group meeting held on February 6th and 7th. Representatives from jinja that have been selected to lead Jinja Honchō’s efforts to deal with depopulation attended and discussed their situation and the efforts they were making to address it. I want to pick up a few points from the articles; one of the strong impressions it gives is that a lot of different approaches are being tried in different areas. The… Read More »Approaches to Depopulation

Word Choice

The February 19th issue of Jinja Shinpō devoted most of the front and back pages to events celebrating National Foundation Day, February 11th. This is the solar calendar date of the mythical accession of Jinmu Tennō on the first day of lunisolar 660 BC. I have been closely involved in one of the events for several years — the central event to celebrate the day, held at Meiji Jingū by a group that is technically different from Jinja Honchō, but run out of their offices. As I know, after translating… Read More »Word Choice

Tsurugaoka Hachimangū

Recently, there have been news reports that Tsurugaoka Hachimangū is leaving Jinja Honchō. Last time I was at Jinja Honchō, I was able to confirm that Tsurugaoka Hachimangū has started the necessary procedures, but the paperwork takes time, so it has not left yet, and could, in theory, still call the whole thing off. That seems unlikely, however, so I want to talk about what this means. Tsurugaoka Hachimangū is in Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is probably the third most important Hachiman Jinja in Japan, behind Usa Jingū in… Read More »Tsurugaoka Hachimangū