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“Tales of Sacred Forests”: Shōri Daimyōjin

Jinja Honchō has put the English version of the next video in the “Tales of Sacred Forests” series online. This is the last one I have done, so there won’t be any more for a while now. My understanding is that the series will continue, but I don’t know the details, and those are the sorts of plans that change. This is an interesting jinja. As you can see, it is very small, it is built on an ancient tomb, and the identity of the enshrined kami is not entirely… Read More »“Tales of Sacred Forests”: Shōri Daimyōjin

First Decision on Presidency

The dispute over Jinja Honchō’s presidency continues. I am writing an update because the first court has issued its decision on the case launched by Revd Ashihara against Jinja Honchō asking the court to confirm that he was the president. (Click on the tag to get links to earlier posts, as there is a lot of background to this case. I will refer to the parties in this case as Revd Ashihara and Jinja Honchō because my understanding is that that is the legal situation — even though the dispute… Read More »First Decision on Presidency

Visiting Himeji Jinja

Last week, I went with one of my colleagues from Jinja Honchō to visit Himeji Jinja, and talk in more detail about what they are going to do, and what support they need. This was a day trip, which was a bit of a push because Himeji is about 500 km from where I live. It was also, however, extremely valuable. It really is very helpful to visit a place in person when you are going to write guidance for visitors. For example, this is the view of Himeji Castle… Read More »Visiting Himeji Jinja

New Year in Japan Video

Greg Lam at Life Where I’m From has put up a video about New Year’s in Japan, featuring me. The video should start at the beginning of the description of hatsumōdë, which has a voiceover by me, and quite a bit of footage that I filmed at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin last new year (so, the year before last, moving into last year — the footage actually crosses midnight). This one should start later in the video, with some scenes of people going to Shirahata-san on New Year’s Day last year.… Read More »New Year in Japan Video

Kidnap Matsuri

One article in the April 2022 issue of the Journal of Shintō Studies was about the Naoi Matsuri at Owari Ōkunitama Jinja. This matsuri was revised by the local daimyo in the 18th century, and the revised version is still held today — it is famous as a “naked festival”, which means loincloths only. The main interest of the article is in the contribution that a particular person, an important scholar, made to the revision. It was known that he did contribute, but the documents he submitted have been lost.… Read More »Kidnap Matsuri

Matsuri Weather

The Komorëbi column in the December 19th/26th issue of Jinja Shinpō is about the “Month with Kami” in Izumo. That is the tradition that all the kami of Japan gather in Izumo in the tenth month of the lunar calendar, which is accordingly called the “month without kami” (kan’nazuki) elsewhere. The author is the chief priest of a jinja in the area, and this is one of the jinja that welcomes the visiting kami. He says that, this year, immediately after he had completed the ceremony to welcome the visiting… Read More »Matsuri Weather

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