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The Oversight Council

The Oversight Council met from May 26th to May 28th, and the June 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō carried a fairly detailed account of the deliberations, over the first two pages. As I predicted, there were “lively discussions” and a “full and frank exchange of views”. Before I move on to those, however, there are a couple of points I want to make first. The Chairman was re-elected unanimously, and the budgets were passed. The Chairman (a largely, but not entirely, ceremonial position) still appears to have everyone’s confidence, and… Read More »The Oversight Council

The National Sōdai Council

At the end of May, the Jinja Shinto world holds a week of meetings. This includes a meeting of the Oversight Council, but also the annual meetings of a lot of associated bodies, and an awards ceremony. The whole week is called the “Green Leaves Meetings”, and it is a major event in the calendar. One of the first meetings on the schedule is the meeting of the National Sōdai Council (全国総代会) which brings together the lay elders of jinja across Japan. There are representatives from every prefecture, and they… Read More »The National Sōdai Council

Court Case Editorial

The May 16th issue of Jinja Shinpō carried an editorial about the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Jinja Honchō’s appeal in the court case. Editorials in Jinja Shinpō are unsigned, but written by members of a group chosen because they are influential opinion formers within the Shinto world. Thus, the editorials are expected to be influential in shaping the future direction of Shinto, and are written on that assumption. The title of this editorial could be loosely translated as “Pull Ourselves Together and Remember That We Are… Read More »Court Case Editorial

Sacred Forest Types

The April 18th issue of Jinja Shinpō carried another article in the series about sacred forests. It is by the same author as the previous one, about the Shikinaisha, and describes his impressions of the three broad types of sacred forest that one finds across Japan. (Apparently, he has visited more jinja than the 4,000-plus candidate Shikinaisha that he mentioned in the previous article.) His first point is to emphasise that the general image of sacred forests as untouched by human hands is wrong. Even if entry to them is… Read More »Sacred Forest Types

New Book on Shinto Liturgy

I’ve just released the next volume of the Mimusubi Essays on Shinto on Amazon: Shinto Liturgy. (That’s an affiliate link. The terms and conditions say that I have to tell you that, in case you think I am offering a completely neutral and disinterested recommendation of my own book. Anyway…) This is a compilation of two of the Patreon essays: “Ritual Movements in Shinto” and “Shinto Liturgy“, which are available individually from Gumroad at those links. (Those are not affiliate links, but I still get money if you buy my… Read More »New Book on Shinto Liturgy

Routine Maintenance

My local jinja, Shirahata Hachiman Daijin, has just done some maintenance around the precincts. The photograph shows people repainting the railings around the platform in front of the prayer hall, but paint was also touched up elsewhere, and the bamboo fence behind the purification font was also replaced. This sort of maintenance is important, but I have the impression that it is the aspect of jinja management most likely to be neglected. Day-to-day essentials have to be done, because they are necessary right now, and so the jinja’s basic income… Read More »Routine Maintenance

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