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Tamao Pre-Orders

I have written a work of Shinto-based fiction: Tamao. It’s an urban fantasy, and the blurb is as follows: Akiko Tanahata liked her normal life in Japan, with a clerical job and a serious boyfriend. Shinto shrines were just places to visit at New Year. But that all changed when she sought shelter from a sudden downpour, and found herself in an impossible space, confronted by a great serpent. Now the serpent will not leave her alone, and she can see the pollution that is slowly corrupting Kawasaki. As her… Read More »Tamao Pre-Orders

Sacred Forests as OECMs

There were two articles about sacred forests in the October 10th issue of Jinja Shinpō: one on the front page, and one on the back. The back page carried the last article in the series of sacred forest articles, and it was essentially a retrospective. The front page article was about OECMs under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As I have mentioned before “Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures” refers to areas that are not nature reserves, but which still make an effective contribution to preserving biodiversity. The Japanese government has… Read More »Sacred Forests as OECMs

Oversight Council and Presidency

The Oversight Council of Jinja Honchō met on October 13th, for the first time since the disputed election to the presidency. In all, Jinja Shinpō spent two whole pages (out of six in the newspaper) on it, and the event is well captured by one of the subheadings. Sale of the Dormitory Also Raised; Debate Goes Nowhere I am not going to summarise everything that was said, because there was a lot of rehashing of ground that has already been covered, and you can get the background by looking at… Read More »Oversight Council and Presidency

The Cry for Peace

The Cry for Peace is the English name of a meeting held in Rome last week by the Community of Sant’Egidio. As you might guess from the fact that I am writing about it, Jinja Honchō sent a delegation, and I went along as the interpreter. This event also had a heavyweight guest list, including the Pope (who was also at the meeting in Kazakhstan) and the presidents of both Italy and France, and booked the Colosseum for the closing ceremony. It certainly has a bit more gravitas than your… Read More »The Cry for Peace

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

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