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Going Online

This week’s Jinja Shinpō included a number of articles of interest, including one by me. That one will be the basis of a Patreon essay in a couple of months, so I won’t talk about it here. There was also an article about Jingū starting the distribution of omamori and ofuda again, although they are still not doing formal prayers outside the regular matsuri. However, the articles I want to pick up are about online activities. Two short articles reported on online meetings held by administrative groups in Shizuoka Prefecture… Read More »Going Online

The Price of Vestments

Back in May, a company that sells Shinto vestments had an advert in Jinja Shinpō. That is not so unusual; what is less common is that they printed the asking prices for most items. Since these were made public, we can safely assume that they are neither ridiculously high nor implausibly low; while there is bound to be variation depending on the source and the quality, these prices are probably representative. I will give all the prices in yen, as that is the currency they are sold in. For these… Read More »The Price of Vestments

Continuing Adaptation

As the first wave of COVID-19 comes to an end in Japan, businesses and other activities have started to reopen. The state of emergency has ended across the whole country, but new infections are still being detected, albeit at a fairly low level. This means that there is a lot of caution about restarting things at jinja. Jinja Honchō has gone back to normal working practices, but most jinja still seem to be restricting formal prayers inside the prayer hall, and keeping numbers at matsuri down. Because there is a… Read More »Continuing Adaptation

Okayama Peace Museum

A few weeks ago, Jinja Shinpō had a full page article about the opening of the Okayama Peace Museum. This facility belongs to Okayamaken Gokoku Jinja: the jinja enshrining the war dead from Okayama prefecture (“ken” in Japanese). The Gokoku Jinja (“Nation-Protecting Jinja”) were, as I have mentioned before, founded before the war to enshrine people who had died fighting for the Tennō, much like local versions of Yasukuni Jinja. They were not really formalised until the 1940s, with some only being founded during the war, and as a result… Read More »Okayama Peace Museum

Jinja and COVID-19 Survey

The National Association of Young Priests (for priests under 40, or maybe 45 — “Youngish” might be better) conducted a survey of its members to discover the impact of the pandemic on individual jinja. The survey was conducted from April 24th to 30th, so the results are a bit out of date now, but they had 740 responses with a good coverage of the whole country, so they are probably representative for that period. 75% of the priests reported a reduction in the number of personal matsuri being requested. For… Read More »Jinja and COVID-19 Survey

New Omamori and Matsuri

A few weeks ago, Jinja Shinpō had a short article about some unique omamori that a chief priest had made for his jinja. The jinja is Takuhirëshi Jinja, in Toyama Prefecture (on the Japan Sea side of central Japan). The jinja’s precincts border on a river, the Shinzū River, which is famous for ayu (sweetfish) fishing, and the chief priest himself is a keen angler, so the new omamori were inspired by this. They are modelled on the nets that anglers use to keep fish that they have caught before… Read More »New Omamori and Matsuri