Mimusubi Essays on Shinto

Each of these “books” combines two of my essays, so that the pricing works with Amazon’s restrictions. This means that each individual essay is short — only about 10,000 words. They are listed here in the order that they were published.

Myths of Izumo

Izumo Myths I (June 2019)
The first part of the myths of Izumo, including Susano’o and the Dragon, and the trials of Ōkuninushi. This essay is available on Amazon in Myths of Izumo.
Izumo Myths II (July 2019)
The second part of the myths of Izumo, including Ōkuninushi and Sukunabikona, and the transfer of rulership to the ancestors of the Tennō. This essay is available on Amazon in Myths of Izumo.

The Daijōsai

The Ritual of the Daijōsai (October 2019)
The Daijōsai is an ancient Shinto ritual performed at the accession of a new Tennō. This essay describes what actually happens, as far as is generally known. This essay is available on Amazon in The Daijōsai.
The Meaning of the Daijōsai (November 2019)
The ritual of the Daijōsai is believed to have great significance, but there is considerable debate over what, precisely, it signifies. This essay discusses the most important suggestions. This essay is available on Amazon in The Daijōsai.

Two Izumo Jinja

Izumo Ōyashiro (September 2019)
One of the oldest and most important jinja in Japan, with a line of high priests that claims descent from Amaterasu Ōmikami. This essay is available on Amazon in Izumo Ōyashiro and Miho Jinja
Miho Jinja (January 2020)
A jinja in the ancient province of Izumo (modern Shimanë prefecture) that hosts some ancient and distinctive matsuri. This essay is available on Amazon in Izumo Ōyashiro and Miho Jinja.

Two Norito

Ōharaëkotoba (January 2019)
A transcription, translation, and basic commentary for the most important Shinto prayer (norito). This essay is available on Amazon in Ōharaëkotoba and Izumo Yogoto.
The Izumo Yogoto (December 2019)
An ancient norito, recited before the Tennō by the Izumo Kokusō, the chief priest of Izumo Ōyashiro, when he took up his role. The content sheds light on ancient forms of Shinto ritual, and the Izumo traditions about the kami. This essay is available on Amazon in Ōharaëkotoba and Izumo Yogoto.

Shinto Practice for Non-Japanese

Shinto for Non-Japanese (March 2020)
Is it all right for non-Japanese people to practise Shinto? (Yes) And how can they do it? (That’s a bit more complicated.) This essay is available on Gumroad as an individual essay, and on Amazon in Shinto Practice for Non-Japanese.
Practising Shinto Outside Japan (September 2020)
A companion piece to Shinto for Non-Japanese, focusing on the practical things one can do to practise Shinto outside Japan. This essay is available on Gumroad as an individual essay, and on Amazon in Shinto Practice for Non-Japanese.

Imperial Origin Myths

Descent from the Heavens (April 2020)
Further Shinto myths, concerning the descent of the ancestor of the Tennō from the heavens to found the imperial line. This essay is available on Amazon in Imperial Origin Myths.
The Hyūga Generations (July 2020)
The myths told about the ancestors of the Tennō from the period when they lived in Kyushu, before moving to central Japan. This essay is available on Amazon in Imperial Origin Myths.

Offerings for the Kami

Shinsen (August 2018)
The food and drink offered to the kami, both the standard offerings found at all jinja, and some examples of special offerings unique to a particular matsuri. Part of this essay is included in An Introduction to Shinto, my book, which is available on Amazon and Gumroad. The entire essay is available on Amazon in Offerings for the Kami.
Kagura (December 2018)
The sacred music and dance of Shinto ceremonies. Part of this essay is included in An Introduction to Shinto, my book, which is available on Amazon and Gumroad. The entire essay is available on Amazon in Offerings for the Kami.

Explaining Shinto

Shinto Without Essence (August 2020)
An explanation of why it is so hard to define Shinto, to say when it started, and distinguish things that are Shinto from things that are not. This essay is available on Amazon in Explaining Shinto.
Translating Shinto (December 2020)
Many words used in Shinto are difficult to translate into English. This essay explains why, and gives examples of words that are hard to translate, with a discussion of how I handle the problem. This essay is available on Amazon in Explaining Shinto.

Myths of Jinmu Tennō

Jinmu’s Journey (November 2020)
The myths telling the story of the journey of Jinmu, the first Tennō, from Kyushu to Yamato, in central Japan. This includes the story of Yata-no-Karasu, the crow sent to guide Jinmu through the mountains of Kumano. This essay is available in Amazon in Myths of Jinmu Tennō.
The Conquest of Yamato (January 2021)
The myths of Jinmu’s conquest of Yamato, which include some valuable descriptions of early Shinto rituals. This essay is available in Amazon in Myths of Jinmu Tennō.

Myths of Creation and Amaterasu

Shinto Myths (June 2018)
A general discussion of the role of myths in Shinto, and the main sources for them, together with a description of the creation myths found in the central texts. A small part of this essay is included in An Introduction to Shinto, my book, which is available on Amazon and Gumroad. The whole essay is available in Myths of Creation and Amaterasu, on Amazon.
Myths of Amaterasu (February 2019)
A description of the myths of Amaterasu as found in the oldest sources for Japanese mythology, with some discussion of the significance of the events and the differences between the versions. Part of this essay is included in An Introduction to Shinto, my book, which is available on Amazon and Gumroad. The whole essay is available in Myths of Creation and Amaterasu, on Amazon.