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Social Attitudes

This week’s Jinja Shinpō included an article about several surveys of Japanese social attitudes that have been carried out regularly over several decades. The one it was reporting in particular was carried out by NHK, the Japanese national broadcaster (like the BBC in the UK), and has been carried out every five years since 1973. Last year’s results showed clear majorities (60 to 70%) for statements like “You don’t have to get married”, “You don’t have to have children if you do get married”, “Women should continue working after they… Read More »Social Attitudes

Matsuri in China

The latest Jinja Shinpō has an interesting article about the performance of a matsuri in China. The matsuri was to mark the beginning of construction work on a ship, asking the kami for safety. It is probably no surprise to hear that the project was a joint venture between a Chinese company and a Japanese one, and that the initiative came from the Japanese partner. The priests were invited from a jinja in Shikoku, presumably due to a personal connection with the head of the Japanese company, and the article… Read More »Matsuri in China

State Support

The Daijōsai to be held in November as part of the accession of the new Tennō is one of the most important Shinto rituals, and thus of great interest to the Shinto world, and particularly to the Shinto establishment. I will almost certainly write an essay about it for my Patreon, but some smaller points that come up are good for blog entries. One that has come up before is the question of state support for it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the second in line to the… Read More »State Support

This Year’s Hatsumōdë

The most recent issue of Jinja Shinpō included a long article on hatsumōdë, and how it went at various jinja. This is a standard feature at this time of year. In the past, it focused on the larger jinja, but recently it has spent more time on jinja in regions that have suffered natural disasters recently, and on jinja that have some particular link to the year. This year, the first three days of the New Year saw good weather across Japan, so there were a lot of people. Jingū,… Read More »This Year’s Hatsumōdë

Tamakazura Jinja

Last week’s Jinja Shinpō had an article about the dedication of a new jinja, Tamakazura Jinja, in Nara Prefecture. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is the establishment of a completely new jinja. The kami was not transferred from another jinja, but rather called down directly to this site. This is unusual, but, as this event shows, it does still happen. It also seems to be uncontroversial, as the report in Jinja Shinpō is positive, and the enshrinement ceremony was attended by the… Read More »Tamakazura Jinja

New Year Thoughts

In January every year, Jinja Shinpō, the newspaper of the Shinto community in Japan, publishes a number of short articles giving people’s New Year thoughts. In order to write one of these, you must be a “Toshi Otoko” or “Toshi Onna”. “Toshi” means “year”, while “Otoko” is “man” and “Onna” is “woman”. A “Man/Woman of the Year” is anyone who was born with the same Chinese zodiacal animal as the current year. The editors reach out to senior priests at significant jinja who meet that criterion and ask for articles,… Read More »New Year Thoughts